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Fig & Honey Pavlova

Don't you just love the smell of a fresh pavlova? The perfectly crunchy outside followed by the foamy and chewy inside is the best combination and for this Thermomix recipe I have chosen a fig & honey topping that is so refreshing and ideal after a heavy meal.

You can pipe the meringue or just spoon it on and use a small spatula to create a lovely shape. It is totally up to you and your creativity.

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 20 g white wine vinegar
  • 20 g cornflour
  • 100 g Greek style yoghurt
  • 6 figs (quartered)
  • 50 g honey
  • 1/2 pomegranate (seeds only)
  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C / 100°C Fan / Gas Mark Take a 25cm plate and place it upside down onto a piece of greaseproof paper. Using a pen, mark around the edge of the plate to make an indication the circle. Remove the plate and place the marked paper onto a large baking tray.

  2. In a small bowl, weigh the caster sugar on top of the mixing bowl and set aside.

  3. Insert the butterfly whisk attachment. Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the mixing bowl. Whisk 4 Min. / 37°C / Speed 3.5. Scrape down using your spatula.

  4. Mix again 5 Min. / 37°C / Speed 3.5. While whisking, slowly add the caster sugar through the lid teaspoon by teaspoon. Leave some time in between adding it. The mixture will be very thick and super high almost to the top of the mixing bowl. Don't worry, it will not overflow but you have to occasionally stop the machine and help with your spatula.

  5. Add the vinegar and corn flour through the lid and mix again 40 Sec. / Speed 3.

  6. Spread half the mixture onto the prepared tray filing the circle. Fill the other half of the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe little easter nests on top of the meringue to fill the entire space. Pipe one border around the meringue and place in the oven.

  7. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven and leave the pavlova to cool in the oven first for at least 30 minutes, then open the oven door and leave to cool for another 30 minutes.

  8. Remove from the oven and cool on a wired cooling rack.

  9. To decorate, place the yoghurt on the cooled pavlova, followed by the figs, honey and pomegranate. Serve immediately.

The post Fig & Honey Pavlova appeared first on Sophia's Kitchen.

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Steamed Hainanese Chicken Rice

Chicken rice was one of the first meals I cooked using my Varoma. I am a huge fan of Rick Stein and I had made his version of the Hainanese chicken rice before, but I felt intrigued to try it out using my Varoma and the results were absolutely fantastic. It is a great dinner for the whole family and one of those all-in-one meal wonders that totally restores your faith in the Varoma if you haven't been using it for a while. This recipe is originally from my Varoma book Steaming Hot.

  • 1 Tbsp white peppercorns
  • 1 red chilli
  • 25 g garlic cloves
  • 25 g fresh ginger (sliced)
  • 60 g palm sugar
  • 60 g rice wine vinegar
  • 60 g yellow bean sauce (or miso paste)
  • 60 g dark soy sauce
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 30 g fresh ginger (sliced)
  • 30 g garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 4 spring onions (sliced)
  • 1.5 kg whole free range chicken
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 30 g sesame oil
  • 30 g soy sauce
  • 350 g jasmine rice
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or chicken stock paste
  • 2 spring onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 small handfull fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 cucumber (cut into batons)
  1. Place the peppercorns in the mixing bowl and grind 10 Sec. / Speed 10.

  2. Add the chilli, garlic and ginger then chop 2 Sec. / Speed 7.

  3. Add the palm sugar, rice wine vinegar, yellow bean sauce, dark soy sauce and salt then mix 20 Sec. / Speed 9. Place into small individual dipping sauce bowls. Set aside until later.

  4. Place the sliced ginger, garlic and spring onions under the skin of the chicken breasts and into the cavity of the chicken. Add any remaining pieces around the outside of the chicken and rub the black pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce onto the outer skin of the chicken. Place the chicken breast-side down into the Varoma dish lined with Varoma paper or greaseproof paper.

  5. Pour 1000g boiling water from the kettle into the mixing bowl. Steam 55 Min. / Varoma / Speed 2.

  6. Remove the Varoma to insert the simmering basket. Weigh the rice into it. Top up the liquid in the mixing bowl to the 1 litre mark and add the veggie stock paste. Place the Varoma back into position and cook again 20 Min. / Varoma / Speed 3.5 or until chicken and rice are cooked.

  7. Carefully cut chicken into pieces. Transfer the rice into bowls, top with the chicken pieces and a spoonful of stock from the mixing bowl. Top with dipping sauce to taste, sliced spring onions, coriander leaves and cucumber batons.

The post Steamed Hainanese Chicken Rice appeared first on Sophia's Kitchen.

