Tag Archives: Varoma

Orange marmelade

January is the season of the sour oranges or Seville oranges so it is the right time to make your orange marmelades. I found this recipe on the latest Thermomix newsletter for the UK and Irish customers and even though there are a lot of steps and waiting times, it is quite easy to follow and will yield excellent results. I had never made proper orange marmelade before but this promises to become a staple in our family!


Source: UK & Ireland Thermomix newsletter


750g water
350-370g Seville oranges or any bitter/sour oranges (I used 420g or 4 small oranges)
1 lemon (I omitted)
900g granulated sugar (I used jam sugar for a solid set)


  1.  Pour the water in the TM bowl and close the lid. Place the oranges and lemon in the Varoma dish and place on top of the lid (without the measuring cup). Steam for 40min/Varoma/speed 1 or longer until they start to look as if they are collapsing. Leave the steaming water in the bowl.
  2. Remove the Varoma and set it on the upturned Varoma lid to catch the drips. Leave uncovered for about 40 minutes to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop out the flesh, juice & pips with a tablespoon and add to the reserved steaming water. Set aside the skins to dry out a little.
  3. Cook the steaming water + orange/lemon pulp for 15 min/Varoma/speed 1, replacing the measuring cup with the internal basket to reduce.
  4. Blend everything 2min/speed 10 until smooth (this is not a classic way to make a marmelade but will give a really good set because you are keeping the seeds and tastes equally as delicious as the traditional method). Pour out and set aside, then wash and dry the TM bowl.
  5. When the bowl is cool, put the orange skins in and Turbo pulse very briefly 3 times to chop. Repeat with one or more brief pulses if you wish to have a finer cut or cut the skins by hand if you want a thick cut. Tip out the peel and reserve.
  6. Weigh in the reserved thick pulpy liquid from step 4, topping up with water to 750g. Add the sugar and reserved chopped peel.
  7. Cook 20 min/100C/speed 1, measuring cup OFF and internal basket on the lid. If the mixture boils up onto the lid, increase to speed  2 and decrease the temperature to 90C until the bubbles recedes, then bring back to 100C.
  8. Test for set by standing the TM bowl on the countertop; gently tip towards the spout (without pouring  out the marmelade) and stand the bowl upright again – if the mixture is sticky on the side of the TM bowl and bits of rind are sticking as well, you are at setting point. If not yet done, cook 3 min/Varoma/speed 1, with internal basket instead of the measuring cup and alternating the temperatures as per step 7. Repeat setting point test and add further cooking if necessary. Marmelade may take longer to reach setting point on a wet rainy day.
  9. To ensure the rind doesn’t float to the top of the jar, allow the marmelade to cool for 10 minutes before potting in warm sterilised jars (to sterilise your jars, bake them 10 minutes at 150C). Cover immediately, turn upside-down (this will seal the air to remove any remaining bacteria) for 10 minutes then turn back upright and leave to cool completely.

Duck with redcurrant sauce and crispy duck crackling

This recipe comes from Felicity Raines, head demonstrator in the UK, and it is wonderful for a dinner party. The duck cooks in the Varoma first, then the sauce is reduced in the bowl while the veg are steaming and the duck is resting. This dish can be doubled easily and be made in advance (see tips at the end of the recipe). It is so flavourful and delicious, you will be making this again and again!


Source: UK Thermomix


2 duck breasts, skin reserved (see step 9)
2 shallots, peeled and halved
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 good pinch fresh thyme leaves
20 g olive oil
5 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
50 g red wine
½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper
2 small or large duck breasts, skin removed (to serve 2 or 4 respectively)
30 g butter
60 g redcurrants if available plus a few sprigs for garnish (I didn’t have so used 2 apricots instead)
2 Tbsp redcurrant jelly


  1.  Chop the shallots, garlic and thyme with the oil for a 2 sec/Speed 7.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook 5 minutes/100°C/Speed 1.
  3. Mix in the vinegar, red wine, salt and pepper 10 seconds/Speed 3.
  4. Cut some baking parchment (not greaseproof or silicone paper) to fit the Varoma tray and up the sides, wet it and wring it out, and line the Varoma tray. Put in the duck breasts and pour the sauce mixture over them.DuckVaroma_001DuckVaroma_002
  5. Without washing the TM bowl, add a litre of water to it, place the covered Varoma on top and cook about 15 to 20 minutes/Varoma Temperature/Speed 2 until the middle of the breasts are pink but not raw. This timing is usually fine for small duck breasts; allow 30 to 35 minutes for large duck breasts and much more time for larger quantities – at least 40 minutes and keep checking them – you may also need to top up the steaming water with boiling water for steaming times longer than 40 minutes.
  6. Discard the steaming water and carefully pour all the sauce and duck juices into the TM bowl, leaving the duck to rest.
  7. Add the butter, redcurrants and jelly and reduce by cooking 10 to 20 minutes/Varoma/Speed Spoon/ Reverse Blade Direction. It should be concentrated and unctuous. Taste and add a little honey or sugar if you wish. If steaming vegetables at that stage, only do it for 5 or 7 minutes for asparagus/green beans as they take no time to cook.

