Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Roasted Banana Bread Recipe


The glorious roasted banana bread....
Oh, how I could have a thick slice of it everyday

Food photography to me can be quite stressful sometimes. I don't mind the editing process at the end but the plating, styling and snapping process at the start really it mentally consuming. I'd spend quite a lot of time to think about how I want the food to look. To me, it's more about presenting the food in a way that really whets my appetite whilst preserving the essence of how it's meant to be made and consumed. For instance, I won't put a garnish on the dish (even if it may make it prettier) unless it actually is an ingredient of the dish, meant to be eaten with the dish or say something about what we're eating. Slightly part of the reason why I have never put edible flowers or microherbs as a garnish in my cooking because that's not how I would eat a dish at home or serve it to my family. Plus, I don't think it actually has a flavour that complements what I cooked anyway. That said, I do admire it when other people do it because it does look incredible. I'm just saying that when I do it, it just doesn't feel like me.

Based on my short amount of experience, I must say that the end result is always better when I style it the way I want it to look rather than trying to imitate a magazine or website. Even though I do admire those professional images from magazines/websites, I know that my skill is completely not on par so every time I do attempt to recreate a certain style, it always ends up looking worse.

To me, the biggest gripe I have about food photos that I see is when they come across too "try hard", which is something I am very often guilty of myself. At least, I think so anyway. Sure, most of them look "okay" in general, but it is very rare for me to be truly and completely happy with a photo that I've taken. It's very rare. They're not horrible, but I always feel like there's so many things about the photos that can be improved but not sure how. I guess it's absolutely true when they say that you are your harshest critic.


As much as it sounds like I am struggling with food photography, it's exactly why I love it. I love being challenged and I love learning from my mistakes and growing from them. It's a great passion that I have and a craft that I really hope to improve on each day. I am definitely a firm believer that you never stop learning. Applies to any area of my life.

Why am I going on about food photography so much? Well, it's because I'm actually going to a food photography workshop organised by the seriously talented Ewen Bell and Iron Chef Shellie! The two of them have been a huge inspiration to me for the longest time so I am so excited about going away this weekend to just learn and be inspired. I tossed and turned about whether or not I should go (because of the cost and also annual leave I'll have to use) but you know what? I am so glad I bit the bullet and signed up! I have no doubt in my mind that it's going to be an incredible weekend and will love every minute of it. EXCITEEEEEEE. 


OKOKOK back to this recipe. Sharing my second recipe made with my trusty Tefal Cuisine Companion. Wanted to share this roasted banana recipe because 1) it's damn tasty and 2) it shows how much quicker and easier it is to make with the Cuisine Companion. I really love this machine and honestly cannot stop using it.

I know I know that almost everyone has got their favourite banana recipe already but what I personally like to do is roast the bananas first (because it actually helps intensify the flavour and fragrance even if you're using a super ripe banana) and also find that adding a hint of maple syrup in the batter doesn't just add sweetness but also a different dimension of flavour the bread. It gives a deep, dark, rich undertone which complements the roasted banana extremely well. 

So, yes. This is how I like to make my banana bread. It's not exactly conventional but that's why I love cooking. You can always experiment and change it up so that you make food the way YOU like to eat it.

I really, really like this recipe and I do hope you give it a try too! If you do, don't forget to share a photo and tag me on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram because nothing makes me happier than seeing others try out a recipe I've shared.

Hope you're all having a great (early) start to the weekend!


Because I have now partnered with Tefal Australia, they are also giving a bunch of seasonal ingredients to cook with so I can continue to enjoy and experiment with my Cuisine Companion... Yay!


Can't wait to dig in!



Love freezing leftover slices of banana bread so I can just toast myself a piece whenever I feel like one down the track. Freezes/reheats really well!



Yes.



Want me my roasted banana bread


Roasted Banana Bread Recipe

(a recipe adapted from the former Almost Bourdain)

Click here to print the recipe


Ingredients


1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (approx. 2 large ones)

2 cups plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup caster or brown sugar
125g unsalted butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup milk
1 cup or 100g walnuts (chopped)

To finish: 1 banana (sliced in half)

Method (Normal version)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom with a sheet of baking paper and lightly dust the sides with flour.