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Hummus

Hummus is my rock. No, Jesse is my rock, but hummus is up there somewhere! I love a creamy and smooth hummus that I can just dip my pita bread into and be happy. This is one of the easiest Thermomix recipes for a quick dip and once you have tasted the wonderful flavours of homemade hummus you will never go back. You can easily spice up this basic recipe with anything you like. I quite like adding some smoked paprika, roasted red peppers and chilli. Totally up to you. Just dip away.

  • 2 cans chickpeas (drained)
  • 250 g light Tahini
  • 30 g lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 20 g olive oil
  • 200-250 g ice cold water
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2-3 coriander stalks
  1. Place the chickpeas, Tahini, lemon juice, garlic cloves, olive oil, water, salt, cumin and coriander in the mixing bowl. Blend 1 Min. / Speed 1.

  2. While it is blending you might need to add some more water to achieve a smooth consistency. If the Thermomix sounds like the blades are spinning without actually incorporating food, simply add a little more water.

  3. Serve straight away. You can also refrigerate the mixture for up to 3 days.

The post Easy Basic Hummus appeared first on Sophia's Kitchen.

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Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, let’s face it, I am absolutely madly in love with chocolate chip cookies. And I am not kidding when I tell you that once I made these I could not stop eating them. They were gone before I could even photograph them. So I made another batch. These are the ultimate chocolate chip cookies and one of the easiest Thermomix recipes you could ever make. You can prepare therein advance and keep them in a cookie jar, good luck with that. They didn’t even make it on my photo so I doubt they will make it inside your cookie jar before some Cookie Monster in the house could demolish them.

  • 150 g unsalted butter (in small chunks)
  • 130 g light soft brown sugar
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300 g dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C / 150C Fan / Gas Mark 3.
  2. Place the butter in the mixing bowl. Melt 1 Min. / 60C / Speed 2. Add the sugar, vanilla bean paste, egg, egg yolk, plain flour and bicarbonate of soda. Mix 20 Sec. / Speed 6. Add the chocolate chips and use a spatula to incorporate by hand to avoid them getting crushed.
  3. Prepare a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and place tablespoons worth of the mixture formed into a ball onto the tray. Make sure you space the dollops apart very well because otherwise they might all start touching.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. They will still ne soft but once you remove them from the oven, they will firm up quickly.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before removing them from the tray. Eat straight away or store in a cookie jar for up to 1 month.

The post Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on Sophia's Kitchen.

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Chai Tea Latte

Chai tea is one of my all-time favourite drinks. I could have it all day long. This recipe is a very authentic version of the chai spice mix and little peppery. I think it makes it wonderfully warm and you can whiz up this Thermomix recipe so quickly, it is amazing. I also make more Chai mix during the winter months and give it away as gifts during Christmas time, makes a great gift. It is up to you if you want to have the tea with or without the black tea and you can choose which type of black tea you like. I chose a darjeeling and thought it worked so well, the flavour was perfect.

Chai Tea Spice Mix
  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 star anise
  • 75 g loose leaf black tea
Chai Latte
  • 2 heaped Tbsp Chai mix
  • 150 g water
  • 1000 g whole milk (or almond milk)
  • 40 g coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  1. For the chai spice mix, place the black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, ground ginger, cardamom pods, cloves, nutmeg and star anise in the mixing bowl. Blitz 1.5 Min. / Speed 10. Add the tea and combine 20 Sec. / Speed 2. Fill the mixture into a large glass jar and seal.
  2. Place the chai mix and water in the mixing bowl. Heat 2 Min. / 100C / Speed 1.
  3. Add the milk, coconut sugar and vanilla bean paste and warm 7 Min. / 90C / Speed 1.
  4. Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a jug and pour the contents of the jug back into the mixing bowl. Froth 20 Sec. / Speed 9. Serve immediately.

The post Chai Tea Latte appeared first on Sophia's Kitchen.

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Italian Meringue Buttercream

After you have made this buttercream successfully for the first time you can almost never go back to the original way of making buttercream. Less sugar, more flavour, better taste and such a gorgeous finish to a cake. This is not the easiest Thermomix recipe but it is so worth it and with a few tips and tricks you can get there, I promise. I will help guide you through the process. The italian meringue is the base for this recipe and you can also use this base to make amazing pavlova, macarons and more.

