T4B036: Thermomix Three Course Dinner

In Episode 36, we bring you the planning notes that you can utilise to share  a Thermomix Three Course dinner with your loved one. We’ve chosen dishes that you can make ahead of time so that you don’t need to be in the kitchen while the dinner is on! Also, these dishes can be used in other contexts (family meals, a share plate for a BBQ, a lovely morning tea etc).

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What’s on the menu?

Starter of Chicken Salad Balls served with fresh bread and butter or olive oil & balsamic vinegar

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Main of Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with a Cauliflower & Rocket side dish

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Dessert of Mini Chocolate Salted Caramel Tarts with heart-shaped Strawberries 

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A couple of notes:

It will make things MUCH easier if you start the preparation the night before.

We have halved all the recipes so that you don’t have LOADS of leftovers… but you will still have SOME leftovers if there are only 2 of you.

The night before you want to serve dinner, do the following…

Starting with the Mini Chocolate Salted Caramel Tarts Base…

Add 45g sugar – 3 x 3 sec Turbo blasts.
Put the butterfly in the bowl. Add 85g butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt.
Speed 4 / 15 seconds.
Add 90g plain flour, 10g cornflour, 20g cacao.
Speed 4 / 10 seconds, MC on.
Scrape down the sides.
Speed 4 / 5 seconds.
Empty mixture (it’s like a divine clay!) into another bowl and refrigerate while you do the next step.

Start the Ganache… this will make more than you need! BUT, you don’t usually find quantities of the constituents much smaller than these in the shops so we have run with it… and you can have leftover ganache to dip the strawberries in if you like!

Grate 180g dark chocolate, Speed 7 / 7 seconds. Set aside.
Don’t wash bowl.
Put the butterfly in the bowl. Add 120g double cream. 80 degrees / 3 minutes / Speed 4 (or until the 80 degrees light stops flashing)
Turn off temp and nil time (press power, then press – and + simultaneously).
Set 1:30 minutes / Speed 2. Put grated chocolate into the bowl via the whole in the lid.
When there is 30 seconds left, put MC on and finish on Speed 3.
Set aside.

Turn on your oven to 160 degrees.

Get a little ball of the chilled chocolate shortbread mixture and push it into a mini cupcake tin. Valerie Lugonja AKA A Canadian Foodie has some great pictures on her website. Try and shape them as much as possible.

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Put them in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Clean TM bowl.

To make the caramel sauce…
Add 100g butter, 60 degrees / 2 minutes / Speed 2
Add 120g brown sugar, Varoma / 16 minutes / Speed 2-3 (MC on)
*Note: after 15 minutes of refrigeration put the tart shells into the oven. Remove after 7 minutes.
Add 130 g cream and 1/4 tsp vanilla, 90 degrees /12 minutes / Speed 2-3 (MC on)
Set aside to cool.

Clean TM bowl.

Preparation Update: At this point you have all your constituents of the tarts cooling! It’s time to start on the Chicken Salad Balls. Note: we always make our own mayo, and because it’s homemade you can’t keep it as long as you can store-bought! Therefore, we have factored it into the preparation. If you’ve got some in the fridge, just use that.

Follow the recipe that Tash from A Girl, A Guy, Furkids and Food has done, but halve the quantities (will make 18 balls with a half serve). Here are the steps we took:

1. Ground the smoked almonds (according to recipe). Set aside.
2. Made mayo (according to this recipe). Got as much as we could out and set aside. Didn’t wash bowl. 3. Followed the recipe. As a side note, the chicken we used was the steamed / shredded chicken from our lunchbox episode, which we then froze into ziplock bags. It worked PERFECTLY.
4. To assemble the balls, we set up four areas: 1x water, 1x chicken mixture, 1x smoked almond bits to roll the balls in, 1x tray to sit the finish product in.

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Wet hands, make a small ball of chicken mixture, roll in the nuts, place on the tray, wash hands in the water, repeat…

In short: Follow the recipe. Assemble. Refrigerate.

Wash TM bowl.

It’s now time to prepare the dough for the fresh bread, if you intend on serving a normal loaf (i.e. not gluten-free)

Follow the steps prepared in this video:

Before wrapping up the preparation, it’s time to assemble your tarts.

If your chocolate shortbread tart shells have flattened out a bit, you may wish to gently press down the corners (see picture)

Note: the 6 shells on the left have gently had their middles pressed in ever so slightly to create more of a shell

Note: the 6 shells on the left have gently had their middles pressed in ever so slightly to create more of a shell

Carefully remove the cases from the mini-cupcake tin (they are a bit delicate – you may need a sharp knife). Fill with 1-2 teaspoons of the ganache. Top with the toffee sauce and a pinch of good quality salt. Refrigerate.

Take the frozen spinach package out of the freezer.

Preparation Update: At this point, you have made your starter and your dessert, and have the dough rising… well done you!

On the day of the event, where T = the time you want to serve the MAIN meal. You can begin with the Starter at any time you like.

– Do you have any drinks you want to serve with dinner? Make sure they are in the refrigerator.

T-2.5 hours:
– Are you making GF bread? If so, now is the time to begin. Put the oven on to the temperature your loaf requires.
– Set the table, put out the butter in a nice ceramic bowl or olive oil & balsamic dipping bowls.
– Follow the final steps of Alyce Alexandra’s Cheat’s Sourdough video.
– Put bread in the oven (once you take bread out of the oven, reduce to 180degrees – ready for the Cannelloni)

T-2 hours:
– Begin making the Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni. Cover in foil.
– Begin making the Cauliflower & Rocket side dish (see notes below).
– While Varoma is cooking the cauliflower, cut up your strawberries into heart shapes.
– Set out the bread & Chicken Salad Balls.

T-40 minutes:
– Put the Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni in the oven.

T-10 minutes:
– Take the foil off the Cannelloni and continue cooking.

Serve the Cannelloni with the Cauliflower and Rocket side dish. Here are our tips for this delicious, simple, light side dish:
Steam 450g cauliflower – fairly big chunks in the Varoma. Use hot water (500g) / 15 mins / Speed 2.
Tip water out, dry bowl.
Chop walnuts as per recipe. Keep in bowl.
Add rocket / oil / ACV/ salt – Reverse + Speed 3 / 10 seconds
Add cauliflower –  Reverse + Speed 4 / 1 second.

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When you are ready, serve the delicious tarts with strawberries.

Most importantly… have a great time taking some time out with your loved one! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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