2. Place the banana in a metal plate and roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. 


3. Mix the flour with the baking powder. Set aside.


4. Cream the sugar, butter and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and pale.


5. Add 1 egg at a time. Beat with low speed until well mixed.


6. Stir in the roasted mashed banana, maple syrup and chopped nuts. 


7. Alternately beat in the flour mixture and the milk in 2 batches (flour, milk, flour, milk) into the egg mixture, mixing until just blended.


8. Pour the mixture into the grease pan and place the sliced bananas on top of the batter. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Increase the temperature to 200°C and bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes to make it extra crusty.


9. Let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn the banana bread out and let cool on a wire rack.


10. Slice the banana bread into thick slices and serve warm. 


Method (Tefal Cuisine Companion version)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom with a sheet of baking paper and lightly dust the sides with flour.

2. Place the banana in a metal plate and roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. 


3. Place all the ingredients except the roasted mashed banana, chopped nuts and sliced banana into the bowl fitted with the kneading/crushing blade. Launch the P3 pastry program.

4. At the end of the program, add the roasted mashed banana and chopped nuts, then mix at speed 6 for 40seconds.


5. Pour the mixture into the grease pan and place the sliced bananas on top of the batter. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Increase the temperature to 200°C and bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes to make it extra crusty.


6. Let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn the banana bread out and let cool on a wire rack.


7. Slice the banana bread into thick slices and serve warm. 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Mabrown (CBD), New Shanghai & Providence Cafe

Disclaimer: Winston dined as a guest of Mabrown, New Shanghai and Providence Cafe. All opinions are honest and based on my own experience at the time.

1) Mabrown (CBD)



Mabrown Signature Quails


Shan Dong Chicken Salad


Drunken Chicken


Owner's Granddad's Pork and Yam Dish


XO Prawns on Egg Noodles


Turmeric Fish


Peking Beef


Durian Ice Cream

A while ago, I got an email from the owner of Mabrown that really cracked me up. It was quite lovely and really caught my attention as it was a nice refreshing change from the usual, generic and less personal emails I tend to get (not that I have anything against those, they are what they are). He started off his email by saying, "Hello there Mr. Young Man Wince....." (LOL!!) before going on to say that he's read my review of his Balwyn store etc etc and would like to invite me and some friends over to try out the food at their CBD store in the most friendly and lovely tone. To end, he signed off his email by calling himself "Si Fu Peter" (which means "Master Peter"). Cute. We had a few email exchanges back and forth and of course I was more than happy to come in.

The location was just off Bourke Street, which was actually very easy to get to. We sat down and was met with Peter's son, Melvin, who was in his mid 20s and pretty much my age too. It was very nice speaking with him as he was telling me all about how he's grown up around the kitchen his whole life as both his Dad and Granddad were chefs too. It was because of this strong love of food that he's decided to leave Engineering and finally become a chef himself. Amazing. I'm sure Si Fu Peter (or any parent for that matter) would be chuffed to have their kids follow in their footsteps. I respected this very much. Not a lot of people would take on their family business like that, especially in the food industry because it's a lot of hard work. Good on you, Melvin.

Anyway, I sat down with my friends and we were ready to eat. I've been to the Balwyn store before numerous times in the past (which you can read about: here) and was excited to have my two favourite dishes: the signature Mabrown quail and also the XO prawns on egg noodles, which did not disappoint. Feels just like being back at the Balwyn store -- lip smackingly delicious. The chicken salad we had was sweet yet tangy and crunchy chicken on anything is always a good idea. The drunken chicken was actually my favourite dish of the night. The chicken was smooth and silky and the broth was absolutely divine. I really liked adding the broth to my rice topped with a small amount of chillies from the quails. Highly recommend this combination! 

