ThermoCat says Happy Australia Day

 

 Happy Australia Day everyone!

ThermoCat hopes you all have a fun day celebrating today with lots of food, friends and festivities.

If you’re hosting an event and stuck for ideas don’t forget your Basic Cookbook has Aussie classics like meat pies and Lamingtons. Or why not celebrate how multi-cultural Australia is and try some different recipes from around the world?

And if you’re still stuck head to the Recipe Community. This Tim Tam cheesecake recipe looks amazing! 

Sugar skull cookies

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As I mentioned in my Macadamia and Parmesan biscuits post I am slightly obsessed with sugar skulls. Years ago I bought this sugar skull cookie cutter set from a gift shop in Leederville. You get buy them online here.

I came across the cookie cutter set again when I was looking for my sugar skull cookie stamp so of course I had to make sugar skull cookies as well! How else can you celebrate Dia de los Muertos (the Mexican Day of the Dead)!

I hopped onto the Recipe Community and searched for a sugar cookie recipe. I chose the Thermomix in Australia because it looked the easiest. Click here to view the recipe.

I rolled out the cookie dough onto my ThermoMat and started cutting my skull shapes out of the dough.

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  Once I had them all on my prepared baking tray I started stamping them with the other side of the cookie cutter. I made sure I pressed firmly and evenly to ensure the whole design was stamped into the cookie.

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I was so happy with how they looked even before baking them for about 10 minutes. I still had royal icing left over from making my ginger-dead biscuits so I divided it up into 5 bowls, reserving a bit more in the one bowl that I wanted to keep white. With the 4 remaining bowls I added a drop of food colouring and half a teaspoon of warm water to make it a bit runnier.

I then handpainted my designs with a set of thin paintbrushes. I could have piped it but I didn’t want to have to wash my piping bag inbetween colours and also had a steadier hand using the painbrush. I even found it quite relaxing 🙂 Move over colouring books for adults, this can be the next trend!

I can’t believe it’s not chocolate

IMG_9631I was inspired by a colleague of mine who recently made this I can’t believe it’s not chocolate recipe from the Thermomix Recipe Community.

This recipe is so simple to throw together – I had all the ingredients in my pantry. All you need is cashews, almonds, shredded coconut, coconut oil, dates and cocoa (I used cacao). You can use any nuts of choice in this recipe.

After mixing it all together the recipe says to spread it on a tray lined with baking paper. I wanted to do something different and made mine into chocolate ‘buttons’.

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After freezing for 15 minutes (or until set) they’re ready to be eaten and taste just like coconut roughs! So yum!! 🙂

Two-tier cake

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I made this two-tiered cake for my niece’s christening. For all family events the cake of choice has always been the basic butter cake from the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book. Because of this tradition we always just called it ‘birthday cake’.

So I was planning to make this ‘birthday cake’ and thought I would have to convert the recipe myself. Luckily I hopped onto the Recipe Community and found someone had already beaten me to it. Click here for the AWW Basic Buttercake on the Recipe Community.

I still had my AWW cookbook out and saw there were some differences in quantities for some ingredients. I have no idea how old my cookbook is. It’s my mums and I remember my 4th birthday cake so it definitely over 25 years old, so maybe the quantities had changed over the years. But since this was the recipe I had made for many years I wasn’t going to try different quantities. So here’s the tweaks I made – 110g sugar, 85g milk and 265g self raising flour and I increased the baking time to 35 minutes.

While I was baking the cakes I got started converting my Planet Cake’s ganache recipe for Thermomix. This ganache is perfect for covering cakes before covering with fondant. It was great to make with my Thermomix because for once I didn’t have to worry about burning the chocolate! You can view my recipe on the Recipe Community here.

Now back to the cakes. I made 4 batches to make 2 different sized cakes. After they were cooked and cooled it was time to cut the tops off for a flat and even surface and cut in half for a ganache middle.

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The ganache needs to set for 8 hours or overnight. I had made it early in the morning so that night I began assembling my tiers.

And then I was done for the night. I put the ganache covered cakes in the fridge and went to bed. You could speed up the process by freezing for a maximum of 10 minutes.