Sugar Syrup
  • 120 g water
  • 200 g caster sugar
Meringue Base
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar
Buttercream
  • 360 g unsalted butter (in small chunks)
  • Any food colouring or flavouring you like
  1. If you have time, the night before crack the eggs and store the egg whites in the fridge until the next day. This will make the egg whites ‘old’ and can help with getting a stiffer mixture. It is not necessary though so if you are reading this whilst wanting to prepare meringue right now, just skip this step.
  2. Remove the butter from the fridge and cut into large pieces about 20g each. Leave at room temperature.
  3. Place the water and caster sugar in a small saucepan. Set aside.
  4. Insert the butterfly whisk attachment into the mixing bowl. Add the egg whites and cream of tartar.
  5. This is where the fun begins. It is all about a little preparation and timing in this recipe. You are basically cooking a sugar syrup and beating egg whites. Then you are combining the cooked sugar syrup with the beaten eggs.
  6. Start by heating the saucepan on the highest heat, do not at any point stir the sugar syrup, simply leave it alone. I suggest using a temperature pen that shows you the accurate temperature. When the syrup reaches 100C, that would roughly be about 3-4 minutes (i.e. when it is boiling), you can start the Thermomix.
  7. Set it to whisk 20 Min. / 37C / Speed 3.5 / no measuring cup. After 2 minutes, slowly add in the caster sugar into the mixing bowl a teaspoon at a time. It will just help stiffen the eggs.
  8. Once your sugar syrup reaches 118C remove it from the heat. This could be by about 5-8 minutes. It is hard to say an accurate timeframe without the thermometer but I found that on a conventional hob it took 6 minutes whereas on my gas hob it took 8 minutes. You will notice the consistency will change considerably from boiling water to a thick, syrupy almost like glucose consistency and the bubbles will totally change into a much more dense and small shape. It will almost look like they are struggling to form and burst. The sounds become more sizzling rather than bubbling and boiling.
  9. Turn off the temperature on the Thermomix at this stage and but keep the mixing bowl running. Pour the sugar syrup super slowly through the lid opening into the egg white mixture. The stream should be super thin, almost drop like. After 3 minutes, all the syrup should be poured in and you need to reduce the Speed to 3. Pause the Thermomix and scrape the meringue slightly, there might be the odd air pocket. Resume and keep whisking it for the remaining time whilst trying to help it cool. I use an ice pack or frozen peas and hold it against the outside mixing bowl. It really helps speed up the process.
  10. Once the timer is up, simply place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes to come down to room temperature. Please do not leave your meringue overnight to prepare the buttercream the next day you will need to do this all in one go. Keep the butterfly whisk attachment in the mixing bowl.
  11. Now you get to the key stage of adding the butter. It it crucial that your meringue is at room temperature and not too warm as it will otherwise split up the butter and make a meringue soup (Unfortunately I’ve been there).
  12. Once the meringue is completely cool, add 2 pieces of butter and mix 5 Sec. / Speed 3. Immediately switch off by pressing the dial on a TM5 or TM6. On the TM31 spin the dial back immediately. Add the next two pieces of butter and repeat this process, stopping each time after you have mixed the butter in. Make sure to hold your Thermomix with both hands and not to leave it out of sight as it will really move while you are mixing. Continue this process until all the butter chunks are used up. 
  13. Once that is the case, mix 3 Min. / Speed 3 while really holding onto your Thermomix. Do not leave it at this stage as it will really dance around quite a bit. It will first look like the mixture is curdled, then it will slowly transform. Don’t worry, you will get there, your patience will be rewarded. After about 1 Minute you can scrape the mixture with a spatula, then keep going. Don’t be disheartened by the look, it will change. After 3 minutes it should be really smooth and creamy. You can now add any flavouring and food colouring of your choice and then it is ready to be used straight away.

Tips for the perfect buttercream

Make sure to have a completely cool meringue before adding the butter as it will otherwise turn into meringue soup. Patience is key here, don’t be tempted.

Remove the butter from the fridge and cut into pieces straight away before you start the meringue process. Leave at room temperature whilst you are making the meringue.

The post Italian Meringue Buttercream appeared first on Sophia's Kitchen.

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Basic Italian Meringue

There is not much else you can do to get a better meringue than this beautiful and fluffy italian meringue. It is actually surprisingly easy to make at home and you only need a little patience and a pinch of confidence. Don’t worry, it will work out and you will be so happy you have attempted this wonderful italian meringue because there is no going back after that. I use it as my go to meringue for pavlova, italian meringue buttercream, macarons and all other piping needs. 

If you are pregnant, though the egg whites are technically heated above 70C through the addition of the sugar syrup I would still exercise caution and also ensure that you have used eggs which are safe to consume. There is such a thing as pasteurised eggs and in the UK the eggs with a lion symbol are the ones the NHS considers safe to consume in pregnancy.

