“ Brand: Anthony Worrall Thompson / Electronic Scales „
---Why the review? ---
Wanting to review another household appliance I decided that I'd review one which I use pretty much on a daily basis, and thought that kitchen scales would make marginally more interesting reading than a toaster review.
Like my kettle (and toaster), these scales are NOT available to buy anywhere, and this review serves more as a historical document, and as a recipe for Gingerbread Moose...read on...
My ex and I used to have some cheap plastic scales which didn't really work very well...and on one shopping trip to Morrisons we picked these up - I seem to recall that they cost £9.99, but I wouldn't put my life on it. I would also imagine that they were purchased sometime in 2007 or 2008.
On researching in order to write this review, I have come across some very negative accounts of the Antony Worrall Thompson Autograph Digital Scales which retail at £13, and can be purchased currently. The negative comments seem to focus on the auto turn off feature, and not being able to see the display when things are being weighed.
Of course I am NOT reviewing the Autograph model. It actually seems a bit strange as I THINK that my scales are probably the predecessor to this model, and therefore it would appear that they have replaced something which works very well (my model) with something which doesn't work so well.
---So, what do they do?---
Essentially they weigh things - for baking and stuff. Described as "Digital kitchen scales of a modern design", they weigh things up to 5kg. They weigh in metric and imperial, and this can be changed at the press of a button which says "Unit" underneath. This can be done while you're weighing things, so can easily switch from grams to oz, or lbs (there's three different settings). I find this quite useful as I haven't quite decided yet whether I'm a metric or imperial kind of girl...for baking purposes though I tend to use metric.
So, to use you simply press the "On" button. It has an auto-zero feature, which basically means that when you put your mixing bowl, or saucepan, or whatever on the scales you can then press the "On" button again, and it returns the weight to zero, enabling you to then add ingredients.
There is an auto shut-off feature, which is to save energy/conserve battery life. Critics of the other model have said that on that model it auto-shuts off far too quickly (20-30 seconds) and that it isn't consistent.
I have never found the auto shut-off feature to be a problem...possibly as my kitchen is small and ingredients are usually ready to hand. For review writing purposes I have timed it three times, and it turns off after exactly 1 minute of inactivity. I feel that this is perfectly reasonable. If for instance I needed 500g of flour, and only had 259g in one bag, I would simply remember that when returning from the shop with a new bag of flour that I needed to add 241g when I returned to my scales.
The scales run on two Lithium 3V batteries (I have just looked) - I haven't had to replace them yet, but since I'm perfectly happy with my scales, I'll be happy to buy more batteries when they do run out.
---Real life applications - putting the scales to moose - sorry, use...---
I use these scales all the time for weighing out ingredients, useful for quantities when making soup, I just put my soup pan on the scales (the pan weighs 1211g) reset and then roughly work out for instance what 1kg potatoes is. It can sometimes be slightly hard to see the scale display if a large pan is on them, but this is being a big picky as the small and sleek nature of the model is a selling point. Of course these scales are good for more general weights, but are absolutely perfect for smaller weights where more accurate measures or small amounts are needed. I'm currently going through a porridge phase and am religiously weighing out my oats every morning! I also use them for weighing parcels/large letters.
I've got into the habit of doing a lot of baking lately - it's very therapeutic, kills some time, and makes my new colleagues love me - I can't help but feel that my homemade ginger cake (and promise of subsequent flapjacks, cakes and muffins - and possibly soup come the winter-time) helped towards me securing my dream job. My scales are a big aid to me in this.
Since Monday's apple flapjacks (another success, although not quite as good as the banana ones) have nearly been eaten I thought I'd bake some gingerbread moose to take in to work on Wednesday. There were several reasons for this choice:
1) I had one egg to use up, so needed a recipe which included no more or no less than one egg.
2) I had a moose cookie cutter a friend had given me for my birthday and I had promised her that I would use it soon (she is suitably impressed having tagged the pictures on Facebook).
3) I had a recipe book that my mum had given me, and had told her that I would make something out of it.
4) I wanted to use my kitchen scales in order to review them - and I didn't think that simply weighing out my porridge in the mornings was enough.
---To make Mary's Gingerbread Moose with the Antony Worrall Thompson Chrome Electronic Scale---
1) Turn on scales - meanwhile preheat oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5, 375°F)
2) Put mixing bowl on scales - reset to zero
3) Put 350g plain flour into mixing bowl - then add 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
4) Reset scales to zero and add 100g margarine
5) Remove bowl from scales, and rub margarine into flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs
6) Turn on scales, put mixing bowl back on them, and reset to zero.
7) Add 175g dark brown sugar, and stir
8) You've finished with the scales now. Beat an egg and add to the mixture, and then add a tablespoon of golden syrup, and mix to form a smooth dough, kneading lightly with your hands towards the end
9) Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch
10) Cut out gingerbread moose with moose cookie cutter. Now, the recipe says that it does 20 gingerbread men, but I think these would be fairly small ones. My mixture made 11 moose cookies and 4 random circular cookies
11) Put cookies on a lightly greased baking tray (mine took up two trays) - put currants/raisins/sultanas for the eyes (and buttons if doing gingerbread men)
12) Cook for 10-15 minutes until a slightly darker shade
13) Cool slightly, lift (carefully - I lost one moose leg) and place on wire rack to cool completely, but meanwhile eat the random circular cookies while still warm - Yum!
I think that these are an excellent set of scales (I'd usually call them a pair of scales, but that's not appropriate in this age of digital scales!) Being accurate to a gram, there's none of that old guessing game in weights of less than 25g which was played with cheap plastic scales...and none of that fun game with PROPER old-school scales. But while that was fun once in a while (I remember maths lessons at primary school), in practical terms these are much better. They wipe clean easily (the best thing about reviewing household appliances is that they make me clean them), and there's no washing up as with other scales, as you put the ingredients directly into your mixing bowl or pan or whatever! They also take up very little space (and weigh very little, although I can't put them on my scales to weigh them!) , and look nice too.
I think that the Antony Worrall Thompson Chrome Electronic Scale is perfect. Unfortunately it can't be purchased, and you're unlikely to find it/them (I'm getting confused with singulars and plurals here!) second hand since anyone who has the scales probably won't be parting with them. I can't endorse any other Antony Worrall Thompson products or scales especially since reading reviews of them from people whose opinions I respect. But this is a fantastic product...and hey, even if you can't buy it, at least you can try making some Gingerbread Moose with my recipe!
Also on Ciao with pics!