Apricot Rock Cakes

Apricot Rock Scones
It’s great when a friend shares a good recipe with you. And even better when she has already written notes on how to to convert for the Thermomix too! Win! (Thanks Penny)

I have happy memories of making rock cakes as a child with my Nanna. They are a good simple recipe to prepare with children who are learning to cook, and older children would probably be able to whip these up on their own.

This version is a little different to the traditional rock cakes my Nanna used to make, they have dried apricots to add sweetness instead of currants.  Which is good if you have fussy little (or big!) eaters who don’t like the look or taste of sultanas or currants in baking. You can leave the lemon rind out if you also have fussy rind eaters. The Thermomix does a pretty good job of chopping the rind very finely though, so they might not even notice 😉

These are a good lunchbox snacks and freeze well, but are extra delicious eaten warm.

Apricot Rock Cakes
 
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Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 250g wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75g butter
  • 75g sugar
  • 125g dried apricots
  • Rind of half a lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 80g milk
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Put lemon rind into the mixing bowl and grate 10 seconds, speed 8. Remove from bowl and set aside.
  4. Add apricots to the bowl and chop 5 seconds, speed 6. Set aside.
  5. Place butter, flour, mixed spice and baking powder to bowl and combine for 5 seconds, speed 6.
  6. Add sugar. lemon rind and apricots to the mixture and combine for a further 15 seconds, reverse, speed 2.
  7. Add the egg and milk and mix 20 seconds, reverse speed 2.
  8. Roughly dollop spoonfuls of mixture onto prepared tray, don't worry if they are not perfect. Rustic is good!
  9. Bake at 200 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until golden on top.
  10. Cool on an airing rack, before serving

 

Pumpkin Scones

PumpkinScones copy
This is an old favourite. Just good old fashioned simple baking. My mum used to make these for my lunchboxes when I was a kid, and I make them now for my children. This is my Mum’s recipe that I have converted for the Thermomix. But it is very simple to make with a bowl and wooden spoon too, just a little extra elbow grease required.
I have never made them in traditional scone shapes (by rolling the dough and cutting them out) I always make them by dolloping the mixture on the tray – free form style!

You will need 1 cup (225g) of cooled cooked pumpkin for this recipe. So steam ahead and let it cool in the fridge. If you have an oversupply of pumpkin cook it and freeze it in portioned batches and then you can defrost it to use when you need it. I use my Thermo to steam the pumpkin, but you can also use the microwave or stove top.

They are delicious  served straight away while still warm,  with butter (and jam!) or they also freeze really well. Sometimes I slice and butter them before  freezing, so they are ready to go. Sometimes I just freeze them and add them to lunchboxes with no spread at all. Depends how much of a rush I am in!

Pumpkin Scones
 
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Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 60g butter at room temperature
  • 45g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 225g (1 cup) cold cooked and mashed pumpkin
  • 300g SR flour
Method
  1. Line two baking trays with baking paper and pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Add butter and sugar to the Tmx bowl and combine at speed 6, 5 seconds.
  3. Add egg and then pumpkin, mix speed 6 for 2 seconds. Scrape the sides down then mix for a further 5 seconds (at the same speed 6)
  4. Add sifted flour and combine speed 5, 10 seconds.
  5. Dollop tablespoonfuls of mixture on prepared trays.
  6. Bake at 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes. This will vary in individual ovens, so check after 10 minutes. They are cooked when they are firm and just started to turn golden.
Notes
This is how I cook pumpkin in the Thermo:
Cut 600g of pumpkin into 2-3cm cubes and place in the Varoma tray ensuring there is enough room for steam to come through the vents. Fill the Tmx bowl to the 1L mark and place varoma into position. Cook for 20 minutes on varoma setting, speed 3. Once cooked, empty water from the bowl and place pumpkin inside. Chop for 10 seconds on speed 8.
You can cook up to 1kg of raw pumpkin using this method. This will of course yield more than the 1 cup required for this recipe but you can freeze the leftovers for another day.

