Category Archives: Spreads

Super easy peanut butter

I grew up on Kraft peanut butter. I tried a couple of healthy versions recently but perhaps my tastebuds are conditioned to eating artificial goodness, because I just couldn’t get into the all-natural stuff. But I’m trying my best to give Arianna healthy options where I can, so this morning when I woke up and decided to make bliss balls as a snack for us, I thought I’d also try making my own peanut butter. And when I came across this recipe I got a little bit excited! You literally just need peanuts or your preferred nuts. I used unsalted peanuts. Because these were looking a bit blah in the packet, I toasted them slightly in a frying pan, but you can leave this step out if you don’t feel like it.  

 Once the peanuts had gotten some colour on them, I tipped the lot into the Thermomix jug and blended it for 10 secs/speed 4. This gets you to crushed-nut phase. Then I scraped the sides down, before continuing to blend on speed 4 for about a minute, slowly increasing to speed 7. I stopped when the consistency looked like this: 

 When I tipped the contents out, I got around a chinese soup bowl full of peanut butter which was perfect for making a smoothie and my bliss balls (recipe to come!) 


I must say that due to the lack of anything extra, this literally tastes like a peanut paste and is also quite dry. I wouldn’t put this on toast without adding some salt, and perhaps a touch of oil to make it a bit smoother. Or honey… But as a base for another recipe it is absolutely fine, And I must admit I was quite chuffed knowing how healthy it was! 

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Bacon jam

Oh, I can’t tell you how good it was to break out the Thermomix after more than three months! I know it’s meant to simplify cooking at home but with bub around, meals have certainly taken a backseat and the poor machine has been languishing on a shelf since March.

Anyway, I finally gathered the strength to have some friends over for lunch this long weekend. I didn’t want to over-extend myself so I decided on some nice bread, cheeses, greens and roast beef so everyone could make their own sandwiches. I bought the usual suspects – horseradish and mustard – as condiments but decided to make something extra since the husband was around to take care of bubs.

I came across this post and let’s be honest, there ain’t no condiment that’s better than one with bacon. And as soon as I saw the second version (COFFEE! CHOCOLATE! WITH BACON?!!!) I knew that this was the right post-hiatus recipe to try! Might as well go all out, right?

It’s all about cutting corners for me nowadays, so instead of cutting up the bacon as per the original recipe, I just fried up the strips and whizzed it up in the Thermomix. Quite proud of that little shortcut, I gotta say 🙂 I also added another tablespoon of worcestershire sauce after the 60-minute mark as I felt it needed a bit of an extra kick. Finally the amount of chilli used barely registers on the heat scale but I thought I’d play it safe. If you’re after a spicy relish, double or triple the amount of chilli.


500g bacon
200g red onion, peeled and quartered
30g garlic cloves, peeled
230g brewed coffee (I used instant coffee)
30g balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
60g brown sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 tsp chili flakes


– Fry the bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel.

– Chop the onion and garlic for 3 secs/speed 5.
– Add your bacon into the TMX bowl and chop for 2 secs/speed 5.

– SautĂ© the mixture for 12 mins/90 degrees/reverse/speed soft, with the measuring cap off.
– Add all other ingredients and cook for 60 mins/100 degrees/reverse/speed soft, with the measuring cap off so that the mixture can thicken.
– Scrape the sides of the bowl down, and cook for another 30 mins/100 degrees/reverse/speed soft.
– Pop into a jar or two, allow to cool then refrigerate the jam. The flavours will develop overnight and the mix will solidify so it will be perfect for lunch the next day and beyond.

I made an easy minestrone too and will post that up soon! It’s much better than my EDC cookbook attempt back in 2012. Plus it won’t be long before my Thermomix becomes a baby food-making machine so I’m excited about the great recipes I get to try!


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Chocolate ganache

(Recipe taken from this blog)

I had promised a friend that I would bake a cake for her husband’s surprise 30th and was in desperate need of a super easy cake that would also sound and look impressive. Given that you can’t actually sneak a bite of a birthday cake beforehand, I needed a tried and tested recipe that I could jazz up. So I went for this Guinness chocolate cake I’d made a while back, and also made some chocolate ganache to spread on top. This ganache recipe is so ridiculously easy, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to try it!

I flipped my cake upside down as the flat surface would be easier to spread the ganache on evenly.



250g good quality dark chocolate pellets
250g double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 tsp unsalted butter

I got given a bag of goodies from Thomas Dux for my birthday including this vanilla bean paste which I hear is the queen of vanilla bean pastes!



  • Pop all the ingredients in your TMX bowl and heat for 3 mins/50 degrees/speed 2.
  • Pour on top of cake and smooth out, allowing some ganache to spill over the sides for a rustic, drool-worthy final product.
  • Stuff your face.



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Kaya struggles

(Recipe from In The Mix)

I ADORE kaya. Slices of buttered bread slathered with this coconut custard/jam/spread is up there in terms of the BEST BREAKFASTS IN THE WORLD. Actually, best snacks in the world. I’m a firm believer in not restricting food types to times of day.

However, I’d never made it at home before. If you make it on the stove (the traditional way), you basically have to stay by the stove for over an hour continuously stirring the mixture. Not something that I am willing to do. So when I found this recipe for kaya in In The Mix along with a ridiculously beautiful picture of kaya on toast with a thick slab of butter, I knew I had to give this a go.


270g coconut milk (at least 80% coconut content)

150g caster sugar (I milled raw sugar in the TMX)

3 eggs

2 egg yolks

3 pandan (screwpine) leaves, tied in a knot.


I must start off by saying that I didn’t quite get there, and I’m not entirely sure why. Comments and feedback definitely welcome here!

  • In a saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a boil and then set aside.
  • In a separate saucepan, heat the caster sugar until it caramelises. Once caramelised, immediately remove it from the heat and pour the hot coconut milk onto the sugar. Now, mine was a rich brown colour but it did still have some crystals in it. I was concerned I’d burn the mixture so I poured the coconut milk in anyway (and yes, it steams furiously so be careful). I cooked it for a while longer so that all the crystals would dissolve.
  • Let the mixture cool to about 45 degrees. I don’t have a thermometer so I just poured the mixture into the TMX bowl, and let it sit in there until the temperature light stayed at 50 degrees for a few minutes.
  • Add the eggs and yolks, and mix for 15 seconds/speed 4.
  • Add the pandan knot, then pop the Butterfly in place. Cook for 60 minutes/80 degrees/reverse/speed soft.
  • When finished, check the consistency: the kaya is ready if it’s thick enough to gently spread with a knife. If not, cook for a further 5 minutes/80 degrees/reverse/speed soft.

I cooked the mixture for an additional 10 minutes, however mine was still very watery. I’m not sure why, but I was too scared of overcooking the kaya so I stopped at this point, hoping that the mixture would thicken once I left it to cool. But alas, while the taste was how kaya should be, the consistency certainly wasn’t! Again, any feedback here would be totally welcome. So rather than let the kaya go entirely to waste, I made a basic cake (recipe here), sliced it in half and made a bit of a butter kaya cake sandwich!

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