Recipe, photography and styling by Tanya Zouev.
Though this isn’t strictly a Thermomix blog, I do like to talk about the TM31 every now and then. I have been a proud Thermomix owner for about two and a half years and it was love at first sight. Actually, it was love before sight. A mum at my toddler’s playgroup who later became a good friend of mine, was telling me about this fabulous kitchen contraption which was kind of a food processor, kind of blender but so much more. I immediately became intrigued, I also knew I wanted one at any cost (almost).
Since I have a history of becoming somewhat obsessed with the object of my desire, I got hold of a Thermomix consultant that afternoon. She was very helpful and informed me that the machines were German-made, unavailable in shops, and only available through in-home demo’s with an authorised consultant. Furthermore if I was interested would I be able to arrange four interested parties to spend two hours on a Saturday afternoon watching the Thermomix in action? I replied unlikely because I didn’t know anyone beside myself interested enough to spend almost $2k on an appliance. She must have sensed my desperation because she offered to do something she didn’t normally, and that was to put on a mini-demo for me on the proviso she was guaranteed a sale. I said done.
So my husband and I had a mini-demo with a lovely consultant called Annie who ran us through the machine and we both agreed we would benefit immensely from owning one. On one condition set by my husband: that I would have to sell as many non-essential kitchen gadgets as possible to help fund it. It was the most bittersweet deal imaginable. I wanted the Thermomix but I’d have to sell my KitchenAid stand mixer (her name was Ruby), the ice cream attachment, my forest green Le Creuset casserole pan and the set of Global knives. I also sold the Braun blender and the food processor. The husband (the money man) was pleased.
A week later the TM arrived. I had more fun with it than the time I was set loose on Key West Florida thirteen years ago after divorcing my first husband. I made more food than we could eat so my neighbours, friends and family were given a steady supply of Thermomix creations so that I could make more. I originally used the Thermomix cookbook provided as a guide and eventually started writing my own recipes. One of them is this vanilla custard recipe.
(Pic: My Thermie.)
Those who own a Thermomix will know the Everyday Cooking cookbook which you receive with the machine when you buy it. Overall the book is pretty average, some recipes don’t work, some are very basic and some are just a bit weird. But it does set you up with a basic understanding of the cooking principles behind the machine. The custard recipe however has had me baffled because some people love it, but in my opinion it’s just very average. The quantity of sugar and corn flour alone leave me cold because I can’t understand who wants to eat an overly sweet custard loaded up with so much corn flour it solidifies into jelly. Each to their own I suppose.
So I came up with this recipe based on a traditional stove top recipe I learned from my mum. Except I wondered what would happen if rather than warming up the milk and cream with the vanilla bean and adding it to egg yolks whisked with sugar, I just threw it all in the jug and turned the TM on? My idea worked, and the custard, after a few tweaks to the cooking time and temperature (and lots of testing) I deemed to be pretty good. No lumps, no splitting, no weird consistency, just delicious vanilla custard.
1 cup whole milk or 250 grams
1 cup thickened cream or 250 grams
4 egg yolks
approximately half a vanilla bean sliced open and the vanilla beans scraped out (or you can use about 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste such as Queen)
1/4 cup sugar or 60 grams
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons corn flour or 15-25 grams (depending on how runny or thick you like your custard)
1. Place all ingredients in order from top to bottom in the jug of a Thermomix.
2. Put lid on TM and cook for 10 minutes at speed 4, 90º on reverse (so the vanilla bean doesn’t end up in tiny little pieces). Custard will appear runny at first and will become less so after cooling. Remove the vanilla bean and serve.
See? Easy! Goes beautifully with the Boozy Christmas Gluten-free Christmas Plum Pudding recipe.
On a footnote, I love my Thermomix and wouldn’t be without it. I use it a lot, though there are some things I don’t cook with it preferring the traditional way (for example beating egg whites with a $20 hand mixer). I realise there is a lot of criticism of the TM out there, mainly because of the cost but I honestly think it’s worth it. Why? Because it is a real time saver if you’re cooking for a family (as in my case) plus a plethora of other reasons including the fact it can whip up killer meals like soups, risotto and curries. I even bought a second jug to keep my sweets separate from my savoury after the great roasted red capsicum-scented custard fiasco. I often get asked if I had my time again would I buy it? Yes, absolutely. But I’d keep my KitchenAid!
*Photography and styling notes:
This shot is made up entirely of cute little op-shop purchases from my local Salvo’s and Lifeline stores. I love the stoneware canister with the word vanilla in German. There was a whole collection of vintage stoneware spice canisters with German names on them for $1.50 each which I would have bought had I figured out where to store them, but I settled on just one. I have a penchant for vintage linen and adore little doilies and embroidered cloths such as the one pictured with grape vine leaves and berries. The background is a vintage Chinese timber coffee table and the wall is a painted piece random groove wall paneling I found in hard rubbish council clean up. The only light used in this image is window light.