The pork and taro dish was very interesting and wasn't actually on the menu but it was a family recipe from his granddad that Melvin really wanted to share with us. The sauce was so addictive I could have it for days. As for the beef, I did find it to be slightly overcooked. The fish had a great crunchy batter but sauce was a little too sour for my liking. I went back the other night and had the fish but with black bean sauce and it was great. I do like the fact that you've got quite a selection of sauces for your fish to choose from. To top it off, we got to have the Durian ice cream too -- so Malaysian!

Overall, we definitely enjoyed our meal here at Mabrown and I am personally very happy to hear that they've now got a branch in the city because it's more convenient for me to get to. The menu here was quite different to their Balwyn store, which gives you something to enjoy at both stores. This place really is a good option if you're looking for a place for some good Malaysian food in the city at night (I know I definitely have those days myself and this place definitely hits the spot). Plus, it's not too crowded, which makes it easy to get a table and at a convenient location too! In fact, I just came here again over the weekend with a group of 10 and we all enjoyed our food here very much. Just can't go wrong with those quails...

Anyway, thanks again for hosting us the other evening, Melvin. So nice to see an enthusiastic young chef like yourself cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Keep up the good work, mate!

Mabrown Bourke St on Urbanspoon

2) New Shanghai, Emporium





Absolutely love the fit out








New Shanghai Xiao Long Bao (8pcs) - $7.80


Steamed Vegetarian Dumpling (8pcs) - $9.00


Pork Belly Braised Overnight in Sweet Soy Sauce - $17.50


Fried Garlic American Pork Ribs - $20.80


Shallot Pancake - $6.50


Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab - $29.80


New Shanghai Pan Fried Pork Bun - $10.50


Sahhhh juicy...


Steamed Pork Belly Buns (2 pcs) - $6.00


There's a lot of this happening when you're food blogging:
Table filled with food but no one's eating them until it gets cold, hah 

New Shanghai is a place that's been on everyone's radar since it's opened. To me, there are 2 main reasons for this: 1) It's at the new Emporium building. 2) Rumour has it that it sells good dumplings, specifically, Xiao Long Baos (XLB). Have heard a lot of good things about this place so did not mind it at all when I was asked if I wanted to come and enjoy a menu tasting that they were hosting. 

Firstly, I thought that it was quite cool that even though New Shanghai is a full-fledged restaurant on its own yet located at the food court of Emporium. As soon as I walked in, I was quite taken aback and impressed by the decor they had going on. A harmonious balance between new and old; simple and sophisticated. I like it very much. Goes to show that a good dumpling restaurant doesn't have to be at a dingy alleyway next to a dumpster at Chinatown. Sure, people say that is part of the charm but to me, it gets old pretty damn quick. I would choose a much cleaner and comfortable setting like this over the former any day. 

We were escorted to a private dining room at the back of the restaurant where the tasting was held. And boy, were there a lot of bloggers in one room. We were all given free reign to order whatever we wanted from the menu so we decided to order a variety of dumplings and also some main dishes to share.

Now, let's get straight to business: the Xiao Long Bao's. They were delish. Definitely one of the best ones in Melbourne (there are a couple of other places that do good ones too). To me, a place that does good XLB is what sets itself apart from all the bazillion dumpling restaurants around. Most places do decent steamed pork dumplings because it hits the spot and is quite standard. But, with XLBs, it takes a little bit more care and finesse. Skin must be delicate but still has a slight bite. And more importantly, filling must be soft, flavourful and incredibly soupy. Not juicy, SOUPY. And soupy, it was. In fact, last time my friends and I were here, she literally squirted soup all over herself when she bit into the XLB too quickly. So, yes. Bravo to New Shanghai for ticking all the boxes for what makes a good XLB.

The other dumplings were very consistent that night. In fact, they've been quite consistently good every other time that I've been here since too. Conclusion: dumplings at New Shanghao = good. Unfortunately, it can't really be said about the main dishes here. The soy sauce braised pork is a dish that I've had at so many other restaurants and also make it a lot at home that it is quite rare for me to find an exceptional one, including the one here. Too fatty. Nothing special. Still prefer the one I make at home. Besides that, ribs were quite tough and the soft shell crab had barely any crab and batter was chewy. I know a lot of people were raving about the steamed pork belly bun here too but, again, this to me was quite common and nothing too extraordinary to me. It was just okay. Normal.