    Sauce before reducing

    Sauce before reducing

  8. Purée on Speed 8 until desired consistency. The sauce can be sieved and returned to the TM bowl to heat through. Slice the duck diagonally and serve with the sauce. Decorate with small sprigs of redcurrants if you have them.
  9. I have reserved the duck skin and rubbed them with some salt and Chinese 5 spice, scored them on both sides with a sharp knife and pan fried them until crisp. I then cut into strips and served on the side. It adds a nice crispy texture to the dish and also a lovely Asian tone to the flavours.

Felicity’s Tip: If doing this recipe for a dinner party, it can all be done in advance. For 6 to 8 people use 6 to 8 small duck breasts and use 3 times the sauce ingredients. To reheat, pour a little red wine into a flat pan and very gently steam the duck breasts until warmed through but do not over cook. Slice the duck and serve with the sauce reheated in the TM.

Felicity’s Serving Suggestions: Serve with potato purée with chives, steamed asparagus, spinach with sultanas and pinenuts.

Janie’s Tip: When I make this recipe for 4 people, I use 2 large duck breasts and steam 800 g diced potatoes in the internal steaming basket while the duck is steaming. The potatoes will be cooked and tender after 15 to 20 minutes, then I remove them and set them aside while finishing off steaming the duck (usually another 10 to 15 minutes for 2 large duck breasts). Before Step 5 making the sauce, I quickly mash the potatoes using the TM recipe in Fast and Easy Cooking, then set them aside to keep warm (or you can do this and leave them in your second TM bowl if you have one). Steam some vegetables in the Varoma while you make the sauce Steps 5 and 6, then serve – a delicious meal, all done in your Thermomix!

Courgette salad

This month Supertoinette challenge was presented by Christine and perfectly suited the beautiful weather we are finally having: a salad. Not just any salad, a steamed courgette salad and with a sauce that makes all the difference. Indeed, it is using strong mustard and boiled eggs, the mustard bringing a powerful taste to the dressing and the eggs adding texture. I really enjoyed eating this salad (who would have thought about using courgettes in a salad?) and it looked just wonderful. I’ll be making this again for sure!


Source: Christine_43


Serves 2 people as a starter or 1 as a main dish

1 courgette
2 eggs
1 tbsp strong Dijon mustard
1 tbsp cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small shallot
Mini roasted peppers from a jar or black olives to add colour
Salt and pepper



  1. Thermomix:
    1. Place 500g water in the TM bowl.
    2. Place the 2 eggs in the internal basket and fit in the bowl.
    3. Cook 10 min/Varoma/speed 1.
    4. Meanwhile, wash the courgette and slice it thinly with a mandoline.
    5. Place in the Varoma and when the 10 minutes cooking are over, place the Varoma on the lid (leave the eggs in the basket) and cook for 5 min/Varoma/speed 1.
    6. Carefully remove the Varoma and set aside to cool.
    7. Lift the internal basket using the spatula hook and place in cold water to cool down.
  2. Non Thermomix:
    1. Boil the 2 eggs in a saucepan filled with cold water. When the water is boiling, count 7 minutes while continuing to boil and take out of the heat.
    2. Quickly dip the eggs in cold water to cool.
    3. While the eggs are boiling, thinly slice the courgettes with a mandoline if steaming. Steam until the courgettes are just softened but still bright green.
    4. If you don’t have a steamer, plunge the courgette in cold water and bring to the boil. Leave to boil for 8 to 10 minutes or until the courgette is soft when pricking with a knife.
    5. Take out of the water and leave to cool before cutting with a knife into slices.
  3. To make the dressing: peel and finely chop the shallot and place in cold water to soften the taste. Set aside.
  4. Take one boiled eggs, remove the shell and chop it finely with a knife.
  5. Mix the mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and oil together. Add the chopped egg and the drained shallot. Mix well. You can add chopped herbs if you like.
  6. Arrange the courgette slices on a serving plate. Peel the other eggs and arrange on the courgettes.
  7. Sprinkle with the dressing and some piquillos peppers or black olives if you wish.



Salmon Terrine

I hope you all had a great time at Christmas with your family!

Today, the recipe is another festive dish and it comes from Aja as part of the Supertoinette recipe challenge of the month. It was a very successful starter with a lovely balance of flavours between the lemony salmon terrine, the salty smoked salmon and the creamy and sweet sauce.

Source: Aja


Serves 6 as a starter (can easily be doubled)

200g smoked salmon
400g fresh salmon
25g lemon juice
Dill or chives
2 tbsp mayonnaise
60g cream
1 gelatine leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:
100g Philadephia
50g mayonnaise
1 tbsp ketchup
Salt and pepper to taste
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce


