Home-Made Lavender Sugar Recipe

lavender sugar

Lavender Sugar is one of those things I’ve always looked at and loved the idea of, but never really known what to do with. I’ve always liked crystallised lavender – it’s both pretty and tasty – but aside from medicinal or household use, I’ve never really known how to actually use lavender in food. Partly due to its strong flavour and partly due to its very floral flavour, it’s something you have to use with care, but should definitely use!lavender sugar Making lavender sugar couldn’t really be simpler – the two ingredients are in the name, after all. If you don’t have a food processor you can just mix the two and stir, but I like making the sugar just a little finer, so it’s not so crunchy. Be careful though – I don’t like making it icing sugar either! Just a finely granulated sugar is perfect.

Leave the lavender for a week or so, allowing the flavours to infuse thoroughly into the sugar.  You can make Lavender Sugar ahead as a hostess gift, Christmas gifts, wedding favours and other gifting opportunities, and even include a recipe card or two with the jar. It’s a cheap and beautiful gift to make!lavender sugar

Make the Lavender Sugar two weeks before you’re going to gift it, and make sure to leave instructions to use withing 9 -12 months, so aside from drying out, I can’t image the lavender would go bad!

Recipe for Lavender Sugar

Lavender Sugar Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert, Sweet, Condiment
Cuisine: Foraged
Serves: 1kg
  • 2 tsp lavender flowers
  • 1kg white sugar
  1. Use a fork or your hands to remove the flowers from the stalk
  2. Add them to the food processor
  3. Add the sugar and blend together - depending on your food processor, adjust your speed to make sure you don't end up with icing sugar.
  4. In the Thermomix®, hit the Turbo button 2 - 3 times quickly.
  5. Decant the sugar into jars, and seal tightly.


lavender sugar

Basic Butter Biscuits

Basic Butter Biscuits

I think it’s always good to have a fail safe basic butter biscuits recipe that you can call on at a moment’s notice. It’s one of those things everyone should have up their sleeve.Basic butter biscuits

I like this one because depending on the type of biscuit you’re planning on making, you don’t have to refrigerate the dough first. Unless you’re making some delicate shapes, you can easily get away without it.Basic butter biscuits

This recipe is very adaptable – add chocolate chips, add a curd, add colouring – it handles it all well, and it’s very good at keeping it’s shape too.

You can even cut out a little and fill in with hard boiled sweets – when it comes out the oven, leave for a few minutes so that the sweets can set again, but not too long as they’ll harden and stick on the tray. Then you’ll need a jackhammer to get them loose again!

Basic Butter Biscuits

Cut the insides out and replace them with a different colour – that’s super effective and very pretty!

Basic Butter Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 30
  • 225g butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 400g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  1. Preheat over to 180C
  2. Add butter & sugar into the Thermomix® Bowl. Mix at speed 4/10 seconds.
  3. Add the butterfly and mix at speed 3 for 60 seconds
  4. Add 2 eggs, vanilla, flour and other ingredients, then mix speed 4/30 seconds
  5. Set on the dough setting for 1min 30 seconds and tip out into a bowl. If it's looking very sloppy you will need to refrigerate it for up to 30 mins, but it should be okay immediately.
  6. When you're ready to roll out, tip it out onto a well-floured tray. Roll out, or make balls, and proceed with your cookie making fun.
  7. Place on a tray and bake for 8 - 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie.
  8. Allow to cool a little before lifting the biscuits.

Basic Butter Biscuits

Dandelion Pops

We love dandelions, and this time of year, they are plentiful. We pick them to make Dandelion Pesto and Dandelion Fritters, and I’m currently brewing my first batch of dandelion wine too. But our favourite thing to do with dandelions is to tempura them, or as my children call it ‘Dandelion Popcorn’ – little balls of fried dandelions.

dandelion popsA few things to note about about picking dandelions:

  1. Pick dandelions in full sun, so that they are wide open. In the morning and evening they will be closed.
  2. Cook them as soon as you can. They begin closing up as soon as they are picked, so getting them in batter quickly is preferred.
  3. There are little black bugs that live in dandelions, so make sure you rinse them and leave them a little while to give the bugs chance to escape.Sweet dandelion pops

Some tips on tempura batter:

  1. Different recipes call for different ingredients, obviously, but the important thing is making sure your water is as cold as possible.
  2. I think it works best with sparkling water, but normal water works well too – so long as it’s cold.
  3. Once you start dipping the dandelion heads work quickly. It’s worth having the batter in two bowls so that you can dip a batch, and have the other bowl in the freezer, then swap the bowls over before you start dipping again. The colder the batter, the less oil the dandelion takes on.  washed dandelions

You will need:

  • 85g of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 200ml icy cold sparkling water

Wash the dandelions and leave set aside to drive so as to keep the fried batter crispy.