Despite the above, I must say that I really like coming to New Shanghai and it has slowly become a regular favourite amongst my friends and I. Although, I recommend just sticking to the entrees, noodles and dumplings because they do them really well here. The mains, you can skip because to be honest, they're not as good and frankly, quite boring. Oh oh and I also highly recommend the Shepherd's Purse dumplings (not pictured) as it's my second favourite after the XLBs. The skin is slightly different. Extremely silky yet has a slight bite and resistance to it -- it's amazing. Sauce is a mix of peanut and chillies which is such a good combination too. Make sure you order it!

New Shanghai on Urbanspoon

3) Providence Cafe, Carlton




I love this glazed curtain wall feature in the cafe... Stunning



Soy Magic Coffee


Smoked Trout, Bubble & Squeak Potatoes, Hot Smoked Trout & Herbs with Poached Eggs


Egg & Gamze Bacon Pie


Breakfast Salad



Pumpkin & Burrum Biodynamics Lentil Fritters with Cate's Chilli Tomato Pickle, Coconut Yoghurt & Lovely Leaves



Berry Clafoutis with Gundowring Rhubarb Ice Cream








I was quite keen to come for the tasting at Providence Cafe as I knew it was a new venture by the same people behind the super successful Grain Store in the CBD. Located towards towards the northern end of Rathdowne Street, Providence Cafe is actually set in the building of a pretty modern apartment. The concept of this cafe is actually quite unique with a focus on "farm to table" dining. To me, this is quite different (and frankly a little difficult) for a cafe in the CBD which tends to go for a more edgier approach. 

Even though almost every new cafe in Melbourne these days choose to use a lot of edible flowers and microherbs to enhance the "Instagrammibility" of their food, I appreciated the fact that Providence went against all of that and stuck to a more rustic approach. You see it everywhere from Kettle Black, Top Paddock, Hammer & Tong, etc etc etc. Again, quite unusual for a new cafe to against all of that, especially in the inner city. Oh, the owner also explained how every single plate was handcrafted, which again, contributed more towards the overall rustic feel of the cafe (but in an understated way).

As for the food, I really liked the smoked trout with potatoes and eggs as well as the egg and bacon pie the most. Besides being utterly delicious, these two dishes almost exemplifies what the entire cafe is about. Food that is not necessarily fancy but downright rustic, delicious and highlights the amazing locally sourced ingredients from passionate farmers around Victoria. It was incredible. Every mouthful of these two dishes really made me feel like I was at a country farm restaurant. Loved it.

Although, must say I wasn't too big of a fan of the breakfast salad and lentil fritters. It's not that it wasn't cooked well, it's just that I don't normally like to have salads or anything with too much spice for brunch dishes. It's just a preference thing. That said, coffee here really is fantastic. From the way the barista spoke so passionately and enthusiastically about the flavours and craft of making good coffee, I knew my coffee beverage was in good hands. 

Overall, I quite like Providence Cafe for the location, salmon with potatoes and eggs dish, egg and bacon pie and also the coffee. Plus, it is quite different to many other cafes around as this is the only cafe that I've been to that really made me feel like I was at some farm restaurant in the country. They've really executed the "farm to table" concept well because of all the connections they have with local farmers AND the fact that they're located next to a farmers market on weekends definitely helped too! It was nice of the owners to give us all a voucher to use at the farmers market next door after our brunch so that we could show support to the local farmers. I bought myself a beautiful slab of pork belly from McIvor Farms and some amazing vegetables, which made for a great roast pork with crackling dinner the following night.

Providence on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tefal Cuisine Companion Product Review: Lemon & Lime Curd Tart Recipe


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Winston received a Tefal Cuisine Companion and was also flown to Sydney to attend the launch event courtesy of Tefal Australia and Hausmann Communications


The new Tefal Cuisine Companion has now arrived here in Australia and now available exclusively at Harvey Norman stores nationwide!!