Sugar Syrup
  • 120 g water
  • 200 g caster sugar
Meringue Base
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  1. If you have time, the night before crack the eggs and store the egg whites in the fridge until the next day. This will make the egg whites ‘old’ and can help with getting a stiffer mixture. It is not necessary though so if you are reading this whilst wanting to prepare meringue right now, just skip this step.
  2. Place the water and caster sugar in a small saucepan. Set aside.
  3. Insert the butterfly whisk attachment into the mixing bowl. Add the egg whites and cream of tartar.
  4. This is where the fun begins. It is all about a little preparation and timing in this recipe. You are basically cooking a sugar syrup and beating egg whites. Then you are combining the cooked sugar syrup with the beaten eggs.
  5. Start by heating the saucepan on the highest heat, do not at any point stir the sugar syrup, simply leave it alone. I suggest using a temperature pen that shows you the accurate temperature. When the syrup reaches 100C, that would roughly be about 3-4 minutes (i.e. when it is boiling), you can start the Thermomix.
  6. Set it to whisk 20 Min. / 37C / Speed 3.5 / no measuring cup. After 2 minutes, slowly add in the caster sugar into the mixing bowl a teaspoon at a time. It will just help stiffen the eggs.
  7. Once your sugar syrup reaches 118C remove it from the heat. This could be by about 5-8 minutes. It is hard to say an accurate timeframe without the thermometer but I found that on a conventional hob it took 6 minutes whereas on my gas hob it took 8 minutes. You will notice the consistency will change considerably from boiling water to a thick, syrupy almost like glucose consistency and the bubbles will totally change into a much more dense and small shape. It will almost look like they are struggling to form and burst. The sounds become more sizzling rather than bubbling and boiling.
  8. Turn off the temperature on the Thermomix at this stage and but keep the mixing bowl running. Pour the sugar syrup super slowly through the lid opening into the egg white mixture. The stream should be super thin, almost drop like. After 3 minutes, all the syrup should be poured in and you need to reduce the Speed to 3. Pause the Thermomix and scrape the meringue slightly, there might be the odd air pocket. Resume and keep whisking it for the remaining time whilst trying to help it cool. I use an ice pack or frozen peas and hold it against the outside mixing bowl. It really helps speed up the process.
  9. Once the timer is up, simply place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes to come down to room temperature. You can now use the meringue for piping, making macarons, pavlova or italian meringue buttercream.

Tips for the perfect Meringue 

Make sure to wash you bowl with soapy water and clean thoroughly. Afterwards, take a little white vinegar on a piece of kitchen towel and wipe the entire bowl. 

For stiffer egg whites, crack the eggs into a bowl the evening before and leave them overnight in the fridge. This will make the eggs ‘old’ and creates a stiffer meringue. 

I also add cream of tartar to my egg whites to make a stiffer and creamier meringue. 

When it comes to Italian meringue it is all about timing and temperature. I prepare all ingredients and my workstation ahead. I have the sugar and water ready in the saucepan. I have the egg whites ready in the mixing bowl along with the inserted butterfly whisk attachment. I have the cream of tartar and the caster sugar ready and a spatula at hand. The timing is key. You start boiling the sugar syrup first and once it reaches 100C you switch on the Thermomix to make the meringue. If you don’t have a thermometer to control exactly what temperature you are getting to, you can work with timings. I worked out that for this recipe, the time it takes to go to 100C is roughly 3-4 minutes. To reach 118C it will take a further 3-5 minutes. Key here is that these timings are a guideline only and you will need your eyes to check how the syrup changes consistency if you don’t have a thermometer. Check out my guidelines in the method. 

If you want to change quantities, you can do that very simply. I would not go below 3 egg whites as a basis though and make sure to adjust the cooking time for the sugar syrup. The syrup will cook much faster when it is less liquid. 5 eggs is the maximum I would recommend and again timings will increase there. 

To allow for the perfect consistency, make sure to add the sugar syrup in the thinnest stream possible to the egg whites so that you don’t accidentally melt them. If you ever think you are going a little too fast, simply take a 20 second break before continuing to pour more sugar syrup into the mixing bowl. It should take roughly 3-4 minutes to add all the syrup to the egg whites. 

To help cooling down the meringue, simply use frozen peas or an ice pack to wrap around the outer wall of the mixing bowl for the remaining mixing time so that the mixture can cool down quickly. Once the mixing time is up, simply put the meringue in the fridge for 30 minutes before you can continue using it. This is especially important for making Italian meringue buttercream. 

The post Basic Italian Meringue appeared first on Sophia's Kitchen.

