We ask In the Mix 2 author Dani Valent why we should buy her book.
GT: Why should we buy your book?
DV: Because you have a Thermomix and you want to make more exciting food with it. "Surely there's more to this baby than risotto, hummus and soup", you think, perhaps a little desperately. Because you admire chefs such as Elena Arzak, Christina Tosi, Massimo Bottura, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Mark Best and Ben Shewry, all of whom have contributed Thermomix recipes to the book, along with other top chefs around the world. Or perhaps because you're sceptical about the whole "Thermocult" and want to see if a robot really can make you an amazing dinner. (Well, it's not exactly a robot, but yes, it can.)
Where's the easiest place to start?
Hit page 240 for the guasacaca recipe. Gua-what? Gwa-sa-kah-kah! It's the spicy, zesty Venezuelan version of guacamole and you can make it in 15 seconds.
What if we're looking for a challenge - what's the toughest recipe?
Honestly, nothing's that tough when you've got a Thermomix, but I guess the one that scared me most was Darren Purchese's green-tea sponge. When he sent me the recipe, one of the requirements was a spray-gun to colour the cake. I opened and closed the document about six times, priced a spray-gun at Bunnings, then realised that if I was having so many conniptions about this recipe I had to pull it back a little for my readers. The result is still a sophisticated layer cake that entails baking, freezing and careful squidging of ingredients in two sizes of cake rings. Do-able? Yep. Worth it? Absolutely.
Do we need any specialised gear or ingredients to make the most of it?
Did I mention a Thermomix? It's a food processor that also cooks and you should check it out (no, I don't sell them or get a kickback, but if you have one you might buy my book). A few recipes employ a cream gun. I use a few spooky powders here and there - nothing too hard to find - and electric scales might help.
And what's the single best thing in it?
You mean which of my children do I love the most? Maybe I'll just talk about the cover dish, from a Gary Foulkes recipe (he's head chef at The Square in London). It's a blue-cheese bavarois with pickled radish jelly - a super-tasty composed salad, really easy, and I reckon that everyone at home will be able to make it look as pretty as the picture.
Any last thoughts to get us over the line?
There's a whole chapter devoted to cheese recipes, including a red-wine cheese slice from James "Jocky" Petrie, the former head chef of Heston Blumenthal's experimental kitchen.
In the Mix 2: More Great Thermomix Recipes by Dani Valent (Slattery Media Group, $60) is available from 1 November at the Thermomix website, Thermomix consultants, The Essential Ingredient (currently in Melbourne only) and Books for Cooks.