So, last month I received a very intriguing email from Hausmann Communications telling me about this new product that Tefal was launching. It's already being sold in Europe and about to hit the stores in Australia soon. I must admit, I wasn't reading the email too carefully and at first and didn't think much of it because it was on my phone and I was a bit pre-occupied at the time but it mentioned something about a product called Cuisine Companion... Something about a food processor with functions....... But then when I scrolled down further they said that they wanted to give me one for free??? And that it costs about AU$1,699????????

Wait... What? 

Hold the phone. What is this product that they are talking about and why is it costing so much? I did a quick Google search and later realised what this Tefal Cuisine Companion was all about. In short, this is Tefal's version of the Thermomix. Wow.

First of all, I had no idea that Tefal was launching its own version of the Thermomix. This is big news to me. I have always been a fan of Tefal and was actually thinking for a while now about getting a Thermomix myself. Now, you've got my attention...

What it is, it's basically an all-in-one kitchen appliance. It chops, stirs, cooks a bucket load of stuff all in the same bowl. To paint you a better picture, it's that kitchen appliance that you hear people talk about that costs a bomb to buy but cannot stop raving about how they can just dump a bunch of ingredients in the bowl, walk away, and come back to see that your food is all cooked and ready to eat. That thing.

I want that. In fact, I kinda need that. Me, being someone who is extremely used to eating homecooked food for breakfast, lunch and dinner every weekday, my biggest struggle has always been to have freshly cooked meals on a weeknight after work because I do get home quite late especially if I go to the gym after work. This is why my Sunday afternoon routine is always to spend hours to cook several dishes in bulk for me to eat for lunch and dinner for the week. So, what are my options for a weeknight dinner? Either I eat at 8:30pm (or sometimes later) after I get back or defrost yet another packed meal from my freezer. It's not great, but at least it's better than eating takeaway. I really struggle when it comes to eating out or doing takeaway on a weekday.

In fact, after deliberating about it for months, I was actually *this close* to getting one late last year as a Christmas present from Mum (because she knew how busy my sister and I were with work and knew this would help) but decided to put it off in the end. Basically, I attended a few Thermomix demos when I was in Malaysia and so we spoke about it at length about whether or not this was a good investment because it was really, really expensive. In the end, we thought it was but literally just as Mum was taking out her credit card to pay, we asked if what we were about to buy was the latest model and the lady told us "NO, there's actually a newer model than this that just came out in Australia". Why didn't you say this before?!?! NEVER MIND. We felt a little bit cheated, if I'm being honest. After all that dog and pony show of demonstrating the product and telling us how good it is but knowing fully well how expensive it was to us and that we're living in Australia, yet still trying to do this and hoping to get away with it didn't sit right with us. What if we got back to Australia and realised that after we had spent all this money, it was actually for a DATED model???? So, we walked... Actually, she came to our house so we politely said thanks no thanks and we weren't interested anymore, so she left...


Sexy little thing...

RIGHT. I apologise. I am going off on a tangent a little bit here but I thought I'd share a bit of my history with this whole thing so you understand my perspective a little bit more as I'm blogging about this.

Anyway, back to the email. Have I mentioned how darn excited I was after knowing what it is now?! It also included an invitation to a cooking demo they were holding in Sydney for the Tefal Cuisine Companion, which I respectfully declined because, well, it was in Sydney. Later, I got a reply saying that they were willing to fly me there for the event... WOW!

In my years of blogging, this was the first time I was ever flown anywhere for an event. Everything else was completely paid for too like my flights, accommodation, all my taxi fares. In fact, I was told that I was 1 of only 6 people who was actually flown in from around Australia just for this event. I felt really humbled to have been given such a rare opportunity like this, to be honest. Just humbled. 

So off I flew to Sydney for a whirlwind tour as I was only going to be there for 12 hours in total because I had to take the 6am flight the next morning to go straight back to work...