Muesli Slice

MuesliSlice copy
Another lunchbox winner.
This is cooked as a slice but the finished texture is quite light and cake like. It freezes well and the kids enjoy it in school lunches – just be mindful that if your school is nut free make sure you choose a muesli that has no nuts added.
I actually like this recipe as it is a good way to use up the last of the muesli that seems to get left and sit in the bottom of the box untouched!

 

Muesli Slice
 
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Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 20 slices
Ingredients
  • 220g natural un-toasted muesli
  • 160g SR flour
  • 95 dried apricots
  • 70g sultanas
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 180g butter
  • 60g honey
  • 2 eggs
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 16 cm x 26 cm slice tin.
  2. Place apricots and sultanas in bowl and chop speed 6, 4 seconds.
  3. Remove from bowl and set aside.
  4. Place butter, honey and sugar into the bowl and heat 100 degrees, 2 minutes, speed 1.
  5. Add all other ingredients into the honey mixture and combine reverse, speed 5, 25 seconds until well mixed.
  6. Pour into prepared tin and bake 30-35 minutes until firm and golden on top.
  7. Allow to cool before slicing.

 

Zucchini & Feta Slice

ZucchiniFeta copy
Zucchini slice is such a well known and loved recipe. I doubt this is a new to most of you, but I have added it here to the blog in case you are yet to try it in the Thermo or are looking for a slightly different version.

This recipe with feta and sun-dried tomato is a bit of a change from the usual bacon and onion combination. The feta gives it a nice texture and slightly salty contrast to the sweetness of the tomatoes. If you don’t like sun-dried tomatoes you can substitute them for fresh, or leave them off altogether, and it will still taste great (one of my daughters does not like tomato so I always make this with a ‘tomato-free’ section on the corner!) Use fresh herbs if you have them, you can really taste the difference.  I usually grab a handful of parsley from the garden but you could try other herbs such as basil or chives, just use whatever you have.
This is great for lunch on a weekend, dinner (with a salad), or sometimes I make it and freeze in slices for lunchboxes. Very versatile and good for when you are after a meat-free option.

If you don’t have a Thermomix  you can prepare this using a food processor or by grating the ingredients by hand. The Thermomix  just makes the whole process a whole lot quicker!

Zucchini & Feta Slice
 
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Recipe type: Meat Free Meals
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 100g cheddar cheese
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 large zucchini, washed, ends cut off, cut into large chunks (don't peel)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 100g feta
  • 160g self raising flour
  • 50g light flavoured oil (I use sunflower)
  • 5 eggs
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
Method
  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees and grease a large baking dish (mine is 30cm x 20cm)
  2. Grate cheddar cheese speed 6 for 6 seconds.
  3. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add onion, zucchini and parsley to the bowl and chop 5 seconds speed 5.
  5. Add the flour and grated cheese with oil and eggs to the bowl and combine together 5 seconds, reverse speed 5-6.
  6. Pour the mixture into prepared baking dish and crumble the feta over the top. Add thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes if you like also.
  7. Bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes until golden brown on top and the mixture is set (check to see if it wobbles)

 

Chicken & Corn Sausage Rolls

ChickenCornSR copy
These are so quick to make and a tasty little snack for parties, entertaining, lunch, anything! The chicken and corn combination offers something a bit different to a traditional sausage roll filling. These are nice served with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream. But according to my kids, good old tomato sauce is good too!
You can make your own chicken mince instead of using shop purchased mince –  simply chop 500g chicken breasts into chunks and and mince in the Thermomix for 8-15 seconds at speed 7 before starting.