The first step the next day was smoothing the ganache. This is the most important step to ensure a smooth surface for the fondant. But it is also the most time consuming. You need a jug of boiling water and a long palette knife or bread knife. Leave the knife in the jug for a few seconds and once it’s hot smooth out the surface of the cake. Once smooth let the cake set for several hours or do another quick freeze.

The cakes were now ready to be covered with fondant. The first step is to make a syrup with apricot jam and boiling water. This will act as a glue for the fondant. Then it’s time to roll out the fondant. I always sprinkle icing sugar down first so the fondant doesn’t stick. Roll the fondant out big enough so that it will cover all of the cake but be careful not to roll too thin that it will tear when you lift it.

After both cakes were covered with fondant it was time to assemble the tiers. This was my first time making a tiered cake. With the help of Google I knew I needed to support the tiers. I tried to find wooden dowels but the two shops I went to didn’t have any so I just ended up using cake pop sticks. I measured the size of the top tier using the cake pan on the bottom tier. Then I marked out four central support points. I first used a skewer to push through the first point and then put a cake pop stick in. I marked where it was level with the cake and removed it and cut it to size. I used this one as my original to measure out the other sticks and then placed each on in the bottom tier cake.

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With my support system in place I assembled my tiers and started decorating my cakes.

I didn’t put the cross on the top until the last minute just in case it wasn’t stable enough.

Pulled pork sliders

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After making Nico Moretti’s Bourbon Ribs I had leftover bourbon glaze to use. I came across this recipe on the Recipe Community for BBQ Pulled Pork which called for the leftover glaze. Perfect!

I had some buttermilk after making my own butter so I decided to make the soft butter rolls from the Basic Cookbook. Add the leftover coleslaw from ribs night last night and voilà yummy little pulled pork sliders and zero wastage 😉

Get the recipe for the BBQ Pulled Pork here.
Get Nico Moretti’s Bourbon Ribs recipe here.
And don’t forget to get your tickets to Nico’s cooking classes in August here.

Bourbon Ribs

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Ribs are popular all over the world and in the US they’re traditional to the South, in particular Texas. So Nico Moretti’s Bourbon Ribs seemed like the perfect thing to make for the 4th of July.

The rub makes the tasty marinade but it is the  BBQ bourbon glaze that steals the show. I used American Honey for the bourbon and I think it added to the flavours 🙂

The coleslaw from the Basic Cookbook makes the perfect side dish to these delicious ribs.

Get the Bourbon Ribs recipe from the Recipe Community here. The Nico Moretti Delicious Journeys week of cooking classes in WA have just been announced. Click the link to book your spot before tickets sell out!

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Greek yoghurt

IMG_5175I’m not the biggest yoghurt eater but I was enjoying Chobani Greek yoghurt mixed with a scoop of protein powder for breakfast once a week. Last month I was hit by a virus that took me weeks to recover. Part of my naturopath treatment plan was a liver detox and since completing that I decided to take a break from protein powders.

So how was I going to enjoy me Greek yoghurt now? I wasn’t a fan of the fruit flavours because I am really fussy about fruit ‘bits’. So I decided to make Bircher muesli from the Basic Cookbook and as I was flicking through the cookbook I saw the recipe for plain yoghurt which made me think now is the time to finally make Greek yoghurt 🙂

I searched the Recipe Community and found this recipe for thick and creamy Greek style yoghurt. I don’t have any cheesecloth for the traditional method of straining yoghurt so I felt like this recipe was perfect and gave it a go.

This method for strained yoghurt is like many types of yoghurt and is made from milk that has been enriched by boiling off some of its water content and adding powdered milk. The next step involved cooling the mix to 37 degrees and stated it was vital to the success of the yoghurt. The recipe said it may take 40-60 minutes but for me it took 90 minutes. This is only a problem if you need your TM bowl because you are cooling the mix while it is still in the bowl.

The end result was definitely thick and creamy and I have been enjoying it with my Bircher muesli. I’d love to know how you go with this recipe or if you have your tried and tested go-to recipe for Greek yoghurt please comment below xx