When I got to the event at the Seafood School in Pyrmont, we started off the evening with champagne (not pictured) and a demo of the Tefal Cuisine Companion, which made me feel like I was part of a studio audience of a live cooking show...

This was followed by a quick Q&A session



Next, we went next door to a massive kitchen where we each had a Tefal Cuisine Companion to play with. They gave us each a recipe to cook with, with all the ingredients measured out in tiny bowls (like you see in old school cooking shows). NOT TO MENTION, we were told before we started that we didn't need to do any washing at all during our cook (we had to wash our bowls in between) because they had people on standby to do all of that for us. Whoaaaa??

Wowsers, I must say that this was a luxury that I couldn't help but feel slightly guilty about, standing back and letting someone do the washing whenever I needed. I was wondering if the Tefal Cuisine Companion came with a full time kitchen hand to do my dishes at home too?



After we all finished our cooks, we then proceeded to the dining hall where they had this beautiful table set up ready and waiting for us... 


We were given 2 recipes that evening. The first, was this stunning Summer Risotto with lots of sun-dried tomatoes and basil... Deeelish. And so easy to make.



Then, we also made a simple cheesecake, which again was tasty and easy to make with the Cuisine Companion.

The whole event was really pleasant from start to finish and I'm so glad to be able to see some familiar faces from the blogging community and also get to meet new ones that night too. 

After we wrapped up the evening, we were each given our Tefal Cuisine Companion to take home. Again, it felt kinda cool in some ways because that night, we got to use and was also given something that was not available to the public yet.


Using the Tefal Cuisine Companion 

SO... I've had the Tefal Cuisine Companion a few weeks now and must say that I am honestly in LOVE with it. It really is just as easy to use as I had hoped or imagined. Cooking for me have honestly been made so much easier (as I have shared the predicament that I face above) and I know everyone keeps saying this, but I really, really, really like the fact that I can just dump a bunch of ingredients in the bowl, press a few buttons and just WAIT for it to be cooked without having to lift a finger. It's just something that you've really got to experience for yourself.  This really eliminates the need to stand over a stove, watch the pan and stir constantly.

It's just time I get to use to clean other parts of my kitchen or simply rest in front of the TV after a long day's work. It's great. And all I need to do later is just enjoy my food and clean the plate I ate it with and also the bowl itself. Too damn easy. And clean. The other thing I liked about using the Tefal Cuisine Companion is that cooking with it is such a CLEAN process compared to cooking over a stove where I often get splatter and need to wipe down the wall, the grills for the stove and also the stove itself when I'm done. Again, this is another convenient and time saving benefit which I appreciate.

This product really has solved a big problem I had in my life (as I've outlined above) and I am just so grateful that I can have some freshly homecooked meals at the end of a work day because of it. And even if it isn't necessarily quicker to make the same dishes over a stove, it sure as hell is easier (because you just dump it all in a bowl) and cleaner (yay for not having to clean the kitchen after you cook!). LOVE IT. I've used it so many times since I've got it and in fact, I just realised that I've actually used my Cuisine Companion 7 times in the past week alone. I swear, as long as you have it permanently sitting on your benchtop, you will find yourself using it a lot like I do. Each machine comes with a cookbook which contains SO many recipes, which you will find very handy to use too.

Prior to this, there's a few kitchen appliances which I own already like a food processor ($350), slow cooker ($80), blender ($180), stick blender ($50) and a cake mixer ($700). I can tell you now, none of these gets used as much as I thought I would and now that I own the Cuisine Companion, it PAINS me so much to say that after having spent all that money, I am very certain that all of these appliances will continue to gather a lot of dust. The other annoying thing is that my kitchen is small enough as it is and these appliances are now just taking up space. The cuisine companion really is one of those appliances that you will find yourself using quite often, which makes it quite a good investment, if you ask me. Especially if you are moving into a new home and haven't bought any appliances yet, this single machine really is all you need. Think of how much room you'll be saving too.

