Some people dream of a beautiful pair of shoes or a gorgeous leather bag but if you’re anything like me and your passion is baking, there’s really nothing better than a brand spanking new kitchen gadget with ALL the bells and whistles. Ok, I’ll take the shoes and bags but no kidding when a Tefal Cuisine Companion arrived on my doorstep I really couldn’t have been more excited.
The arrival was perfect timing as our friends were visiting us for the weekend and I needed to put together a menu that I knew everyone would enjoy and that wouldn’t be too time-consuming. I often put off cooking or baking certain things due to not having the appropriate equipment or the thought of dragging every single kitchen appliance I from the back of the cupboards to whisk, blend, chop and so on seems like a chore.
Plus my teens are not quite so keen on all the washing up that comes with that!
The Tefal Cuisine Companion is so much more than your standard food processor and eliminates the need for surplus kitchen gadgets and does, well, pretty much everything I need. Here’s a list in case you don’t believe me:
Tefal Cuisine Companion features:
The touch pad digital display has six automatic programmes that allow you to:
- Cook sauces
- Slow cook
- Make soup
- Prepare pastry
- Make desserts
Comes complete with the following accessories to suit every preparation:
- Ultrablade knife for mincing and chopping
- Kneading and grinding tool
- Mixer for dishes such as risotto and stew
- Whisk for perfect sauce and (the most heavenly) meringue
- and a steam basket
There is a manual mode feature that you can use to set your own speed (12 in total from delicate mixing to ultra-fast blending), temperature (increments of 5 degrees; 30°C – 130°C), cooking time (up to 2 hours). This function is incredibly easy to work and is as simple as switching the Tefal Cuisine Companion on, choosing which accessory you want to use, adding the ingredients to the large bowl and selecting the button/s.
Once I’d had a chance to familiarise myself with the Cuisine Companion and have a quick read through the instruction manual I opened up the accompanying 1 million menus booklet. No, that’s not a typo! The booklet can help you to devise so many different combinations. There are page tabs for starters, mains and desserts that you can flick through to your heart’s content and create your own special menu. It is simply genius!
Read on to see which recipes made the cut for my dinner party…
My menu for a three-course dinner with the Tefal Cuisine Companion:
Starter of Gourgeres (choux pastry with cheese)
Now usually, I would run a mile at the thought of making my own pastry, let alone choux pastry. I wasn’t at all sure how well they would turn out having never made this type of pastry before in my life but nothing ventured, nothing gained and I was out to impress…
- 80g butter
- 150g plain flour
- 4 eggs
- 150g grated cheese
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 250ml water
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Place 250ml water, the butter and salt in the bowl fitted with the kneading/grinding tool and turn on at speed 3 at 90 degrees for 8 minutes. Add the flour and mix at speed 6 for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl and wash the bowl in cold water to cool it down.
- Return the mixture to the bowl fitted with the kneading/grinding tool and turn on at speed 7. Add the eggs one by one and leave to work for 2 minutes. Add 120g of the grated cheese and the nutmeg and leave to work for a further 1 minute.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Using a spoon, place small heaps of the pastry on the tray. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
And just look how they turned out. I was so delighted with them and they didn’t even sink! We enjoyed them with an olive and salami platter to begin our meal.
Main course of Lamb Curry
- 800g lamb shoulder (boned)
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 60ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 250ml coconut milk
- 200g canned diced tomatoes
- 300ml chicken stock
- 50g granny smith apples
- pinch of salt
- Peel the garlic and onion and place in the bowl fitted with the ultrablade knife. Chop at speed 11 for 10 seconds.
- Replace the ultrablade knife with the mixer. Add the oil and curry powder into the bowl and launch the P1 slow cook program, at 130 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Cut the lamb into large cubes. After 5 minutes, add the lamb, coconut milk, diced tomatoes and stock, and season with salt. Launch the P2 slow cook program at 95 degrees for 45 minutes.
- Peel the apple and dice. At the end of cooking, serve immediately with the diced apple.
This has to be the simplest yet one of the tastiest curries I’ve ever made and I cook up a lot of ‘fakeaways’ in this house. I hardly had to do anything at all and the Cuisine Companion took care of everything for me which meant I had extra time to spend with my guests. I served this with basmati rice, poppadoms, mango chutney and a fresh tomato and red onion salad and it was divine the meat was so tender. It was also really nice heated up the following day.
Dessert of Lemon Meringue Pie
For the pastry:-
- 175g of plain flour
- 15g icing sugar
- 75g soft butter (room temp)
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp cold water
For the lemon filling:-
- 50g cornflour
- 300ml water
- zest of 2 lemons
- juice of 3 lemons (about 140ml)
- 3 egg yolks
- 125g caster sugar
For the meringue topping:-
- 4 egg whites
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cornflour
(For the pastry-make this first)
- Put flour, icing sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in the bowl fitted with the kneading/grinding tool. Mix at speed 10 for 1 minute. Add 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon cold water, then mix at speed 6 for 30 seconds until it just binds. Remove the dough and bring together to a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film then leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
(the rest of the recipe)
- Line a 20cm flan tin with pastry and bake blind for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 200 degrees. Remove beans; bake for further 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 170 degrees.
- Blend cornflour with 50ml of the water. Combine remaining water, cornflour mixture, zest and lemon juice in a saucepan. Simmer, stirring continuously, until thickens. Beat egg yolks and 125g sugar together, whisk into the pan until mixed. Set aside.
- Fit whisk, whisk egg white and sugar at speed 8 at 40 degrees for 1o minutes, without the cap. When the display shows 1 1/2 minutes gradually add the cornflour through the hole in the lid. Pour reheated hot filling into the pastry case. Spoon meringue on top and swirl into peaks, so there are no gaps.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the meringue is golden and crisp. Cool for 1 hour before serving.
Well, who doesn’t love lemon meringue pie? I made this after the Gourgeres on the morning of the dinner party and left it to chill in the fridge so I could just whip it out in a ”here’s what I made earlier” stylee. Our guests loved every single course as did the whole family and my first dinner party using the Tefal Cuisine Companion to help make everything perfect was an absolute triumph (if I do say so myself)
If you are reading this wondering if you should treat yourself to a Tefal Cuisine Companion then I recommend it to you in a heartbeat. This clever kitchen gadget is like an extra pair od hands in the kitchen and completely takes any stress out of cooking. For me, it means I can attempt more adventurous dishes, I can start baking bread from scratch and actually making my own pastry; something I have never attempted before now.
I am absolutely delighted with it and am excited at what I can bake next, so watch this space…
The Tefal Cuisine Companion can be found at John Lewis rrp £699.95
*All recipe credit to the incredible 1 million menus booklet
*Thank you to Tefal for gifting me with a Cuisine Companion in exchange for a feature here on the blog (you’ve made my kitchen dreams come true!)