kitchenaid blender and mixer

A Regular Home Cook Puts Two New KitchenAid Appliances To The Test

Do any of these apply to you?

✔ You are a serious home cook who appreciates good food and quality kitchen appliances that are built to last and deliver results every time?

✔ You are a style-savvy home owner who values timeless designs and are on the lookout for sophisticated countertop appliances?

✔ You lead a busy lifestyle juggling a demanding job with an active family or social life and are searching for ways to prepare quick and healthy home-cooked meals?

✔ You are a novice to the world of cooking, need all the help you can get and are eager to discover some easy kitchen solutions?

Did you find yourself nodding along to one or more of the above scenarios? Then let me take you on a culinary journey and tell you all about my experiments in the kitchen, using the new KitchenAid Pro Line Blender and Mini Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.

The home appliance head honchos at Harvey Norman let me take both the blender and the mini mixer home to test out. I did a (secret) little happy dance before politely accepting their offer to review – what I have now come to refer to as – essential small kitchen appliances.

 

kitchenaid-cooking-spree
KitchenAid can make anyone look and feel like a good cook. I used the KitchenAid Mini to mix cake batter, cookie and bread dough as well as whip cream for frosting and whisk egg whites for a pavlova. It was as easy as measuring my ingredients correctly, adding them to the mighty Mini and turning the dial to my desired speed.

I’d heard and read all about KitchenAid – my favourite cookery bloggers and social media tastemakers all seem to own at least one KitchenAid product. I’ve seen KitchenAid featured in glossy, influential food magazines more than once and the hosts of my most beloved cooking shows all use KitchenAid mixers.  So you can imagine how eager I might’ve been to finally get my hands on one two and see whether they lived up to all the hype!

 

kitchenaid-proline-blender-creations
KitchenAid Pro Line Blender is a must-have kitchen tool, ideal for both novices and nuanced home cooks. I made piping hot soups, ice cold slushies, some popsicle mix, a bean dip, nut butter and two kinds of smoothies! It was as easy as adding all my ingredients to the blender, pressing the start button and adjusting the speed dial!

The Mighty Mini

A Lean Mean Mixing Machine

The KitchenAid Mini is available in 10 delicious-looking colours to suit all the different tastebuds out there. I took home the bright and bold Empire Red. You can pick a more classic hue in a matte finish, including White, Black or Grey. The stunning shine of the Twilight Blue and Contour Silver makes them both eye-catching choices, while the Orange Sorbet, Guava Glaze, Honeydew and Hot Sauce are all mouth-watering options. No matter which colour you end up choosing, you will soon realise the mini mixer is more than just good looks!

 

Kitchenaid-mini-range
The mini mixer is 25% lighter and 20% smaller than the classic KitchenAid tilt-head stand mixer but it’s still super powerful at 250 watts.

 

kitchenaid-attachments
New to the KitchenAid collection, the mini tilt-head stand mixer includes a wire whisk, a flat beater, a dough hook and a 3.3L bowl that has a capacity of 680g of flour and 8 egg whites!

 

kitchenaid-extra-accessories
The accessories shown above are all available as optional extras:
• The 3.3L polished stainless steel bowl with handle is perfect for serious bakers who need additional bowls to refrigerate icing or proof bread dough.
• The Flex Edge beater scrapes the batter or dough that’s clinging to the bowl and incorporates it back into the rest of the mixture.
• The pouring shield comes in handy when you want to gradually add your flour and don’t want to make a powdery mess on your benchtop.

 

kitchenaid-mini-and-accessories
The reliable and robust Mini mixer – including its mixing attachments – has a full metal construction and comes with a 5 year warranty, making it an enduring investment for your kitchen.

 

Test-Driving The Mini

Even though I love to bake, I tend to put it off because while it’s satisfying to see family and friends enjoy the treats I’ve baked, I don’t always enjoy the process! Whisking egg whites into a stiff peak with a manual wire whisk is hard work and my husband isn’t always home to help out when I need that extra elbow grease.

I do own an egg-beater stand mixer but it’s so outdated that the brand name has rubbed off! It makes a funny ticking noise every time I use it and can barely cream butter into the light and fluffy texture most cake recipes call for. So imagine my excitement at taking one of the best small kitchen appliances on the market for a spin!

Let’s Make Cupcakes

I thought I’d kick-start my baking spree with some simple raspberry, pear and pistachio cupcakes.

cupcake-ingredients
Just like all the other accessories, the flat beater is easy to attach – simply unlock the head to tilt it up, then twist the beater into position and lower the head back down. Next, twist the bowl into place on the stand so it sits firmly. Then plug in your KitchenAid and you’re good to go.

