* Prices may differ from that shown
Back at the height of my impulse spending last year, I read a review about this mixer in work, and subsequently stopped at John Lewis on the way home to buy one. I am very passionate about baking, and had dreamed about owning a free standing mixer for ages. In my mind, I was expecting to have to spend around £200 for a decent mixer, from a brand such as Kenwood or KitchenAid, I honestly didn't realise you could get versions like this which although are intended for domestic use, are well made and realistically priced. I paid £35 in John Lewis for this last August, but looking around online now the cheapest I can find it for is £49.96 from Asda Direct. This is still a good price to be honest.
==PRODUCT SPECIFICATION & FEATURES==
I'm not one for listing meaningless technical specifications, but below are some of the basic features and details which are the minimum you need to know about when considering a purchase of this nature:
* Twin motor for superb beating action, including 3 way beating motion
* 2 litre liquid capacity
* 1kg dry capacity
* Hygienic stainless steel bowl
* Includes 3 attachments (see below) and plastic spatula
* 10 speed settings
* Boost button
The mixer is actually quite attractive looking...if you're into that kind of thing! By that, I simply mean it doesn't look cheap or poorly built. It's quite curvy, and the body of it is predominantly white, with a stainless steel mixing bowl. The functions and mixing speeds are clearly labelled, making it easy to use without having to refer back to the instructions. There is the option to tilt the head of the mixer to allow easy insertion of the attachments, and there are two release buttons - one to release the attachments, and one to release the top of the mixer to use by hand.
==THE ATTACHMENTS AND MIXING SPEEDS==
The mixer comes with three attachments: the beaters, whisks, and dough hooks. They also throw in a plastic spatula which is very useful for scraping your cake mix off the sides of the bowl without scratching the metal inside it. The mixer can also be used as a hand-held mixer, by pressing the release button on the neck of the body to release it. This means it has dual functionality, so if you're short on space this is ideal. Technically it has ten speed settings, although this is derived from various permutations of the bowl and beater speeds, and in reality I only ever use one or two different settings, but more on that later.
Generally speaking, I use the attachments for the following:
Beaters - for most kinds of cake mixes
Whisks - for buttercream, meringue, cream cheese which needs thickening (e.g. for cheesecake or cream frosting)
Dough hooks - for all breads, focaccia, pizza bases
The instruction booklet is very detailed, and tells you all about the attachments, what to use them for, and how to remove and attach them to the base unit. It also gives safety advice such as ensuring the bowl is fully attached before turning it on, starting on a low speed and so on. It even gives some recipes and ideas on what to use your mixer for, although I haven't tried any of these as I have a large stock of baking books I'm currently working my way through trying out.
However, this is where the instructions get a bit complicated, because they give different recommended speeds depending on what you're mixing. This meant that when I first started using it, I must admit, I didn't get on with it very well. I found the instructions confusing and kept having to refer back to find out what speed the bowl and mixer should be on for different types of food. In the end, I used my instinct to decided it made sense to have them both on the same speed, starting on the lowest so I didn't end up splattering food across my beloved kitchen. This has worked well for everything I've tried so far, so in general I only really use the first couple of speeds, and most often than not, I use the slowest one.
==THE GOOD BITS==
The great thing about this mixer is that the bowl rotates at the same time as the head of the mixer, so this ensures none of your cake mix is going to be left sitting unmixed at the bottom of the bowl. It makes mixing cakes absolutely effortless, as you simply add your ingredients as it's running, and it will combine them for you without you having to put any elbow grease into it. I also find my cakes come out lighter and more consistent, because sometimes when creaming by hand I get a bit impatient and don't bother waiting till it's done properly before preforming the next stage!
For some reason, I used to see it as a big effort to get my hand mixer out for things like buttercream and meringue, but with this I can just leave it running, and add the icing sugar bit by bit. This means I can let the machine do the work, and I have a free hand to add the ingredients gradually, ensuring they're evenly mixed and I don't end up with too bad a cloud of icing sugar. I also find this particularly useful when trying to add colour to buttercream and the like, because I can just drop a little in at a time and add colour gradually without having to stop and start.
The maximum dry capacity is 1kg, which is perfectly adequate for domestic use. Obviously, if I was to fulfil my dream of starting a cake business any time soon, I would have to consider upgrading as the demands of larger cakes would be too much for this mixer, but for the average sized family cakes and breads, this is a perfect size. It's also reasonably lightweight, which means I can store it underneath my worktop in a cupboard and just bring it out when I need to use it.
