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Dani Valent Gets In The Mix

For many Melbournites, the name “Dani Valent” conjures up images of quirky quips and restaurant run-downs in her role as reviewer for The Age as well as other local publications. However, to the rest of the world, Dani is best known as the poster girl for 21st Century gadgetry – namely, the Thermomix.

Her love affair with The Mix is no secret, having penned 2 of THE BEST (in my opinion) recipe books for using the machine, collating recipes from some of the world’s top chefs and thermophiles, along with her own creations.

More importantly, Dani Valent is also a Prahran Market shopper, regularly making trips to her favourite stalls, including 53°East for spices and nuts, Pino’s Fine Produce (where John helps her daughters Ruth and Tess develop their hand-eye coordination by tossing fruit at them) and Gary’s Quality Meats.

Dani chose a dinner party menu, to demonstrate the Thermomix, to a packed-out Market crowd. The grissini (breadsticks) can be served as people arrive and the gazpacho makes a quirky summery entree. The beef rotolo is an impressive but easy main course and the spicy chilli cherry ripe is an exotic and exciting way to finish.

Grissini with Apricot and Cardamom Paste

Caroline Velik

Apricot and cardamom paste

150 grams dried apricots
2 cardamom pods, seeds only
40 grams sugar

  1. Place the apricots, cardamom and 50 grams of water in the TM bowl.
  2. Chop for 8 seconds/speed 8, then scrape down.
  3. Add the sugar and cook for 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 2. Blitz for 10 seconds/speed 6. Scrape down and repeat if necessary to form a coarse paste.


500 grams baker’s flour
a pinch of sugar
25 grams fresh yeast, or 1 sachet dried yeast
2 teaspoons salt
120 grams poppy seeds
80 grams olive oil, plus extra to brush the grissini
300 grams warm water

  1. Place the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, poppy seeds, olive oil and water in the TM bowl. Mix for 6 seconds/speed 6. Knead for 2 minutes/Interval speed.
  2. Tip the dough onto a silicon mat or into an oiled bowl. Wrap or cover and allow to rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  4. Once risen, press the dough with your fingers to form a rough rectangle shape, approximately 20cm x 30cm.
  5. Spread the apricot and cardamom paste all over the dough. Fold the dough in half to enclose the paste. Cut the dough into 3 pieces, then cut each third into 10 strips. Stretch each strip into a 20cm finger and twist it a couple of times.
  6. Place on a baking tray, brush with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

Watch the Video featuring Dani Valent and Alice!

Strawberry Gazpacho with Tomato and Chevre Salad

Henrique Sá Pessoa, Portugal


Time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill gazpacho. Serves 6-8

250 grams strawberries, hulled
30 grams onion, peeled
90 grams red capsicum
90 grams cucumber, peeled and
seeds scraped away
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
40 grams olive oil
sugar, to taste
10 ice cubes
salt flakes and black pepper, to taste


  1. Place strawberries, onion, red capsicum, cucumber, garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil in the TM bowl.
  2. Blitz for 1 minute/speed 10. Taste for sweetness and add a little sugar, if desired, along with the ice cubes, salt flakes and black pepper. Blend for another 1 minute/speed 10.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

To Serve:

10 red cherry tomatoes
10 yellow cherry tomatoes
salt flakes and black pepper, to taste
20 grams olive oil
6 basil leaves
100 grams chèvre (fresh goat’s cheese)

  1. Cut the red and yellow cherry tomatoes in half and place in a bowl. Toss with salt flakes, black pepper and olive oil.
  2. Finely slice the basil leaves and gently mix through. Place a small amount of tomato salad on each plate and top with thin slices of the chèvre. Serve the chilled gazpacho alongside the salad.

Beef Rotolo by Dani Valent

Dani Valent

This rolled beef dish is easy enough to serve for a mid-week meal and pretty enough to present at a dinner party. Steak is rolled with pesto and steamed in the Varoma over stock, which is then the base for a mustard sauce.

Clingwrap keeps the beef rotolo neat and trim, but a toothpick does a reasonable job, too. If preparing ahead, the beef can be filled and rolled in the morning and steamed in the evening. Roast capsicum and olives are also lovely rolled inside the beef.

