From time to time I am asked if halving one of my Thermomix recipes is possible.
My recipes are generally written to take full advantage of the capacity of the Thermomix. The main reasons for this are:
1. To cook family sized meals (and other recipes). I have five mouths to feed and know that many of my audience also have families to cook for.
2. So I can freeze a portion or two for my future dinners or my partner’s work lunches.
3. For saving time in the long run.
However, some people are only cooking for one or two mouths, eat smaller portions, don’t want leftovers to eat the next day, don’t like freezing extra portions, etc. and would prefer to cook smaller amounts.
The good news is, most recipes will be fine to halve.
The Math For Halving Thermomix Recipes
The general rule of thumb when halving Thermomix recipes is to halve the ingredients and to reduce the cooking time by 20%.
The easiest way to work out 20% less of the cooking time of a step is to multiply it by 0.8. This gives you 80% of the original time and will be the amended cooking time.
For example, a step of a recipe needs cooking for 20 minutes. When halving this recipe, to work out the cooking time of this step, multiply 20 by 0.8:
20 x 0.8 = 16.
So the cooking time for this step when halving this recipe will be 16 minutes.
Exceptions to the 20% Rule When Halving Thermomix Recipes
There are always exceptions to rules, right? These are the times I would recommend NOT reducing the cooking time when halving a recipe.
Most recipes call for onions to be sauteed for 4-5 minutes at the beginning of the recipe, sometimes longer. To prevent an uncooked onion flavour through the dish, I wouldn’t reduce the sautee time for onions.
Cooking Pasta and Rice
Pasta and rice generally takes a certain amount of cooking time regardless of the quantity being cooked. That’s about 16-20 minutes for white rice, 35 minutes for brown rice and 8-14 minutes for pasta (variations between brands). Therefore, the time stated on a recipe after adding pasta or rice to the TMX will usually not need reducing.
Doubling Recipes in the Thermomix
It is not advised to double Thermomix recipes in general. My recipes are developed to use thermie to its full potential as much as possible. This means that usually the bowl is quite full. Doubling recipes will overfill the bowl.
It’s not just the bowl’s capacity that needs to be taken into account, though. In order for the blades and motor of the machine to not be overloaded, there are maximum weight recommendations
This is for both chopping certain ingredients (such as cheeses) and using the knead function (maximum weight recommendations for amount of flour in doughs).
In a Nutshell
Ultimately, the 20% rule is just a rough guide. If you want to cook less by halving a recipe, follow the 20% rule. If you get to the end of a step and it looks like it could do with a little more cooking, you can always cook a bit more. This is much better than overcooking, there’s no going back then! Better to be cautious than overdo it.
Please feel free to leave a comment down the bottom letting me know how you go!