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Easy Basic Pizza

Pizza is such a good way to use up leftovers and empty the fridge. I tend to have pizza night whenever I have lots of veggies and ham and cheese leftover and it all goes straight onto a wonderful pizza. This is such an easy Thermomix recipe to prepare at home and you could even prepare the pizza base in the morning, use a little less yeast and place in the fridge all day to prove. There is no way you are going to go back to store bought pizza after you have discovered how easy it is. 

My dad and I would always make pizza on a Sunday for the whole family and I had so much fun helping in the kitchen. This is his recipe and I totally love it. It is important to prove the pizza dough before rolling out and using because it will create a much better flavour and also rise in the oven. I use my Thermi Servebowls as proving bowls because they keep the temperature super steady and it allows me to use my mixing bowl in the meantime for other food prep. 

  • 330 g water
  • 1 Tbsp dry active yeast (or 30g fresh yeast)
  • 500 g 00 flour (or plain flour)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 20 g olive oil
  • Any toppings you like
  1. Place the water and dry active yeast in the mixing bowl. Warm 2 Min. / 37C / Speed 2.

  2. Add the flour, salt and olive oil and knead 2 Min. / Kneading function. Transfer the dough into the Thermi Servebowl to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size. Alternatively, keep the dough in the mixing bowl and leave to rise covered with the lid.
  3. Preheat the oven to 250°C / 230°C Fan / Gas Mark 9.
  4. To remove the dough from the bowl easily, tip the bowl upside down onto a lightly floured 
surface. Remove the base, then press down the blade so that it drops down inside. Lift up the 
bowl and remove the blade from the dough.
  5. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces using a dough cutter or spatula. Roll each out into a large 
circle. Place on an oiled baking tray, top with any toppings you like, then bake in the oven for 6-15 minutes until crispy and golden. My dad’s top tip for a good crust is to brush it with some olive oil before baking. It will make a world of a difference. If you can get a pizza stone, heat it up for at least 1 hour before using. You can place the pizza on reusable baking liners dusted with some polenta for an even better base that is definitely not soggy. 

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Strawberry Traybake Cake

At home I used to have strawberry cake all the time in the summer. From May you could go to the local fields and pick your own strawberries. Mum and I would always get a bucket and make a little outing to the fields to pick as many as we could carry. At home mum would then make strawberry jam while Omi would bake my favourite strawberry traybake.

This is a super delicious and simple Thermomix recipe and originally Omi would always add some Sprite for Fanta but I found it to be a little sweet so opted for sparkling water instead. Works a treat and the sparkling water really adds some lovely lightless to the sponge. In Germany we have packets of cake glaze for topping cakes and these come in a powder sachet and set similar to jelly but you can easily use strawberry jam or red jelly. 

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 180 g sparkling water
  • 180 g sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 400 g plain flour
  • 400 g strawberries (halved)
  • 200 g red jelly (or strawberry jam or 2 packs of red cake glaze (German))
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large, deep baking tray with greaseproof paper and set aside.
  2. Place the eggs, vanilla bean paste, caster sugar, sparkling water, sunflower oil, baking powder and plain flour in the mixing bowl. Combine 30 Sec. / Speed 5. Scrape down using a spatula and repeat 10 Sec. / Speed 5.
  3. Pour the mixture in the prepared tin and bake for 30-45 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove and transfer onto a wire cooling rack.
  4. Place on a serving plate and decorate the strawberries on top. You can either now glaze with jelly or strawberry jam. To make the jelly, follow the packaging instructions but add more water so that the mixture stays a little more thin. Spread over the strawberries and leave to set before serving.

  5. If you are using jam, simply heat the jam in a small saucepan until just boiling, then pour over the strawberries. Leave to cool before slicing.

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Ultimate Thermomix TM6 Review

Here it is guys, my full review of the Thermomix TM6! I’ve spent several weeks testing the Thermomix TM6 and really put it through it’s paces, testing every cooking function as best as I can and considering whether the new features are actually worth it. Remember guys, I’m not sponsored by Thermomix at all, so my review is totally unbiased, though I am a HUGE Thermomix fan and rely on it every day in my kitchen. I’ve also posted a full review video on my YouTube channel which outlines all of these points and I definitely recommend reading this article in combination with the video if you want to get the full lowdown.

Thermomix TM6 IN-DEPTH Review | Sophia's Kitchen - YouTube

TM6 Hardware Features

To me, some of the most exciting upgrades that were announced for the TM6 were the new hardware features. These features are physical changes to the Thermomix that make it different from its predecessor, the TM5, and some of the things that I couldn’t wait to put to the test! Below I’m just going to list these features and what I honestly thought about them. Although there are some great new hardware upgrades, the overall size, design and style of the Thermomix TM6 is the same as the TM5 so all of the accessories that you might own such as my super popular Thermi Ergoslide will work perfectly.

