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!
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.
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.