 

Chicken & Corn Sausage Rolls
 
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Recipe type: Savoury Snacks
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 100g cheddar cheese
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 50g (1/2 cup) breadcrumbs
  • 200g creamed corn
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 3 sheets puff pastry
  • Milk to seal pastry and lightly beaten egg to brush on the top
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Lay pastry sheets out to defrost on bench
  3. Add cheese to Tmx bowl and grate speed 6, 8 seconds
  4. Add chicken, breadcrumbs, corn and thyme and mix speed 5, 10 seconds
  5. Cut each pasty sheet in half, divide the mixture evenly between the halved pastry sheets and spread along the edge of each sheet. Roll up and seal the edges with milk brushed on. Cut into sections (as large or as small as you like) brush beaten egg on the top of each roll and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if you like (optional)
  6. Place the rolls on baking trays lined with baking paper, and bake in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

 

Pikelets

pikelets copy
There is nothing fancy about pikelets but they sure do taste great. I am sure most of you have made them at least once before.  They are great for feeding little tummies :)
This is the recipe my mum has used forever, she gave it to me, and I have used it forever! If you have time let the batter sit in the fridge for a while before you cook them, this makes the batter a bit thicker and the pikelets turn out a bit fluffier.
They freeze really well too (if you can save some!) just separate them with layers of baking paper or they will stick together in a pikelet block!

Pikelets
 
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Recipe type: Basics
Serves: 20 pikelets
Ingredients
  • 150g SR flour
  • 1 egg
  • 30g (2 Tbsp) sugar
  • 180g milk (or buttermilk is even better if you have some)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Butter for cooking
Method
  1. Place all ingredients (except butter) into the Tmx bowl and mix speed 5, 30 seconds. You might need to scrape the sides down after 15 seconds.
  2. Heat a frypan on low to medium heat on cooktop.
  3. Melt a teaspoon of butter and place tablespoons of batter into the pan, once the batter starts to bubble turn it over and cook the other side. When the second side is golden brown remove from the frypan.
  4. Continue until all of the batter is used up. I can fit 4-5 at a time into my pan.
  5. These freeze really well. the mixture can be doubled.
Notes
Place the cooked pikelets into your Thermoserver (line with paper towel) to keep them warm after cooking.

 

Muesli Bars (Nut Free)

MuesliBarsI have to hide these in the back of the freezer to stop my kids (and husband) eating them all at once. I think that is a good indicator of how yummy they are.
This was a recipe that my demonstrator gave me when I purchased my Thermomix, I have adapted it slightly from the original and made it many many times since.
It is nut free, so suitable for school lunchboxes, and freezes really well.
To prevent the bars being crumbly once cooked, use a very generous tablespoon of honey, and press the mixture down very firmly into the tin (I use the back of my MC to do this).
I cut the slice into bars, but you can also cut into squares for smaller portions.
This is definitely one to try for yourself – they taste so much better than anything you can buy from the shops.

Muesli Bars (Nut Free)
 
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Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 16 bars
Ingredients
  • 30g pepitas
  • 40g sunflower seeds
  • 5 dried apricots
  • 10 dates
  • 125g butter
  • 100g raw sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 95g rolled oats
  • 95g rice bubbles
  • 35g sesame seeds
  • 20g shredded coconut
Method
  1. Grease a slice tin and line with baking paper, extending above the sides.
  2. Place pepitas, sunflower seeds, apricots and dates into Tmx. Chop speed 6, 7 seconds.
  3. Remove from the bowl and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter, sugar and honey together at 90 degrees, 4 minutes, speed 1.
  5. Add all other ingredients including the seed/apricot/date mix and combine reverse speed 3, 30-40 seconds, scrape sides down part way through if needed.
  6. Press the mixture into the tin (use the back of the MC to press it down).
  7. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes - but watch them closely, they can go from cooked to over-cooked very quickly!
  8. Let cool in tin and then remove and slice into bars.
  9. These freeze really well.

 

Date & Oat Balls

Date&OatBallsI have quite a few fruit and nut ball recipes on the blog. They are a great snack to have in the fridge and a good alternative to cake or biscuits when I am craving something a bit sweet. I have had a few attempts at this recipe, but think I have finally nailed it. The original version of this had nuts included, but I have replaced them with sunflower seeds so that my kids can take them to school (our school has a nut-free policy but seeds are permitted. Check with your own school to clarify their policy on seeds).  The addition of oats means that they are not as sweet as some of my other recipes, and it also bulks the recipe out to a large quantity, making these ones cheaper to make.

You can use cocoa instead of cacao – but cacao definitely gives a better taste.