 

creaming-butter
Using a planetary motion, the flat beater whipped my butter and sugar into a light and fluffy consistency. I started on a low speed and gradually took it up to 5 to achieve this result in a matter of seconds!

 

cupcake-mix
I sifted my spice mix and flour into the bowl and took the speed up to a gentle 4. Next, I gradually added my buttermilk and eggs – again it took the mixer a matter of seconds to combine the ingredients. Then, in went the chopped fruits and nuts.

 

cupcake-batter
The mini mixer made quick work of the batter and my cupcake mixture was ready for the oven within 5 minutes! The hardest part was waiting for 20 minutes while they baked at 180°C.

Let’s Make Bread

I was taught how to make bread in year seven at school, and I’ve been hooked ever since. In the past I’ve tried my hand at basic dinner rolls, pizza dough and hot cross buns. As much as I love the smell of freshly baked bread, all that kneading can be really tiring and time-consuming – so this is one more thing that I’ve avoided making but definitely had to try with the mini mixer.

bread-ingredients
Bread sounds fancy and difficult but it really isn’t. All you need is some flour, dry yeast, sugar, salt, lukewarm milk, butter and your favourite nuts, seeds, dried fruits or herbs. And, of course, a high-performing stand mixer.

 

kitchenaid-dough-hook
My trusty loaf tin’s been oiled. The yeast and sugar’s turned the milk into a frothy concoction and the dough hook is ready for action.

 

kitchenaid-dough-mixer
With the shield guard in place, the flour is ready to be poured into the liquid mix. Turning the dial to a gentle 3, I gradually added the flour. Once it was all in, I cranked the speed up and let the dough hook work its magic for about 10 minutes so the gluten in the dough could develop properly.

 

kneaded-bread-dough
I was convinced I’d have to stop the Mini mid-way to scrape flour from the sides of the bowl but the dough hook took care of it all. Later, I was certain manual mixing would be needed when I added my rolled oats, chia and pumpkin seeds to the dough. I was wrong. The dough hook is a miracle worker – twisting, kneading and incorporating ingredients like a master! And look, the bowl is practically clean!

 

proofing-bread-dough
The 3.3L bowl is big enough for the dough to proof in until it’s risen to capacity! Half an hour in a warm, dark place such as the microwave should do the trick.

 

risen-bread-dough
Having sprinkled my proofed dough with some spare seeds and oats, I let the loaf rise for another half an hour before baking it for 45 minutes. Freshly baked bread – thank you, mini magician!

Let’s Make Cookies

Consistency wise, sticky cookie dough sits somewhere between a loose cake batter and firm bread dough, which means stopping the machine mid-way to scrape the bowl would be a given. Let’s see if my theory was correct.

peanut-butter-choc-chip-cookies
The flex edge beater is attached and the spare bowl with handle is in pIace (the bread dough was proofing in the original bowl). It’s time to make some chewy golden syrup cookies, studded with chocolate chips and Reese’s peanut butter pieces.

 

flex-beater-in-action
I was proven wrong – there was no need to stop and start the Mini thanks to the flex edge beater, which scraped around the bowl, thoroughly mixing all the ingredients together within a span of 5 minutes!

 

cookie-dough
My ice cream scoop-sized cookies are ready for a 15-minute stint in the oven. I ended up with three dozen cookies – the Mini mixer can definitely handle large quantities of ingredients!

 

Let’s Make Pavlova

Since I’d only used the egg yolks for the cookies, I had egg whites left over. What better way to use them up than by making a pav?

pavlova-ingredients
Dark chocolate chunks, crushed hazelnut pieces, egg whites, caster sugar, white vinegar and corn flour – a few simple ingredients and a quality stand mixer is all you need to make a delicious dessert.

 

easy-pavlova-recipe
No elbow grease needed here! The egg whites reached a soft peak stage within seconds thanks to the wire whisk and speed number 10!

 

chocolate-speckled-pavlova
My hazelnut and chocolate speckled pavlova is ready to spend an hour in the oven on a low 120°C heat.

 

whipped-cream
While the pavlova baked, I whipped some pure cream flavoured with vanilla bean paste. Again, it was ready to be refrigerated within minutes.

So as you can see, I made really good use of the KitchenAid Mini mixer. It was the perfect cooking companion and by far the best mixer for bread dough, cookie, cake and meringue mixture that I’ve ever encountered. What normally feels like a chore turned into an enjoyable and awe-inspiring experience!