Temperatures up to 160C

This is the one that we have all been waiting for right? The new TM6 can now reach temperatures up to 160C which Vorwerk claims exists to enable frying and caramelisation! How exciting! Keep reading on further to see exactly how well they work under my review of the cooking functions!

It’s worth noting that the new temperatures also required a redesign of the mixing bowl and blades, presumably to increase the temperature tolerances of the materials. So you can’t use the TM6 bowl on your TM5 and you can’t use your TM5 bowls on your TM6. This was a little annoying for me as I have five TM5 bowls that I can’t use on my new Thermomix and I’m going to have to buy some more TM6 bowls in order to stay effective in my kitchen for recipe development! However, personally I wouldn’t class this as a negative point, it sounds like it was unavoidable in the design process and it’s just one of those things you’ll need to be aware of when thinking about getting a TM6.

Weighing to the gram

As a baker this is the feature I got most excited about! The new scales on the TM6 now weigh to the gram as opposed to five grams on the TM5. I’ve been testing the scales relentlessly during my recipe testing every day and also tested them against my very expensive baker’s scales that I had to buy when I used the TM5. I can report that the new scales on the Thermomix TM6 are FANTASTIC! They are extremely accurate and they seem to be much more stable than the TM5 scales. I can’t tell you how lovely it feels to be able to weigh to the gram and not have to guess blindly when adding salt to a recipe for example, risking over-seasoning.

Although these scales are a huge improvement to the TM5, I can’t report that the TM6 scales are any more durable. I hope they are, I just haven’t had the chance to test them for long enough! If they do break like they did on the TM5 on a regular bases then I will be sure to note that on an update to the bottom of this post. Either way, I would certainly not recommend dragging the TM6 across the kitchen surface and, just to be safe, please use a Thermi Ergoslide to protect the scales when you do need to move it!

Bigger Screen

I really like a big beautiful screen and for me it is a priority as I am used to smartphones and it seems every year they get bigger and bigger! The new screen on the TM6 is definitely a huge improvement in my opinion! It actually makes the TM5 feel like a toy and very hard to go back to. It is much easier to see everything clearly and makes browsing through Cookidoo recipes much easier (more on that later). The screen is also much brighter than the TM5 which is really useful if you have any direct sunlight entering your kitchen throughout the day. However if you are someone who doesn’t really mind about this stuff, it can easily seem like an unimportant upgrade. It is totally up to you as to whether you feel like this is a priority. Also, at the same time it still means the text is the same size, so no improvement there on readability.

Faster processor

Inside the TM6 they have also included a faster, smartphone-like, processor which is the brain of the machine. This contributes to faster scrolling through menus, smoother animations and an overall slicker feel. It definitely feels faster compared to the TM5, but it definitely isn’t as smooth as an iPhone. On top of that, I’ve been dealing with loads of software bugs and issues which have made the whole thing much less refined than I had hoped. However, the same thing happened to my iPhone when the new iOS was released and it took a few software updates before things had smoothed out. At the time of writing this article, a software update was actually released for my TM6 which definitely made things a little better and I’m sure further optimisations will be released in the future.

Integrated Wifi / Cookidoo

The TM6 also has an integrated Wifi chip that means that access to internet services like Cookidoo and software updates are built in. No need for the cook key like on the TM5. If the Cookidoo platform is important to you then this is a really nice feature because I personally always found the cook key on the TM5 to be a little clumsy. However, you should be aware that the recipe chips that you may have for your TM5 will not work with the TM6. They are now integrated on Cookidoo already but there is nowhere to slot them in. This means that if you want to use the guided cooking functions on the new TM6 you need to have a Cookidoo subscription which is around £30 a year in the UK but may be different elsewhere in the world. Furthermore, if your Wifi drops out at home or you have an intermittent signal, you wont be able to access any recipes on your Thermomix unless you have pre-saved them offline.

Throughout my tests, I got hugely frustrated because the Wifi in my kitchen was intermittent and for some reason Cookidoo logged me out of the platform completely every time the Wifi dropped out which meant I had to keep typing in my details over and over again. A real pain! I have since purchased a Wifi extender to increase the range of my Wifi signal in the kitchen and Thermomix have fixed the bug which has caused me to be logged out each time but you should definitely be aware that if your signal isn’t the best in your kitchen, you may have to improve it in order to have a positive experience with the TM6.

Furthermore, as an independent recipe developer and free-spirit in the kitchen, I love to experiment and be creative with my own recipes. Guided cooking definitely isn’t an important feature for me personally and the Cookidoo platform, although impressive for what it does, simply isn’t a good fit in my household. If you are someone like me who likes to be creative in the kitchen, integrated Cookidoo may not add the most amount of value to you. However, if you’re a beginner in the kitchen and are looking for some great inspiration and added convenience, this might be a really attractive feature for you!

