Adventures in gadget land

aAfter many years of pondering, I finally made the decision to buy a Thermomix.  Why in heaven’s name it has taken me so long I’ll never know, probably the price tag. But before even opening the box I consider this the best £925 (2016 price) I have ever spent.

Why I would I want to spend such an amount of money on a “food processor”.  Because it’s not a food processor, yes it chops and blends and whisks, but it also weighs, steams, sautés, simmers, kneads and grinds .  It’s a whole different way of cooking, and one which makes things I love to cook much faster than using conventional methods. It’s the ultimate gadget! The only worry is that it will render me obsolete, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

So here it is, my new baby and the steaming varoma, I think I’ll call it Ernest…..

There are few things which this wizard cannot do, one of them is slicing. But then as an owner of many excellent knives, I quite like slicing.  The other thing it cannot do is the washing up, much to everyone’s disappointment. But it can sort of self clean if you whizz up warm water and washing up liquid in the bowl, which is sort of helpful.  The bowl comes apart surprisingly easily for such a robust piece of kit so you can make sure its really clean, and really dry.  But it is a faff to clean by hand, maybe I just need to get used to it. The point about being dry is very important as in the bowl is the heating element and also little ball bearings both of which make it around £150 to replace.

In addition it has a live interactive cook book.  You select a recipe from the recipe chip and then it takes you through step by step so you don’t have to worry you’ve missed something. Of course you can use it without the recipes for making bread for example up to the point of having to put it in the oven and you can also adapt your favourite recipe to prepare in this. The resources available on line for Thermomix recipe inspiration is not extensive but it is a growing community of owners and fans and so in time this will change.

I had a demo before purchasing Ernest, and the lady who did my demo rattled through 3 recipes in under an hour, we made cheese scones (you have to bake them in the oven), raspberry and blueberry sorbet and pea soup,  All delicious and there are different tricks with the sorbet so you can have a more textured or highlight whipped version like you get in the shops.   Ernest, basically purred through the whole demo, and just kept turfing out delightfully light dough, deliciously effortless sorbet, and very hot, smooth soup with minimal effort.  You can make less hot soup by regulating the temperature when you are simmering.

One of the things I really like and the soup highlighted this to me was it did it all, in just it’s bowl with no extra pans, no scales for weighing, no jug to decant the soup and blend it, it does the lot. The total cooking time was around 25 mins. The result was a wonderfully vibrant green, fresh tasting soup.  But the real bonus was in the time saved by me.  I didn’t have to stand over it, adding things and watching it bubble. I could set the machine off on its little way and then go and do other things and only come back to it when it let’s me know its ready for another ingredient or something.  The real winner here is me because I can do so much more with Ernest doing it’s thing, it leaves me free to do other things like think what I’m going to cook next!

Sauces are a dream in this.  Take the humble hollandaise, which it will make and keep at the exactly right temperature for you so you don’t need to keep an eye on it or keep heating it up. Home made mayonnaise in a couple of minutes? no problem. And then there are all the ice creams and sorbets you can make so quickly that your shopping bill will definitely decrease. In fact Thermomix claim (I am yet to test this claim), that you could save on over £10-15 off your weekly shopping against buying ready made equivalents. I’m not one for ready meals but I do buy soups for convenience (my partner doesn’t cook), this is definitely going to be cheaper than buying them, as it makes them so quickly. By the time you’ve finished what you were doing, laid the table and faffed around for 10 mins as I inevitably do around dinner time, your soup is ready. I did this last night in fact and to the minute it had prepared mushroom soup in the same amount of time as I had done pasta and sauce for dinner.

My blog has been a little dormant for a while.  But now I have a reason to re-engage. Do follow my adventures with Ernest, even if you don’t have one of these amazing machines you can live vicariously through me! Or come round and we can do a demo session, I get free recipe chips for hosting demos and you don’t have to want to buy one or even sign up, it just helps me get better at using it. I promise wine and good food, now that’s worth it surely!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Clare Moss says:

    Er, yes, demo please! When life is not crazy.

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