 

The Pro Line Blending Dynamo

Blitz it, Crush it, Grind it, Blend it

Okay, now that we’ve enjoyed all those yummy baked goodies, let’s balance it with some healthy, hearty meals. The world of blending has definitely evolved over the past few years, with everyone paying closer attention to their fruit and veggie intake. The brand new KitchenAid Pro Line Blender is meant to be the ultimate health tool. Let’s see how it stacks up.

kitchenaid-pro-line-blender
The Pro Line Blender pictured above is shown in Cast Iron Black colour. You can also get it in Candy Apple Red. The box includes the base, a 1.75L jug, a tamper stick and a detachable power cord.

 

Let’s Make a Breakfast Smoothie

breakfast-smoothie-ingredients
First item on the testing menu was my go-to weekday breakfast smoothie that includes a banana, a pear, blueberries, baby spinach, fresh passionfruit pulp, sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds, as well as walnuts, Greek yoghurt, nut milk and ice.

 

breakfast-smoothie
Choosing the preset smoothie setting, I started the blender and in a matter of minutes, the smoothest breakfast smoothie ever was ready! The best part – the powerful blades pulverised the passionfruit seeds! This is something my regular blender has never achieved, and it’s a decent blender (or so I thought)!

 

Let’s Make a Nutritious Soup

soup-ingredients
For lunch, I made a quick soup. Combining boiled potatoes with peas, baby spinach, vegetable stock and some garlic and onion flakes, I chose the preset soup setting, sat back and watched the ingredients receive a beautiful makeover. I also added some homemade cashew butter (more on that later) for a bit of creaminess.

 

pea-potato-spinach-soup
Within five minutes, silky smooth soup was ready, and it was piping hot even though all the ingredients except for the potatoes were stone cold! The dual-wall thermal control jug really delivered and I had a healthy lunch sorted for the rest of the week!

 

Let’s Make a Cherry Ripe Smoothie Bowl

cherry-ripe-smoothie-bowl
During the weekend I made my husband and I smoothie bowls for brunch. I added a frozen banana, toasted coconut chips, a handful of hazelnuts and fresh cherries to the blender, together with some raw cacao and coconut milk. Using the variable speed setting, I had the rich and velvety smoothie ready within 2 minutes!

 

Let’s Make a Chunky Dip

chunky-bean-avocado-dip
A chunky avocado and cannellini bean dip, flavoured with fresh lemon, coriander leaves, smoked paprika and lemon-infused olive oil took a grand total of 30 seconds to make! The tamper came in handy moving all the ingredients around, while the blender was still running. Served with sliced cucumber sticks and mountain bread, our lazy Sunday lunch was super satisfying!

Let’s Make a Frozen Slushie

frozen-watermelon-slushie
I love watermelon and usually buy a whole one when I go to the markets. I like to chop it up and freeze it for later use. With my regular blender, if I want to make a slushie, I have to add some liquid to the blender – otherwise the frozen watermelon won’t budge! Alternatively, I have to wait for it to thaw before cranking up the motor. But with the Pro Line Blender, I made a jug full of slushie effortlessly, using rock solid frozen watermelon chunks! The number 11 speed setting really came in handy and I had an icy cold frozen treat ready to enjoy within minutes on an uber hot day.

Let’s Make Nut Butter

blender-cashew-nut-butter
I’ve seen many blenders claim the ability to transform nuts into butter but I was yet to see one keep its promise. Yup, the number 11 speed setting on the KitchenAid Pro Line Blender delivered smooth, spreadable cashew butter using only one ingredient – roasted cashews! I used the tamper to move the cashew pieces around and gradually took the speed up to 11. I’m never eating store-bought butter ever again!

So, there you have it. The hype is real and the Pro Line Blender works like a charm! I may sound like a gushing fan-girl, but just wait until you give it a go yourself. You’ll be raving about it to all your family, friends and colleagues too! As well as all these goodies, I used the KitchenAid blender to make some popsicle mix, salad dressing, butter chicken sauce and several more smoothies (because this is the best blender for smoothies I’ve ever used).

I thoroughly enjoyed using both the new KitchenAid Pro Line Blender  and Mini Stand Mixer. Healthy dishes and tasty treats that I normally put off making, because they take too much effort, became an absolute joy to create! I would highly recommend these exciting and innovative kitchen appliances to everyone.

Check out the range online now or go to your local Harvey Norman store if you’d like to find out more.

Once you’ve bought your blender, be sure to try these recipes out:
Lean, green power smoothie
Green goddess soup with haloumi croutons
Roasted garlic and yoghurt dip

And here are a couple of recipes to test out using your new mini mixer:
Coconut cream pavlova with sparkling strawberries
Overnight quinoa and chia seed bread