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Cooking manually with a Thermomix

Image of the Thermomix Basic cookbook and 3 of my recipe templates used for adapting

During a recent onsite class, I learned something (actually, I often do..). It reinforced the old saying that we “don’t know what we don’t know”. What’s more, is that I don’t know what my students and fellow bakers don’t know unless they ask. ??? So, watching and listening in onsite classes and in our Facebook Group is a learning experience for me – and I love learning.

I love running onsite classes or chatting with people in our Facebook group (and receiving comments in our online courses). I like learning about what I don’t know, as well as what other people don’t know. These are often opportunities for some research (you know, books, google, fellow bakers) and some old-fashioned recipe testing.

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

Recently, one of the students in my Muffin Course asked me.

“How do you sift in the Thermomix?”

This prompted me to ask her to explain because I wanted to know what made her ask. She said…

“Your recipe says to pop the first five ingredients into the TM with the lid and MC in place and sift to ensure everything is incorporated well (TM: 5 seconds/speed 5), then remove the ingredients from the bowl and set aside.”

Ahhh, I see. The first rule of Bake Club, apart from “What happens in Bake Club stays at Bake Club”, 🤣🤣🤣 is “read the whole recipe first” ??? The step was written in brackets after the text, but she hadn’t got that far (TM: 5 seconds/speed 5) is equivalent to sifting.

Then, later in the same onsite class, another student asked,

“Can you spend a few minutes with me to explain how you cook manually with my new TM6.”

Again, I never thought this was an issue until I started thinking about it. And it got me thinking a lot!?

I guess this last comment stems from this.

Suppose you’ve only ever had a TM6. Everything seems so foreign at the start. You love making recipes from Cookidoo because it’s so easy, and you’ve been making things for a while now. Then you get to thinking. I want to make that pasta sauce I used to make on the stovetop or that cake that I used to make in my stand mixer. How do you make them in your Thermomix?

Recipes that don’t explain what they’re doing don’t teach you anything unless you remember to flick that switch on in your brain and start examining what you’ve done at each stage to create a specific outcome (cause and effect, if you like). You’re entirely forgiven for not knowing how to cook manually when you first get your TM6; there seems to be so much to learn at the start. It’s easy to follow the recipes on Cookidoo by clicking next, next and next. I mean, that’s why most of us love it. It’s so quick and easy, and you don’t have to think.

So here’s the thing. I never realised that I write most of my TM recipes explaining “why” and adding the steps as “sift the ingredients. (5 seconds/speed 5)”; maybe the words need to change to “sift the dry powders in the Thermomix by setting for 5 seconds/speed 5”.

Moving forward, I will make a more conscious effort to write my recipes for my classes and online courses, with a bit more explanation as I have for my recent Online Muffin Course. Explaining what we’re trying to achieve at each step in the recipe method is a great way to learn. That way, when you read it, you will also learn what to do for manual cooking in your TM.

The recipe Templates I make for my online courses are also a great help to help you adapt your own recipes. These templates explain what ingredients to add first and what each step should be. If you own the courses, these links will take you straight to the templates. Cookie, Muffin and Cake Links have been a huge hit. Probably because I do things quite a bit differently in my Thermomix as I would in a stand mixer, and these templates explain how and why, oh and they work every time.🤓

When I choose a recipe on Cookidoo, I rarely follow the entire recipe as it’s written. I like to add my little touches, and I guess many others may too. But I know that many of you don’t realise that you can adapt a recipe as you go, even if it’s a Cookidoo recipe.

For those who want to know how to adapt recipes (or for manual cooking with a TM), grab your Basic Cookbook. Yep, the one that comes with your Thermomix and looks like this on the front cover.

For TM6 owners, open page 307, and you’ll find a handy resource section that explains Grate, Chop, Crush, Mince, Grind and Mill. There’s also a guide to steaming. This book is pretty impressive, and I guess none of us like reading instruction manuals, but it will help you a lot at the start or even down the track if you need inspiration.

Ok, so some of you are going to say, “Bec, you do many things a little differently in the Thermomix”. Yes, I do, but I learnt the conventional method first; these methods are pretty much the same as the Basic Cookbook recipes. But I like to go on and think about ways to make the job even quicker and easier with less mess.

Other ways I can help are here.

  • Our Bec’s Table Online Thermomix® Tips and Techniques Free Resource Area for our Customers
  • Our Bec’s Table Cookie course. How I Make Cookies, the easy way, includes lessons, Recipe Templates and a Recipe eBook.
  • The same with this Bec’s Table Muffins Course. How I make muffins. Just like we did in our Cafe or your local Bakery. Easy when you know my method.
  • Then there’s our Bake Club Online; learn a little about the science and how I adapt the recipes we made in our on-site classes. Understanding the why will help a lot when baking.

In conclusion

Don’t be afraid to alter a Cookidoo recipe. It’s a clever and versatile machine and will tell you if your weights are too far out of sync to continue.

When you’re making something from Cookidoo, think about what each step is trying to achieve. You’ll start remembering these processes, and manual cooking will become easy for you. When we fry in a frypan, we had to learn with each dish we made. It’s the same with the Thermomix. There seems to be a lot going on, but it’s like driving a car; it’s hard at first, but then it becomes so easy.


  1. Hi Bec,
    I haven’t received this basic cookbook with my thermomix TM6 few weeks back. I m wondering if I can order this book online or how to find the reference guide you’ve mentioned to look for chopping, grinding, mincing, milling and so on.
    Thank you!

    1. Ritu, the book should have been in the box with your TM6. That is strange. If I were you, I would get straight onto my consultant; that’s why Thermomix have us. She’ll make sure you can get one.

      1. I reached out to her and she said the book is now digitally available on Cookidoo app. The recipes are available on the Cookidoo app. However guidelines to cook manually is never mentioned on the app. And there is no way of getting a hard copy anymore. So sad.

        1. Which Thermomix do you own Ritu? It will be available if you have a TM6 and didn’t get your book delivered with your machine. Can you give me your consultant’s name? I’ll follow it up for you. She may be unaware she can reach out to head office.

  2. I’m still a bit weary about adapting recipes with my TM6 but after looking at the cookidoo website for so long now, I’m becoming uninspired, that’s why I love your website Bec and all the courses I’ve purchased & thanks so much for all the great free stuff ?

  3. Bec I think you were correct in saying if you have only had a TM 6 you may be unsure of cooking manually. Those of us ‘oldies’ who started with a 31 probably learned it there. Although I have to admit it took me almost 12 months. I would get frustrated with friends who could do it earlier, but one day I did it too. ??? I think the more you use and understand your machine the more you use it constantly. I use both of mine (the 31 lives in the caravan now) daily. I must admit I do love baking though. I was making yoghurt in the 6 yesterday and needed 2 more machines so the 31 came out to help.

    1. I think it took me a while to get my head around using my TM31 too. At the start, I didn’t think it was the best choice to make things such as cake and would return to my stand mixer. It wasn’t until I thought about what I was trying to achieve and what each step would look like I really started to create my own recipes. Now I wouldn’t think of going to my stand mixer to make a cake. I always use my method in the Thermomix, because it’s so quick and easy.

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