Add the flour, salt and sugar to a bowl.

Pour in the sparkling water and mix till just combined. If you over mix you push out all the air bubbles, but you also increase the gluten content, so don’t over mix.

(In the Thermomix®, add all the ingredients and mix 20 seconds speed 4).

Split the batter between two bowls, and leave them in the freezer or fridge.

Heat the oil. Take a bowl from the freezer. Hold the dandelion by the green part, and dip it lightly in the batter, making sure to cover everything. Drop the dandelion into the hot oil and fry for 1 – 2 minutes, till a golden brown.

Remove to a bowl with absorbent towel or draining board and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Alternatively with icing sugar and lemon juice.

Enjoy while still warm and fresh.

Christmas Hamper Gift Ideas For The Thermomix®

Christmas Hampers

It’s the gifting time of year and one of the bonuses of owning a Thermomix® is the ability to make things from scratch, often for less. Below is a list of over 100 recipes from plenty of bloggers around the world filled with ideas that can be turned into gifts for Christmas.

Don’t forget, if you want all your Christmas ideas in one place, A Very Thermie Christmas offers over 50 recipes for gifts, drinks, sweets, and foods to see you through the festive season.

Happy gifting!

Christmas Hampers

Thermomix® Baked Goods:

The Thermomix® Diaries has a beautiful Hazelnut Shortbread Tree that would make a stunning host gift

There’s a Orange and Almond Shortbread recipe that I really love too.  And TRTLMT has a lovely Spiced Shortbread

Pinterest loves Tenina’s Snowy Peppermint Oreos and for good reason!

And another recipe from Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard that looks fantastic is the Chocolate Chip Short Bread. Doesn’t it look great? IMG_1574

Iron Chef Shellie has a Stollen recipe that looks superb. I’ve only tried stollen once and it didn’t turn out well, so I’m excited to try this recipe this year! Or go Italian with a Panettone recipe from Bec’s Table.

A Canadian Foodie has a recipe for Italian Biscotti with Almonds and Orange Zest

Mrs D Plus 3 has a Thermomix® Christmas Cake recipe based on Nigella Lawson’s cake

ThermOMG’s DIY Oreo’s look pretty delicious too! 

Thermomix® Preserved Gifts – Jams, Relishes, Chutneys

Journal of a French Foodie’s offering of Cranberry and Red Onion Relish is a rich red colour and looks beautiful.

For the adventurous – and the bacon lovers – head over to Thermofun for Bacon Jam. Try it if you dare!ThermoFunBaconJam

ThermOMG’s Mango chutney looks like a tasty fruit chutney variant, or use Cookipedia’s Mango and Pear option.

Cinnamon flavored Red-wine poached pears served with Nasturtium flowers look amazing – though possibly the wrong season for a winter Christmas as compared to a summer Christmas, but oh well. And you can try strawberries in cardamom syrup too.

Becs Table has an unusual looking, but delicious sounding Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate that I’m keen to try myself!

Clementine Vinegar sounds seasonally perfect for this time of year, and could it be any easier?!

Mrs D Plus 3 has a great fruit mince recipe that doesn’t contain lard, but does have dried cranberries and apple cider vinegar – it’s unusual but sounds delicious.

Thermomix® Seasonings & Sauces

Garlic Seasoning and Tuscan Seasoning from Peta at TRTLMT are both thoughtful gifts that will last long past Christmas. And here’s a good Garam Masala seasoning too.

Tenina has a Spiced Orange and Cranberry Sauce recipe for your festive ham or turkey, and Mouthwatering has a lovely cranberry and white wine sauce too. Thermomix®in’ it up has a mint sauce recipe that will go well with lamb.  And Quirky’s BBQ sauce is always popular.