  1. Place the fresh salmon, cut into big chunks into the internal basket. Pour 500g water in the bowl, place the internal basket inside and cook for 12 min/100C/speed 1.
  2. Tip out and shred with a  fork and leave to cool down. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaf in cold water.
  3. Whip 50g cream in a separate bowl (for that quantity, I don’t use the Thermomix).
  4. Chop the dill or chives.
  5. Combine the chopped herbs, 2 tbsp of mayonnaise and the lemon juice. Mix in the cooked salmon.
  6. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
  7. Heat the remaining 10g of cream in a saucepan and add the soaked and drained gelatine leaf. Stir well until melted and leave to cool down for a couple of minutes.
  8. Then add this to the mayonnaise and salmon mix. Taste and add salt, pepper or more lemon juice if needed.
  9. Line ramequins dishes with cling film (or use individual silicone moulds) and line with the smoked salmon, cutting bits that hang out of the dish. Make sure there is no hole in the salmon lining.
  10. Pour the terrine in each dish/mould and cover with cling film.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (you can also make this the day before).
  12. Before serving, make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients.
  13. Turn each ramequin onto a serving plate and serve with the sauce, a sprig of dill or chive and cooked prawns for decoration.
  14. Note: I cooked the prawns myself using the varoma: I placed 500g of water in the bowl and heated it for 6 minutes/Varoma/speed 1. Meanwhile, I coated the raw prawns with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper. I placed them in the varoma and put the varoma on the bowl. I cooked them for 3 minutes/Varoma/speed 1 (I only had about 15 prawns so if you have more check after 3 minutes and add a couple of minutes more if needed). Don’t overcook the prawns! They are cooked when they are firm to the touch.

Roast beef cooked in the Varoma

This is a great way to cook roast beef as the meat stays juicy from the steam cooking. It is excellent served with mashed potatoes, and green beans.

(Source: UK Thermomix)


700g to 1kg beef roasting joint
Good quality sea salt
2 or 3 sprigs of rosemary
3 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1 glass red wine
700g water

  1. The day before, rub the beef with the salt and  spread the garlic and rosemary on the meat. Wrap in a piece of foil and leave to marinate overnight.
  2. On the day, take out the garlic and rosemary and set them aside.

    Step 1 - Marinade the beef overnight

  3. Brown the meat on all sides in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.
  4. Line the Varoma with a big piece of foil. Place the meat in the center and arrange the garlic and rosemary from the marinade around.

    Step 4 - Place the beef with the marinade and wine at the center of the foil

  5. Pour the wine on the meat.
  6. Wrap the beef and seal well but leave some room around it
  7. Put 700g of water in the bowl, close the lid and place the Varoma on top.
  8. For a 700g beef, cook for 35 minutes, Varoma temperature, speed 1 for a medium cooking. For a 1kg beef, cook it for 45 minutes. Add 10 minutes to these cooking times  for well done, remove 10 minutes for medium rare.
  9. If cooking vegetables, add them about 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time for greens (brocoli, green beans, asparagus…), cook at the same time as the beef for other vegs (carrots, potatoes…). Just place them in the Varoma around the beef parcel.
  10. Once cooked, leave the beef to rest for about 10 minutes in its parcel but away from the source of heat.
  11. I like to make a sauce with the cooking juices. Just re-use the frying pan you browned the beef in and carefully pour in the juices and cook on high heat until the sauce has reduced by half.
  12. Pour over the beef and vegetables and enjoy!

Blanquette de poulet (chicken stew in white sauce)

Blanquettes are traditionally made with pieces of stewing veal but it is almost impossible to find veal in Ireland so I used chicken breasts instead. The particularity of blanquettes is that the meat is poached (or steamed in this recipe) so as to keep its white colour. Also the sauce is white and is flavoured with lemon juice to add a bit of acidity to it. It is usually served with carrots, mushrooms and rice but in this recipe, we added some asparagus for a bit of additional colour.

Source: Thermomix book, “Aux goûts du monde”


1000g water
1 tsp salt
250g rice
150g carrots cut in 1 cm slices
150g mushrooms brushed clean
200g green asparagus
600g chicken breasts (4 breasts)
50g butter
50g flour
100g single cream
1 1/2 chicken stock cube
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
Parsley to garnish

  1. Put the water in the TM bowl. Add the internal basket and weigh in the rice. Wash the rice 10 sec speed 5
  2. Put the carrots, mushrooms and asparagus in the Varoma. Put the chicken breasts in the Varoma tray and cook 20 min, Varoma temperature, speed 1
  3. Take out the steaming basket using the spatula and set the rice aside in a dish in a warm place (season it with salt). Take out the asparagus and set aside in a warm place. Swap the chicken with the carrots/mushrooms (the vegetables in the Varoma tray and the chicken in the Varoma), add more water in the bowl if necessary and cook for 10 min, Varoma, speed 1
  4. Take out the vegetables and keep them warm (season with a little salt and pepper). Set aside the chicken on a plate. Pour out the cooking liquid in a jug and add the butter and flour to the TM bowl. Cook 3 min, 100C, speed 2
  5. Add 600g of the cooking liquid, the cream, the stock cubes and the Worcestershire sauce and cook for a further 4 min 30, 100C, speed 3
  6. While the sauce is cooking, cut the chicken breasts into  big chunks.
  7. Add the lemon juice to the sauce and mix 15 sec, speed 8
  8. Taste the sauce and season or add more lemon juice if necessary. Add the chicken chunks to the sauce and stir 1 min, speed spoon, 100C, reverse blade direction.
  9. Pour over the vegetables and stir. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with chopped parsley.