Time: 1 hour. Serves 6


2 cloves garlic, peeled
100 grams parmesan, cut into 3cm cubes
1 bunch basil leaves (about 40 grams)
60 grams pine nuts
50 grams olive oil, plus extra for frying
salt flakes

  1. Place 1 garlic clove and the parmesan in the TM bowl and chop for 8 seconds/speed 8.
  2. Add basil, pine nuts, olive oil and a pinch of salt flakes. Blend for 5 seconds/speed 5.
  3. Scrape down and mix for 10 seconds/speed 4.
  4. Add more olive oil, and mix again on speed 4, if a runnier consistency is preferred. Set pesto aside.


20 grams currants
30 grams pine nuts
1 shallot or 1/2 onion, peeled and quartered
50 grams butter
500 grams beef stock
18 small potatoes (3 per person)
200 grams porterhouse steak per person
black pepper, to taste
1 bunch of broccolini, trimmed
20 grams plain flour
20 grams port or red wine (optional)
2 teaspoons grain mustard
20 grams Dijon mustard
red chilli, sliced (optional)

  1. Soak the currants in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain. Toast the pine nuts in the TM bowl for 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1, or in a dry pan, until lightly golden. Set aside.
  2. Place the remaining garlic clove and shallot or onion in the TM bowl and chop for 2 seconds/speed 5.
  3. Scrape down and add half of the butter. Sauté for 2 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1. Place the beef stock in the TM bowl. Put potatoes into the Varoma dish and set in place. Cook for 25 minutes/Varoma/speed 2.
  4. Trim fat from the steaks and pound to about 5mm thick; either use a meat mallet or place the steak between two layers of clingwrap and pound with a rolling pin. Season steaks with salt flakes and black pepper. Spread one side of the steak with pesto and sprinkle with the currants and pine nuts, leaving a 1cm perimeter around the edge. Roll steaks and secure with a toothpick. Alternatively, roll steaks inside large sheets of clingwrap to make firm sausage shapes and tie clingwrap at both ends.
  5. Place on Varoma tray (or, if cooking later, set aside in the refrigerator).
  6. Place Varoma tray with beef in place above potatoes and cook for 3 minutes/Varoma/speed 2. Add the broccolini and cook for a further 5 minutes/Varoma/speed 2. When time has elapsed, check if potatoes are cooked. If they are, set beef, potatoes and broccolini aside to keep warm. If potatoes need more time, set beef and broccolini aside and cook potatoes for another 5 minutes/Varoma/speed 2. Remove Varoma once potatoes are cooked.
  7. Add plain flour, remaining butter, port or red wine and the grain and Dijon mustards to the beef stock remaining in the TM bowl. Cook for 4 minutes/100 degrees/speed 4/MC off, with the TM basket resting on the TM lid, or until sauce has thickened. Adjust seasoning.
  8. Remove clingwrap or toothpick from beef. If desired, brown the beef rolls in a little oil in a frypan over moderate heat. Slice each roll into 3 to 5 pieces. Serve with potatoes, broccolini, mustard sauce, and red chilli slices, if desired.

Chilli Cherry Ripe

Dani Valent
Dark chocolate and chilli are good friends and I love to get them together in this easy chocolate slab. I use sour cherries when I can for the lovely lip-puckering dimension they bring to this treat.

Time: 15 minutes, plus 1-2 hours to set. Serves 10

500 grams dark chocolate pieces
130 grams dried sweet or sour cherries
40 grams desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon chilli flakes, or to taste

  1. Place the dark chocolate pieces in the TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 8.
  2. Heat the chocolate for 8 minutes/50 degrees/speed 1, stopping to scrape down as necessary to ensure all the chocolate is melted. Stir without heat for 1 minute (no heat), or until the temperature falls to 37 degrees.
  3. Add dried cherries, desiccated coconut and chilli flakes. Stir for 30 seconds/speed 2.
  4. Dark chocolate sets quickly, so it’s important to work swiftly, before it becomes too stiff.
  5. Tip mixture on to a lined baking tray and spread with the spatula. Set aside in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

Recipes from In the Mix: Great Thermomix Recipes & In the Mix 2: More Great Thermomix Recipes by Dani Valent, available from Essential Ingredient and

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