More than a sauce – a BBQ Sauce! – will be a great host gift, especially for those lucky enough to be having BBQ weather.

Thermomix® Sweets

Super Kitchen Machine has a very interesting looking Salt Chocolate Bacon Bark

A Canadian Foodie has an amazing almond paste and pistachio paste recipe for making Lady Baltimore Cake – or whatever else you could want to do with these lovely pastes

Easy Caramel Fudge from Little Bit of Thyme is a good basic all rounder. Or if you’re looking for something amazing, there’s Super Kitchen Machine’s White Chocolate & Baileys Festive Fudge Recipe which looks very festive. Pistachio Fudge Recipe for Thermomix®

Jane from Why is there Air? has an amazing chocolate and strawberry rocky road recipe that we made last year. It’s a fantastic recipe!

The Creative Mummy has a Thermomix® Nougat Recipe that can only make for delicious gifts

Thermomix® Honeycomb  couldn’t be simpler than this recipe from One Girl And Her Thermie.

The Bailey’s Surprise Recipe from One Crafty Mum make a great treat.


Helene from Super Kitchen Machine has this wonderful Chocolate Salami that is famous on the Facebook groups every year too.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard has a recipe for Rum Balls – a definite winner to have around for Christmas.

Quirky Cooking’s dairy free Salted Caramel Chocolates are good for making sure our dairy free friends don’t miss out.dairy free salted caramel chocolates quirky cooking

Sea Salted Praline Pecan Clusters make a lovely snack for a cold evening, and Thermofun has just the recipe for you.

Apricot Bites from The Road To Loving My Thermo Mixer in a pretty jar are a healthier treat that still feels like the festive season.

Thermomix® Drinks

Journal of a French Foodie has a recipe for Limoncello that’s definitely on my Christmas list

Easy Advocaat is an accustomed taste – Egg Liqueur – but it’s a great talking point for a gift too!

DIY Chai Tea makes a nice gift, but also a warming winter evening drink

Beauty Products

Everyone loves pampering and a hamper of winter spice sugar scrub, peppermint salt scrub or a lavender and rose scrub are a good place to start.

Add Quirky’s moisturiser and you’re half way there.

Peta Lee from The Road to Loving My Thermo Mixer has a Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub that sounds amazing, and a lemon hand scrub that would be ideal for winter skin.
Tebasiles Kitchen also has a Calendula Salve that looks simple and easy to make

Recipes for children’s gifts

Coconut Ice is a winner for hampers as it lasts a long time, and this is a no cook version that’s great for kids to make.

TRTLMT has a lovely vanilla hot chocolate mix you can make up for gift jars

Thermomix® Playdough from ThermoFun will make for hands on, simple fun

Nut Seed and Chocolate Bars are fun and at least hint at healthy and Candy Cane Bark couldn’t be more Christmassy if it tried.  And the Thermomade Freckles are perfect for kids too.


Fun-tastic Thermomix® Halloween Ideas

Thermomix Halloween Ideas

It’s coming up for spooky time again, and all our groups and activities seem to like Halloween parties, so I’ve been on the lookout for quick, easy, and frightfully fun Thermomix® Halloween ideas. I want these to be as quick and uncomplicated as possible, so I’m on the lookout for Thermomix® recipes.

For a lot of these recipes you’re going to have to rely on Google Translate, but as far as I can tell, that shouldn’t be a problem. Read through the recipes first and if there’s anything you’re unsure about, you can always fall back on an English recipe, using these themed-styling ideas. 

Thermomix® Halloween Ideas

Witch Fingers

These have been redone on loads of blogs, but the original seems to be this one. If you scroll towards the bottom there’s a pretty decent English version (once you’ve done a Google translate)

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere

Pumpkin Parmesan Soup

Pumpkin Parmesan Soup is perfectly seasonal, and served in a large pumpkin would make a fabulous centrepiece too. And use clementines to double as jack-o-lantern pumpkins, or peel them and stick a tip of celery stalk inside to look like pumpkins. That looks really cute!


Another recipe that would look great on the Halloween table, the eyeballs recipe from Thermomix® Tarif Defterim.

Brooksticks & Log PilesCheesy Straws

Make cheese biscuits into cheese straws, then stack them up as log piles or turn them into brooms using string cheese and chives. Individual portions as starters or dotted around a table, they do add to the effect.

