Monday, August 13, 2012

Thermomix Sponge

BACKSTORY: After a few years of yearning (and thanks largely to an unexpected injection of funds into my bank account), I purchased a Thermomix!  It's early days yet, but I'm really enjoying having such a great tool in my (super tiny) kitchen.

I've cooked quite a few things so far (recipe tweaks will be added as I make time to write them) and today I find myself yearning for cake and somehow a sponge is tickling my fancy.  Now, some will say it's not possible to make a good sponge in the TM, but I have hope!  A basic sponge ratio is 1:1:1:1 plus vanilla (and some baking powder for extra lift... and maybe a heaped tablespoon of cocoa if you desire a chocolate sponge).  That is one "weight" of eggs, one weight of sugar, one weight of SR flour, and one weight of butter plus vanilla.  BTW: a basic pound cake recipe has the same ratio and ingredients, but the order in which ingredients are added differs: butter, sugar, egg then flour.

I've done a little research and, combining tips and recipes from Why is There Air? (so very apt for a sponge recipe!), The Bush Gourmand and the TM Forum, I've come up with the following recipe.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • SR flour (egg weight*)
  • Caster sugar (egg weight*)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • Butter at room temperature (egg weight*)
  • Dusting of cornflour (for lining tins)


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C
  2. Line one 20cm deep sided tin with baking paper.  Grease sides lightly and sprinkle with a little cornflour
  3. Crack and weigh eggs on the TM lid: make note of weight (referred to as “egg weight”; see notes section below)
  4. Mix flour and baking powder for 30 seconds on speed 3; set aside
  5. Pulverise sugar until really fine; approx 60 seconds on speed 9
  6. Put butterfly over blades and beat sugar and whole eggs for 6 mins @ 37 degrees speed 4 with no MC on (incorporates more air)
  7. Turn off temperature and continue to beat for another 6 mins on speed 4 (cup off)
  8. Scrape down sides and lid with spatula
  9. Add vanilla paste to mix
  10. Incorporate flour and baking powder mix for 10 seconds on speed 3 
  11.   Scrape down sides with spatula
  12. Add butter and mix for 10 seconds on speed 3 (if insufficiently mixed, mix a little longer)
  13. Remove butterfly and scrape down sides with spatula 
  14. Pour mixture into deep 20 cm round cake tin (lined as per Step 2) 
  15. Place the TM bowl back on the machine and press turbo button a few times to send the rest of the cake mixture to the sides. Scrape out with the spatula and add to the tin
  16. Bake about 25-35 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean
  17. Cool 5 minutes (in the tin) then turn out on a rack to finish cooling
  18. Cut cooled sponge in half and spread cream, jam and fruit of choice in centre


* Egg weight - Weigh the eggs on the TM lid, note the weight, then crack them into the bowl.  One then uses exactly the same weight of sugar, flour and butter as the weight of the eggs, i.e., if the eggs weigh 200g, use 200g of sugar, flour and butter.
Cake may be frozen.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Counting Songs

My first admission of the morning: I'm addicted to Pinterest.  And this morning was little different from many a Saturday morning - lying in bed... contemplating the concept of getting up... reaching for my phone instead... and spending more time than I'm willing to admit on Pinterest.  If you care, you can find my pins here.

And, much as one thing leads to another, one link leads to another.  And I found myself on YouTube (yes, potentially another massive waste of time but its siren call, for me at least, has nothing on Pinterest's).  And it was on YouTube I found HaveFunTeaching's brilliant songs.  To be honest, I was just checking them out but both Ziggy and Gertie found their way to me in no time at all and, shortly thereafter were both grooving along.  I can highly recommend their walking song (not only for the joy of watching The Man inspiring Ziggy to do the robot).  Then we found the counting songs - mainly because Gertie wanted to see the penguin.  I love counting songs - they're such an easy way to kids to learn to skip count.  Obviously, I'm no expert on pedagogy, but as I know all the words to some of the more dubious pop of my youth I'm figuring learning though music has to be effective and much more fun than rote learning.

So, I thought I might investigate the website and download some of the songs.  I love instant downloads - let's face it, I put all CDs onto my pc and then my music player anyway, so why not just skip the CD altogether?  My only problem is that there's a volume discount if you buy all the CDs, but not for the downloads.  Why? I was ready to buy, but the fact that it'd cost more for the downloads the CDs gave me pause...

And then I saw that I could apply for the counting songs free of charge.  Certainly worth checking out.  So I guess I'll apply, listen and then review.  And then I'll probably be willing to purchase the other songs (can't wait to check out the fitness ones).