According to press information, a staggering seven million devices have been sold worldwide in the meantime. The current model, the TM 31, has been available since 2004. Surprisingly, actually, because you don’t have the feeling of working with a 10-year-old device at all, in fact, it all still feels quite modern and coherent. The development from a stand mixer to a “high-tech accessory” began back in the 1960s, when Vorwerk first launched the VKM5, a universal kitchen machine. It combined seven functions, namely stirring, kneading, cutting, grating, mixing, grinding and juicing. Because in France (today as then, by the way), bound soups are among the favorite dishes, the then managing director of the French Vorwerk organization came up with the pioneering idea of further developing the VKM in the early 1970s. Initially, innovative heating mixers of the “VM series” emerged, with which it was already possible to heat liquids.
Today, the TM31 masters more than 12 functions such as cooking, steaming, stirring, weighing, mixing, chopping, grinding, kneading, blending, beating, controlled heating and emulsifying in one product. Its four blades chop ingredients step by step in clockwise rotation at up to over 10,000 rpm and a speed of 250 km/h. My car isn’t much faster either.
But I was warned. Many friends who like to work with their Thermomix make “fancy soups”, it’s all incredibly fast, you really only need one device, especially for the little kids you can “really great puree something”. Totally practical.
Of course, there are also the amateur cooks who like to work a little more complicated and can allow themselves the luxury of cooking less overall, especially much less efficiently. The Thermomix team has also compiled some recipes from German star chefs for them. And, seriously, of course, it is impossible to imagine professional catering without the Thermomix. Ultimately, however, no one there tries to prepare a whole dish, let alone an entire menu, in the miracle cauldron.
To familiarize myself a bit with the device, I tried my hand at the simplest recipes and gradually worked my way through the manual that came with it. There it says right at the beginning (probably unedited since 1975):
What am I cooking today? With this question millions of women go through the morning.
Homemade butter has always interested me. With the Thermomix and this recipe can be tried very well, the quality of the cream is crucial, however, and of course this is also not the wisdom of the last conclusion – but just an exciting experiment.
At the second attempt I made directly the cardinal mistake: Puree too long. Instead of grated pancakes á la grandma, I unfortunately mixed and fried a somewhat texture-poor mass. My mistake. However, the good Trappist beer and a delicious wild salmon quickly made this mishap forgotten.
Pizza is probably not the first idea for a Thermomix. On the other hand, yeast doughs, like doughs in general, are very easy to make and knead well and airy at the appropriate level. In addition, following this recipe, I pureed a strong base of oil, garlic and basil, spread it on the rolled out base first, then topped it with lightly mixed tomatoes and onions and plenty of buffalo mozzarella. Very tasty.
Actually, I love to prepare mashed potatoes quite classically by hand. However, I usually save myself the step of passing it in addition. Mixing usually doesn’t work, as anyone who has tried it knows. The recipe from the basic cookbook of the Thermomix produces no paste (good!) but also no culinary delight. Far too little milk and butter are processed in the process. Well, it may be a little easier and healthier for that…
How I have struggled during the asparagus months to prepare the perfect hollandaise for me. With quite different successes, the conventional process in the water bath is nevertheless very fascinating for the layman. True craftsmanship. The Thermomix promises this at the touch of a button, but at least according to the basic cookbook, it is only capable of producing an “Ungenuine Dutch Sauce”. However, this is certainly better than all the bag sauces from the supermarket – and is created in eight minutes without any effort – and certainly reproducible. Which was not always the case in my experiments in the water bath.
It’s a wide field and I’m looking forward to the further experimentation with the new colleague in the kitchen.