Spider Cupcakes

Another from Thermomix® Tarif Defterim, these Spider Cupcakes require specific items, like the liquorice strings, but they do look rather spectacular.

No Bake Spider Web Cake

I love the look of this no bake spider web cake, but the instructions are a bit confusing if you don’t speak the language – Google translate doesn’t do a great job on this one! I might try this with a Nutella Cheesecake filling instead, using the Oreos around the outside as their recipe suggests, and then make the spider web out of something white.

Ghost PizzaPizza ghost for Halloween

This is such a simple and effective Halloween theming idea, and you can adapt it to any ghoulish shape, really. So clever! The main thing to remember is that you need to put the cheese on afterwards, so that it doesn’t melt and lose it’s shape.

Minipizza Scream

mini pizza mini pizzas scream Scream

I love love love these mini pizza scream crackers – they are so great for dips. You could season them with herbs or salt, I expect.

Carrot arancini (Rice Balls) rice balls Rice balls Halloween

Thermo Recetas has a fabulous looking carrot rice ball recipe that involves carrot and olive and is a nice savoury option.

Frightful SoupPurple Carrot and Clementine Soup

The Ghoulicious Carrot And Clementine Soup Recipe uses purple carrots and clementines to colour the food quite (un)naturally, making for a weird coloured but supremely tasty soup.

I hope you enjoy making these creative Thermomix® Halloween recipes!

Vegan Chocolate Cake, Not Vegan Buttercream And Vegan Chocolate Glaze

We aren’t vegan as you can tell by the creamy and beautiful buttercream or chocolate that decorate this cake, but the cake itself is vegan, and beyond being a really tasty treat, it’s also a useful recipe to have to hand when you don’t have eggs, which often happens in my life.

So, this cake is vegan, the chocolates aren’t and the buttercream isn’t. But there’s a lovely topping that you can use if you’re particularly after a vegan cake too – I’ll include that in the recipe.

As for the Bambi shapes, they are moulds from the Disney Cakes and Sweets range from Eaglemoss. We subscribed to this a couple of years back and now have 79 issues filling up my shelves, and a ton of baking goodies too. Ameli’s birthday party last year was a Princess Party, where we used some of the supplies from the Disney Cakes & Sweets magazines, and obviously this Bambi, owl, rabbit and little birds are from that too. It’s a really fantastic magazine to subscribe to, and along with fantastic quality bakeware and silicone moulds there are step by step instructions and recipes for every Disney character you could imagine. It’s something else. You can find out more about what’s available in the Disney Cakes & Sweets Magazine subscription by clicking here.

Did you know? 

You could also pick up this Special Edition Bambi & Friends issue for £9.99 by clicking here.


Vegan Chocolate CakeNow, on to the cake. These characters use 3 standard slabs of chocolate. You could get away with two and just make them a bit thinner. I used two dark and one milk, melted together (I use a Thermomix®, 90C, 3 mins, speed 2, but you can use a double boiler).

For this particular cake I also bought the flowers, and my 3 year old called it a ‘forest cake’. When a grown-up friend at our party said ‘Oh, they’re even resting on the grass’ I was very pleased that my marbled green fondant icing, with the bits of ‘soil’ towards the bottom actually translated as such!

Last year I made a similar cake for a spring party, and I added toadstools, flowers and other Disney Cakes & Sweets foresty themed buttons and it looked really pretty. (If you ignore the actual cake baking skills!)

Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The vinegar and baking powder cause a reaction so you need get the cake into the hot oven as soon as these two ingredients are mixed, so start with the dry ingredients. In the images above, I have made three batches of the recipe below.
Recipe type: Cakes,
Cuisine: Dessert, Cakes, Vegan
Serves: 1 cake
  • 160g (1¼ cups) self raising flour
  • 160g (1 cup) sugar
  • 40g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder (I recommend this one)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 190g (1 cup) warm water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I recommend this one)
  • 60g (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
Regular Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Oil or prepare your baking tin.
  3. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients, adding the baking powder and vinegar last.
  4. Pour into an ovenproof dish, and put in the centre of a hot oven.
  5. Bake at 180C for about 30 mins.
  6. Cool completely before icing.
Thermomix® Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Oil or prepare your baking tin.
  3. Add all but the last two ingredients listed to the bowl, and mix speed 4, 5 seconds.
  4. Add the vinegar and baking powder and mix speed 1, 5 seconds.
  5. Pour into an ovenproof dish, and put in the centre of a hot oven.
  6. Bake at 180C for about 30 mins.
  7. Cool completely before icing.