The new dial

I can’t say a huge amount here other than I think that it is a lovely improvement. It feels more premium and sturdy and the clicking sound is less “plasticky”. I loved the upgrade and it feels great!

TM6 Cooking functions

In addition to a host of new hardware features, the TM6 boasts a wide range of new software improvements and new cooking functions. Some of these features didn’t necessarily require any new physical upgrades to the machine and were programmed in by their software development team to make certain functions easier to use. Others, namely frying and caramelisation, require the ability of the TM6 to now reach 160C. Read on to find out if they passed the test!

Fry

Let’s start with the big one, frying! This feature is one of the only two features that utilises the ability of the TM6 to access higher temperatures and was reported to finally enable us to get that wonderful browning effect on meat and vegetables that we have all been waiting for! However during my tests, I found two major problems with this feature.

Problem number one is that you can only access the frying feature within a guided cooking recipe on Cookidoo. This means that you can’t use frying in your own recipes (so don’t expect any recipes from me that use frying any time soon), you can’t use frying if you don’t subscribe to Cookidoo and have a stable internet connection and/or downloaded all of the recipes you want to use ahead of time for offline use. On top of this, the recipes that are available on Cookidoo that use frying are, at the time of writing this article, few and far between. I hope this will change in the future.

It seems like this restriction is for safety reasons so that you don’t burn things to the bowl, but surely a simple safety warning or an instruction manual with top tips for frying would suffice? I must say, as a confident baker and cook, I’m totally feeling babied by Vorwerk here! I don’t need someone to tell me how to cook, surely they don’t tell me how to use my frying pan and put a child lock on that one either, right?

Problem number two is that the frying function didn’t actually work that much better compared to the TM5 in my tests. No matter how hot the TM6 can get, the surface area of the mixing bowl simply isn’t large enough to allow adequate contact with the food. For vegetables and meat, both of which can release a lot of water during cooking, the process leads to steaming and boiling rather than frying. Yes, it works pretty well for one small onion, or 100g of beef chunks, but for portions sufficient for a family of 3-4 people it is almost useless.

These were my results after 10 minutes of frying 4 medium onions. I would say that they were no more brown and caramelised than they would have been in the TM5:

Below you can see the burning to the bottom after this process which was a pain to clean, forcing me to result to using my euroscrubby and some serious elbow grease:

Here are my results after frying 300g beef mince for 10 minutes (enough for a 2-3 person bolognese). As you can see, there was almost no browning to the meat and there was so much water being released that the meat ended up boiling as opposed to frying:

Furthermore, the burning to the bottom was really bad and actually resulted in a thick later of protein-muck stuck to the bottom of the bowl that I had to scrape off:

Caramelisation

The caramelisation feature on the TM6 is definitely something that I was excited about and am happy to report that it worked much more successfully for me than the frying function. Caramelisation is something that I have dabbled with in the past and, due to the fine temperature control required to get it right, always thought the Thermomix could help with! However there are a couple of limitations.

Just like frying, you can only use guided recipes on Cookidoo to access this function. Although this is extremely frustrating for me, I see is as less of a problem than the frying because I don’t caramelise that often and when I do, I do appreciate a bit of guidance with the process! Also, compared to frying, I’d argue that there is less opportunity to experiment with caramel making for the average cook compared to frying. However, if you are someone who is excited to start experimenting with caramelisation, you’ll probably feel restricted here.

On Cookidoo there were a couple of recipes that used the caramelisation feature and I tested making honeycomb with mostly successful results. However, I was testing the temperature of the caramel throughout the process with my digital thermometer and noticed that the temperature was getting too high. Caramel for honeycomb should not spend too much time over 140C otherwise it will start to burn and go bitter and I registered the temperature of the caramel during the cooking process at over 150C for at least 5-10 minutes. This resulted in a bitter taste to the honeycomb that others have reported too. This is a clear mistake in the guided recipe that I hope they rectify! This also reminded me that since we are locked into guided recipes with these functions, we are at the whim of the Vorwerk recipe development team who could make mistakes! I hope they update this recipe going forward!

Pre cleaning / pre rinsing

This is a feature that goes hand in hand with caramelisation and makes the process of cleaning the mixing bowl quickly a little easier and helps to prevent food from hardening to the bowl before it is too late. It essentially spins the blades back and forth automatically after you add some water and washing up liquid/vinegar and automatically detects how long it needs to run for. One thing to note here is that this is not strictly a “new feature”, it is simply a pre-programmed feature that automates the process of cleaning. You could certainly achieve the exact same results on your TM5, you would just need to spin the dial yourself. It is a small upgrade in usability, nothing more than that.

