I read a piece on stand mixers on one of my absolute favourite blogs a week or so back and felt compelled to offer the other side of the argument here. I do see that this puts me in the realm of those tacky popstars who record musical responses to well produced chart toppers, but so be it. I am old enough not to care now.
I have never met Sarah or been in her gorgeous newly fitted kitchen, but I have read her blog since the beginning and I feel like I know her well enough that she won't mind me stealing her idea for a post. See, she doesn't think she needs a stand mixer, and that you probably don't either. Well, I want to tell you that my stand mixer is one of the greatest things ever to come into my life and I think that you might well benefit from begging, borrowing or stealing one yourself.
Actually, no: let's start with a little about me that might not be clear from this blog.
- I don't bake all the time. It probably ends up being one cake a week. Honestly.
- I seem to have ended up making quite a few wedding cakes and do a bake sale every year.
- I own a hand mixer as well, but no food processor (I hated it and gave it away).
- I am not scared by 'difficult sounding' recipes.
(If you hate your family and have to buy your own mixer, well, I still think you'd love using it, so don't think that's my only reason for disagreeing with Sarah.)
Reasons to own a stand mixer:
- The power: no electric hand mixer can compete.
- The fact that it mixes thoroughly: cakes I do in the Kitchen Aid have better texture and crumb and rise more evenly than those I do by hand or with a hand mixer.
- Hands free: I'm a hands free junkie. I can beat eggs and pour hot sugar syrups into them at the same time without burning myself, and answer the phone while baking if I have to.
- Capacity: 16 egg whites beaten to a meringue in one bowl? No problem. Deep sides mean mess is minimal.
- Style: Candy Apple Red. How many times do I have to say that?
- Multi Use: maybe that's pushing it, but you can do great mashed potatoes in a mixer like mine. Also great for making and serving eggnog at Christmas. Seriously.
Reasons I don't rate hand mixers:
- The lack of power: they are just rubbish. Even on high speed. Making French buttercream with one in my pre-KA days nearly killed me (and the mixer!).
- They break down: maybe I was overusing mine, as I did supply a café with cakes for a while, but I never seem to get them to last more than a year of regular use.
- Takes up cupboard space: I may be in the minority, but I find this far more annoying than having to have my stand mixer sitting on the work top in the corner looking pretty. And my kitchen is small.
- I have to stand at the mixing bowl for however long it takes. And genoise takes 15 minutes with a hand mixer. No thank you!
- The beaters scratch my glass bowls. Unsightly!
- They can overheat: my stand mixer can go all morning on high and not even break a sweat.
Just my two cents'.
Now go check out Sarah's great blog!