For my cake I made a buttercream icing, and topped with fondant. My mother used to make the best buttercream in the world. Here’s her recipe, adapted to the Thermomix®, but you can use any electric beater for the job – just focus more on the appearance than the timing.

I like to use a beautiful rich yellow salted butter for this, as it cuts the sweetness a little.

Buttercream Icing/Chocolate Buttercream Icing
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 400g
  • 200g salted butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 30g cocoa powder (I recommend this one) (optional)
  • Optional extra: milk
  1. Add the butterfly to the Thermomix®
  2. Add the butter to the bowl and whisk speed 3, 2 minutes till the butter is white and fluffy looking. Remove the butterfly.
  3. Add the icing sugar and vanilla essence and whisk speed 3, 1 minute.
  4. For a chocolate buttercream, add the cocoa powder and whisk again for 20 seconds, speed 5 or whenever it's all mixed through.
  5. If the mixture is too dry add a TEASPOON of milk at a time till you get it to the consistency you require.

To stick to the vegan roots of this vegan chocolate cake you can make a delicious chocolate glaze instead.
Bambi Summer Cake - Vegan Chocolate Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Regular Instructions
  1. On the stove top, place all the ingredients in a pot on a low heat and stir all the while till it melts.
  2. Pour over cake and leave to cool.
Thermomix® Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients except the vanilla in the Thermomix® bowl.
  2. Cook at 90C for 2-3 minutes checking that the sugar has all melted.
  3. Add the vanilla and whizz for 2 seconds on speed 4, then pour over cake.
  4. Leave to cool.

I hope you enjoy this delicious cake and it’s multiple variations on decorations. And remember to have a look at Disney Cakes & Sweets magazine too!

Free! Multifunctional Kitchen Machine Christmas Recipes e-book

****************************** This book is not currently available due to Trademark issues with Thermomix® ® ****************


I’m really excited to be able to share with you a little project I’ve been working on with some of my blogging friends: a free e-book with 16 of our favourite Christmas themed recipes.  And yes, I said a free e-book.

This e-book contains sixteen recipes from Forking Foodie’s Andrea, Jane from Why Is There Air, Kirrin from Kirrin’s Kitchen, Lesley from Me and my Thermie and myself. These recipes are some of our Christmas go-to’s with everything from Andrea’s appetisers and a luxurious drinks recipe, to amazing gift ideas from Jane and myself. You won’t be short of sweets and cakes on the Christmas table with the chocolate puddings from Lesley, or the beautiful Pistachio Rose Bliss Balls from Kirrin.

We really hope that you’ll enjoy these recipes, and add them to your family’s Christmas traditions year after year.


  • Click on ‘I want this’
  • Enter your email address
  • Enter ‘0’ as the price to pay
  • Click Get
  • Head to your email for the eBook & then to the kitchen!

 *by downloading the book you’ll automatically be added to the mailing list – you can unsubscribe at any time.

Egg & Smoked Salmon Salad Recipe

Egg and Smoked Salmon

During my pregnancies I became very aware of what I called my Food DNA. It may have been mid-winter with snow falling around our home in the UK, but I was craving mangoes, litchis, kiwi fruit:  seasonally appropriate for my Southern Hemisphere DNA. I find myself here again – not pregnant, thankfully – but wrapped and bundled in scarves and gloves, but craving salads and light suppers. Egg and smoked salmonI came across this salmon & egg salad recipe, designed by Sunrise’s award winning chefs, among a bunch of others regularly served in their care homes and it really appealed to me, but I’ve made a few minor changes to adapt it for the Thermomix®. You can find the original recipe here, and you certainly don’t need any fancy kitchen machinery to make it. Egg and smoked salmon 2 I’ll be in Australia for a while next month. I’m looking forward to a lot more salads and fresh, sun-kissed fruit – and will certainly be revisiting this one again.