Product Review: Tefal Cuisine Companion versus Thermomix

I guess the next million dollar question which most people immediately asks after hearing about this product: "How does the Tefal Cuisine Companion compared to the Thermomix?". Now that I own the Cuisine Companion and having used the Thermomix several times at cooking demos and also borrowing my friends' ones to use in the past, there is definitely some noticeable differences. 

First, I must say that the final product or foods made with both appliances taste the same. 
BUT, it is for the following reasons that make me like the Cuisine Companion more than the Thermomix (and I am being very honest when I say this):

- I find the interface for the Cuisine Companion more clear, intuitive and easy to use (my sister thought so too when she used it for the first time even without watching demos or reading articles etc)
- The lid is transparent (which means you can see your food getting cooked)
- Bowl is bigger (which is very good for me because I like to cook in bulk and I do find the Thermomix's bowl to be too small)
- Price is CHEAPER (quite significantly too, as it retails for AU$1,699 compared to the Thermomix's price of AU$2,000)
- Quieter than the Thermomix
- Available through retail distrubution (at Harvey Norman) or overnight shipping (compared to having to place an order for it online or hosting a demo at your place before waiting a few weeks to arrive)

Like I said, the final food that you put on the plate from both machine tastes the same but it's the little things like that above that makes a difference... Plus, the other reason why I was really excited about the fact that Tefal was coming out with their own version of the Thermomix is because I have always been a fan of Tefal. And all my friends know it, they really do. They've heard me talk about how happy I've been with the Tefal stuff that I bought over the years and how I like it more than many other brands in the market. Their products are all made in France and are always very reliable and durable compared to the other brands I own. In fact, my friends came over for dinner a few weeks ago, took a look around my kitchen and noticed all the Tefal products I had scattered around and even they went "Wow, Winston, you really do like Tefal don't you?". Why yes, I do... 

That's why if I had to go with another competitive Thermomix product by a different brand, I sure as hell would go with Tefal. They've been good to me for so many years and I trust the brand a lot. This is me talking from my past experience with them and not from the fact that I was "just given" a Tefal product and have only "just become a fan" of them. Nope.

Anyway, as you can see I am quite happy with the Tefal Cuisine Companion. To be honest, I would've personally gone and bought this product myself if someone told me about it as we were just about to spend even more money on a Thermomix anyway (glad we didn't). And, again, because this is Tefal and not some random brand which I've never heard of. I am even happier and grateful that they chose me to collaborate with them because I couldn't have hoped for a better brand or product to work with. 

Oh, and you've gotta make this Lemon & Lime Curd if you do get one. It's so damn easy and tasty. I've gotten so many compliments for it that I've made another batch and even that is almost gone now.


Simply delicious


This curd is so addictive I highly recommend you try!


Friend snapped this sneaky photo of me and I didn't even know hah


Love the look of it too




Lemon & Lime Curd Tart Recipe

(Adapted from a recipe from the Tefal Cuisine Companion menu book)

Click here to print the recipe

Ingredients

For the pastry:
200g butter (chilled and cubed)
250g plain flour
125ml sour cream
Pinch of salt

For the lemon & lime curd:
3 eggs
150g sugar
20g corn starch
500ml milk
90ml lemon juice
90ml lime juice

Method

1. To make the pastry, fit the bowl with the kneading/crushing blade. Add in all the ingredients into the bowl and press the pastry program. When finished, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to about 3mm thick. Place at the bottom of a tart pan (or muffin tin). Trim off the edges. Place a piece of baking paper over the pastry and place some dried beans/uncooked rice/baking beads on top. Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes before removing the baking paper with beans/rice/baking beads and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove to cool on a wire rack until ready for use.

3. To make the curd, place the eggs and sugar in the bowl fitted with the mixer. Mix at speed 6 for 1 minute.

4. Add the cornstarch, milk, lemon juice and lime juice and launch the dessert program at 90°C at speed 5 for 12 minutes, without the stopper.

5. Transfer the curd into jars or ramekins. Cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge for at least 3 - 4 hours. Place some curd in the tart and enjoy.