My other ball recipes are here:
Date, Coconut & Chia Balls
Fruit Balls (nut free)
Power Balls

Date & Oat Balls
 
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Recipe type: Balls and Raw Treats
Serves: 24-35
Ingredients
  • 110g rolled oats
  • 35g sunflower seeds
  • 35g chia seeds
  • 35g shredded coconut
  • 400g pitted dates (dried or medjool)
  • 1 Tbsp cacao
  • 2 tsp vanilla (paste, essence or extract)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2-3 Tbsp cold water
Method
  1. Place all ingredients except water into the Tmx bowl and process speed 7, 20 seconds.
  2. Open lid, scrape sides down, add water if needed (to help bind and moisten the mix) and process for a further 20 seconds, slowly increasing speed from 1-9. Your machine will be working at close to full capacity so gently increase speed and stop and scrape sides down if needed.
  3. Open lid and check mixture. It should look a bit like coarse sand clump together easily.
  4. Depending on whether you have used medjool or dried dates you may need to process for a further 10-15 seconds. Add more water if required.
  5. Wet your hands and roll into balls. This makes a lot of balls, 24 large ones or 35+ smaller ones.

 

Blueberry Muffins

BlueberryMuffins copyThe colour of blueberries is almost as appealing as the taste! Just be careful if your children are eating these – the blueberries can stain clothing! This recipe makes a large batch, either 12 jumbo sized muffins or 18 regular sized ones.  I keep frozen berries in the freezer all the time, they are good to have on hand for baking or to use in smoothies. If you don’t have blueberries you could also use strawberries , raspberries or a mixed berry combination. Just keep the quantity the same.

Blueberry Muffins
 
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Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 12-18
Ingredients
  • 50g butter
  • 75g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 160g milk or buttermilk
  • 90g natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla (essence, paste or extract)
  • 330g SR flour
  • 20g dried apple
  • 160g frozen blueberries
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, line a muffin tray with muffin cases. I have an 18 hole muffin tin that I use for this recipe, if you are using a 12 hole tin use large cases if possible, or cook over two batches.
  2. Weigh the dried apple into the Tmx bowl and chop by turbo pulsing a few times. Remove from the bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to the Tmx bowl and melt 100 degrees, speed 1, 2 minutes.
  4. Add all other ingredients except blueberries and dried apple and mix 20 seconds, speed 4-5.
  5. Add apple and blueberries and combine until just mixed through, reverse, speed 1, 10 seconds (use spatula to help mix through if needed)
  6. Spoon into prepared muffin cases and bake in 180 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Notes
This is a very thick batter to work with, but the finished texture of the cooked muffin is lovely. You may find it easier to fold the berries through the mixture by hand, with a soft spatula, rather than use the Thermomix (step 5).

 

ANZAC Slice

ANZACSliceIt was back to school this week for my kids, so quite a lot of lunchbox baking took place over the weekend to re-stock the freezer. This variation of good old ANZAC biscuits  is a favourite  and it freezes really well. It is it quick to make, doesn’t need icing, and the finished texture is nice and chewy and soft. I slice it and store it separated with layers of baking paper in the freezer.

 

ANZAC Slice
 
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Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 10-16 slices
Ingredients
  • 130g plain flour
  • 90g rolled oats
  • 65g desiccated coconut
  • 150g butter
  • 120g golden syrup
  • 75g brown sugar
  • ½ tsp bicarb soda
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a slice tin with baking paper - extending above the long sides slightly. My tin measures 17 x 28cm.
  2. Add butter, golden syrup and sugar to the Tmx bowl and melt 100 degrees, 3 minutes, speed 1.
  3. Add bicarb soda to melted butter mixture and combine speed 3, 5 seconds.
  4. Add all other ingredients and mix together reverse, speed 2, 20 seconds.
  5. Press into prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes until golden on the top and the edges are just coming away from the sides of the tin.
  6. Let cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then lift out of the tin (use the baking paper to lift it out).
  7. Cut into 10 bars, or 16 squares.
Notes
This is quite a sweet recipe. You can reduce the sweetness by reducing the sugar to 35g.