Salmon & Egg Salad Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious recipe adapted from the Sunrise Care website for the Thermomix®
Recipe type: Lunch, Light Supper
Cuisine: Salad, Healthy
Serves: 4
  • 4 eggs (hard boiled)
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 4 table spoons olive oil
  • ¼ tsp French mustard
  • 2 table spoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tomato – quartered
  • 1 red pepper – seeded and halved
  • ½ red onion – peeled and halved
  • ¼ cucumber – cut in four
  • 50g watercress
  • 160g smoked salmon pieces
  • ½ lemon
  1. In the Thermomix® bowl, add 1 litre warm water and add the whole eggs in the internat steamer. Boil for 14 minutes/speed 2/ Varoma temp.
  2. When it's done, remove the basket and empty out the water.
  3. In the bowl, add parsley , salt, pepper, olive oil, mustard, vinegar and stir for 10 seconds on speed 5.
  4. Add the tomato, red pepper, onion and cucumber and mix speed 4 for 10 - 15 seconds. Keep an eye on it to see the size. You don't want to end up with a smoothie.
  5. Peel the eggs and halve.
  6. Pour the salsa in a mixing bowl, a glass bowl is nice. Put the watercress on top, then add the strips of smoked salmon.
  7. Dot the eggs around the top, and drizzle the lemon juice over the top.
  8. When you're ready to serve, mix the ingredients well, and make sure every plate gets a bit of everything.

Thermomix® Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

This year I grew butternut squash in my garden for the first time. Between the slugs, the lack of sunlight and the fact that we’re moving soon, they’ve remained small, but perfectly butternut shaped. I’m quite pleased, actually!

Butternut Squash is perfect for this time of year – it’s light but filling, and can used in a variety of dishes.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Since we’re moving in a week, we’re trying to use up a lot of store cupboard supplies, and one of those is Risotto, so today I made this roasted butternut squash risotto for our lunch. It’s slightly different from my usual, in that I didn’t have wine or home made stock, but I was very pleased with how it worked out!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Thermomix® Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
  • 50 g parmesan cheese cubed
  • 1 medium onion, halved
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs dried sage
  • 50 g olive oil
  • 400 g arborio rice
  • 1000g stock/water
  • 10g butter
  • 1 Butternut Squash, sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • *handful of fresh sage, if you have.
  1. Heat the oven to 190C.
  2. Layer sliced butternut squash on a tray, drizzle with oil and salt, and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. After 10 mins*, put the Parmesan into the thermomix bowl & pulverise for 10 seconds Speed 9 and set aside.
  4. Place the onion and oil in the bowl & chop for 5 sec on speed 4.
  5. Saute for 3 mins at 100C on reverse speed 1.
  6. Add rice and white wine vinegar and dried sage into bowl & saute for 2 mins at 100C on reverse speed spoon.
  7. Add stock and water and cook for 15 mins at 100C on reverse speed spoon.
  8. Add butter and cheese and stir. If you have two bowls, swap over, otherwise empty the bowl and put half of the butternut squash in the bowl. Put the MC in place and pulse on turbo four or five times till it's pureed.
  9. Mix the squash into the risotto and season to taste.
  10. Sprinkle with fresh sage leaves, if you have.
  11. *Use those ten minutes to lightly fry sage leaves, if you have them. Set aside for topping.


How Interchangeable Are Thermomix® T5 And TM31 Recipes?

Anyone with a Thermomix® knows now that there’s a new model in town, and there’s been a lot of joy, excitement, unhappiness and downright anger and disappointment among owners. Among bloggers, however, the big question has been: can I still blog if I don’t have a T5?  

A few days ago I borrowed the new ‘Basic’ cookbook from a new owner, so that I could try to make some recipes in my TM31 and give it an honest try.

My findings were simple-ish.

If you are a confident cook and Thermomix® user, it should be really simple to flit about between the TM31 and the T5, though you may find yourself overfilling your bowl at times, so you will need to scale down. If you’re a T5 user, you may have the opposite problem, with not having enough quantity to fill the bowl – okay if you’re making soup, annoying if you’re chopping garlic and need to scrape down the bow more frequently.  It’s not insurmountable, however, and personally, I wouldn’t hesitate to use recipes from either.

But down to business…

My husband goes crazy for Creme Caramels so when I saw the recipe, it was the first thing I was going to try. The 700g water was too much for my TM31 bowl and overflowed a bit at Varoma temp. I poured 200g out about 10 minutes in, and had no problems further.