In my experience, it worked fantastically for honeycomb and caramel and did the important job of removing any residue from the blades before it hardens. However, I haven’t experienced it working successfully for anything else such as bread dough. I have also not noticed any evidence of the automatic detection feature actually working, it seems to stick to 1 minute for everything that I have tried and hasn’t varied from that time setting at all.

See below my results from the cleaning after making honeycomb. I was quite happy with results and after a little soak, I found it was very easy to remove the remaining honeycomb from the lip of the bowl. The blades were completely clean and I didn’t have to do any difficult work to remove hardened caramel!

Sous Vide

For those of you who don’t know, sous vide is a cooking technique that utilises precise temperature control to deliver consistent cooking results. High-end restaurants have been using sous vide cooking for years to cook food to the exact level of doneness desired, every time. They traditionally pack the food (such as a steak, fish or even vegetables) in a vacuum bag and add it to a water bath set to a specific temperature. They then cook it there for prolonged times in order to bring it up to the exact temperature they need for the desired level of doneness inside. This process can help with consistency in the kitchen, result in juicier meat (as you don’t loose any water to evaporation) and you can get the same level of cooking edge to edge throughout the food, resulting in improved textures.

Just to quickly bust a myth here, you don’t have to have a vacuum sealer at all, you can use a food-safe zip lock bag or a silicone bag just as well! As long as the seal is tight and no water from the water bath gets into the bag whilst it is cooking you will be fine!  After testing it I can confirm that sous vide works really well in the TM6! I tried it with a filet steak and managed to achieve the perfect level of pinkness inside, edge to edge. Right at the end I fried it in a super hot pan with butter for about one minute on each side to get a crust at the end. I’d love to show you a picture here but Jesse ate the entire thing before I could get a chance! Sorry!

But hang on, some of you might be asking; surely you can cook sous vide on the TM5 right? Yes, it’s also perfectly possible to cook Sous Vide in the TM5. The only improvement here is that the TM6 allows you to set the temperature in 1 degree steps as opposed to 5 degree steps, which can be important for sous vide as it can make a big difference to the doneness of the food. Also, it allows you to set the time for up to 12 hours whereas the TM5 was restricted to 99 minutes which I suppose could help for those super long sous vide cooks, although in my experience it is very rare that you would want to cook sous vide for any longer than 3-4 hours!

Overall I think this is a great added feature but I can’t see any obvious reason why this couldn’t have been included as a simple software update on the TM5. Also, for most people who aren’t desperate for the perfect consistency in the kitchen, cooking sous vide can be a lot of hassle for modest, but certainly not dramatic gains in flavour and texture.

Slow cooking

This is similar story to sous vide mentioned above. During my tests I discovered that the only improvement is that the time allowed for a slow cook is now 12 hours as opposed to 99 minutes on the TM5, which is great for being able to break down those tougher cuts of meat in to succulent morsels!

The problem here is that if you are not using a guided recipe in Cookidoo, the blades don’t stop turning during the cooking process, so if you are hoping to slow cook chunks of meat such as beef shin, you’ll end up with shredded meat. Pulled pork and bolognese work wonderfully, but you won’t be able to slow cook larger pieces of meat unless you are using one of their preset slow cooking recipes which are few and far between on the platform right now.

Fermentation

Ok guys, brace yourself for this one… to me, this mode feels like a bit like a fancy description for yoghurt function and seems a bit more marketing gimmick than real improvement (I know those are strong words but hear me out).

We need to be careful about what we define as fermentation and what foods NEED higher temperatures than room temperature and what foods don’t in order to ferment correctly. I’ve done a lot of research on the subject of fermentation over the past few years through baking sourdough bread, making kimchi, brewing kombucha and growing up making Sauerkraut with my Oma back in Germany. I LOVE fermented foods and they are so good for your gut health and taste so amazing! I’m a bit of a fermentation nerd. From what I have seen and tested, the Thermomix team seemed to have skipped the research part and simply slapped the name “fermentation” on the yoghurt function from the TM5 and extended the time to 12hrs in the software.

Let me explain a little bit about how fermenting foods work in order to give you some context. Different foods ferment correctly at different temperatures due to the intricate balance that is struck between the different bacterias and microbes that you try cultivate during the process. The vast majority of fermented foods (such as kimchi, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, kombucha) go through a process called lacto-fermentation. Essentially we are trying to cultivate little microbes called lactobacilli that do the job of transforming the food for us. These bacteria..

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