Incidentally, and not any fault of the Thermomix®, but one of my ramekins couldn’t stand the heat and broke in half, leaving the kitchen smelling like boiled egg, and the contents of the bowl looking like scrambled egg juice. Trust me, it looks no better than it sounds!

T5 Creme Caramel in TM31

The result? Beautifully set Creme Caramels. (I’m pretty certain, however, that the recipe is flawed. They tasted like egg topped with sugar. There was no vanilla essence in the ingredients list, and there’s no opportunity for the sugar [in the creme] to melt. As a result you have a grainy looking, flavourless desert. I made them again, adding vanilla essence, which tasted a lot better, but still had the weird grainy sugar look [see those ‘dots’ in the picture? It is possible that this is due to the Varoma temperature on the T5 being higher than on the TM31, but I doubt it]. I’d definitely not recommend the recipe in the Basic Cookbook as far as flavour and appearance go though.)

Next up I raided the garden for courgettes. As it turned out we don’t have any carrots, so I halved the Steamed carrot and courgette tagliatelle recipe. It’s not strictly a perfect test, I suppose, but it worked fine. The steamed courgettes were fresh and delicious.

Steamed Carrot & Courgette Tagliatelle T5 Basic Cookbook

Another confusing recipe for me is the T5’s yoghurt. Looking longingly and with envy at people who pop in their ingredients and wake up with yoghurt (because the added step of adding yoghurt 60 minutes later is such a trial for me *dramatic eye roll*) doesn’t seem to marry up with the instructions in The Basic Cookbook, which talk about decanting the yoghurt to jars and leaving overnight. Maybe someone who’s made  yoghurt in a T5 can clarify that for me?

The main area where you may run into problems flitting between the two machine’s recipes, is in the Varoma. The TM31 has (I believe) a Varoma temperature of 110C but the T5 has a temperature of 120C. For a lot of cooking, that won’t be an insurmountable difference – for example when steaming vegetables. You may just have to adjust cooking time a little.

As an example, I made the chocolate sauce from the T5 cookbook. You have to cook the sugar/water/vanilla mix for 9 minutes, then add cocoa and cook at Varoma for another two minutes, and your chocolate sauce is ready. This works just fine in the TM31, and makes a delicious sauce, or a hot chocolate base (fabulous as an alternative to powdered hot chocolate, and YOWZA! the best hot chocolate, ever, by the way!).

If you want to reduce it down to a spread, however, as the tip in the book suggests, you may need to cook it a little longer than the three-four minute-instructions. I used half the recipe as a sauce, and used the other half for the spread, so I can’t give you exact measures, but on half the original ingredients, 3 minutes, it cooled to a very tasty, but very runny ‘spread’. Also, the book doesn’t say this, but you do have to let it cool down properly to get it to be ‘spreadable’.  Once you’ve decanted your syrup or spread, add milk to the bowl, and cook for 3 minutes on 80C. Start with a quick ‘turbo’ or two to get all the chocolate sauce from around the tops of the bowl – again, not in the book, but common sense.


So basically, where you’re using the Varoma temperature to set or melt something, you may need to give it a bit of extra time, you’d have to decide on a recipe by recipe basis.

Ideally, to really test this, you’d need two machines side by side, making the same recipes, and looking at the results. I can’t do that, alas. 

The Basic Cookbook is lovely in appearance and is much, much approved on the Fast & Easy cookbook.

I love that it tells you how many servings, how long it takes and even nutritional information, at a glance, something that was sorely lacking in the F&E cookbook. It does however, need a finer edit which should have been done before it went to print, really, as Thermomix® already know (Don’t quote me on this, but I’ve heard that half the recipes are tried and tested Vorwerk recipes, and the other half are added by Thermomix® in each country, so the books differ according to national tastes – it seems these are the problematic recipes)… unless of course you really want 400 onions on your focaccia with onions.

I do wish Thermomix® would redo the F&E cookbook in the same way… a little homage to their loyal customers, maybe.

Either way, with some exceptions where you have to account for bowl size, or cook time, with a little practice and common sense I see no reason why you can’t use recipes from either TM31 books or T5 books, irrespective of which machine you have.