The lead is quite long on this mixer, although this isn't an issue for me as I tend to place it next to the socket anyway. I've never experienced any movement from the mixer in use, as the base is solid and this is a good safety feature. You do have to make sure the bowl clicks in fully before switching it on, although I'm not sure what happens if it's not, i.e. if it just doesn't work or if it makes a mess of your kitchen. And no, I'm not willing to find out for reviewing purposes! It's reasonably small (31cm high, 33.8cm wide, and 24.5cm deep) so I find storage isn't too much of an issue, and remember you can remove the top of the mixer to use as a hand mixer so it's dual purpose.
I was expecting to have to use the spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl, to ensure the mixer combined all the ingredients without leaving any at the bottom unmixed. However, I'm pleased to say that I've not once had an issue with mixture not being mixed properly, which is surprising as I'd expect this even on the more expensive mixers.
Removing and changing attachments is really easy, you just press the release button and you can alternate between the beaters, the whisk, or the dough hooks. The attachments can be placed in either slot, apart from the dough hooks which are colour coded (one has a red dot which matches the slot) to ensure they are in the right position.
Maintenance of the mixer is easy, as the attachments can be put through the dishwasher to get every last bit of food off. For some reason I prefer to hand wash the mixing bowl, as I don't like the watermarks that can get left on stainless steel items, so I tend to wash it by hand and then dry it immediately so there are no drips down the side. I use the plastic spatula when removing cake mix from the bowl, and as a result of this there are no scratches or marks on it, nor has it been tainted by any of the colours I've used in it. The bowl (and mixer) literally looks as good as new.
==AND THE NOT SO GOOD?==
Ok so I'm not going to be too harsh considering this mixer is such an excellent value for money product, but the only other thing I would like to have seen included is a paddle attachment. This is the one you see celebrity chefs using on their mixers, admittedly top of the range Kenwoods and Kitchen Aids, and is useful for all sorts of things including cakes and biscuits. Although I use the beaters for cakes, I was reading a biscuit recipe the other day and it said if you're using a mixer, to use the paddle attachment, not the beater or whisk. However, for the price I paid I really can't grumble too much, as it's such a fantastic little product.
The mixer is noisy enough to send my cat running when I turn it on, but no noisier than any other hand mixers or blenders I've used in the past. Considering the job they're doing I expect some noise from a product like this, it just means I can't bake in the middle of the night which is probably a good thing.
Functionality wise, this mixer is pretty much perfect in my opinion. The only issue I have occasionally is I find it quite hard to get the bowl to click into place as there's nothing to grab hold of as you're trying to turn it and press down at the same time. I always get there in the end, but anyone with arthritis or mobility issues may take a few attempts at getting it to click into place.
As you can probably tell, I love this little gadget, and would highly recommend it. I paid £35 for it, so it's worth shopping round, but even for the current price of just under £50, it is still excellent value. It's lightweight and easy to use, although I would advise not paying too much attention to the different combinations of speed settings in the instructions. If you start it on the slowest setting (to avoid getting food flying everywhere), and then increase it gradually, you can use your own judgement instead of referring back to the instruction booklet constantly. I love using mine, and never thought I would own such an item for such a small price. It would make an excellent affordable gift for a keen baker, especially as a housewarming present as it doubles up as a hand mixer at the same tiem. Five stars from me despite the (very miniscule) flaws. As far as impulse purchases go, this is one of my best!
(Review also appears on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
My sister and her partner very kindly bought me this food mixer for Christmas. I am a keen baker and can often (though admittedly not so much recently) be found in the kitchen for an afternoon baking bread, pies, cakes, cookies, tarts - you name it I've tried it! My sister bought me this because she thought it would make my time in the kitchen a little bit easier. I think her partner thought it was a good idea because he's a bit of a dustbin when it comes to sugary food!
==Why did she pick this one?==
My sister told me that she chose this mixer because she was looking for one that she thought was reasonably priced and that had good reviews. She also would have preferred a well known brand.
==How much did it cost and where did she buy it?==
I don't know the exact price she paid but I believe it was somewhere around the £60 mark. Looking online now the average price seems to be around £50 but John Lewis have it priced at just £35 which is very reasonably priced for a food mixer, especially from a well known brand like Breville. It is available from numerous stores including Curry's and Comet.
==What's in the box?==
The box is well designed and has a modern feel to it and provides any potential customers with some key information about the mixer.
In the box you get the mixer itself, the stand for it to sit on, a large 2 litre capacity stainless steel mixing bowl, 2 beater attachments, 2 hook attachments and 2 whisk attachments. There is also an instruction manual.
The mixer is predominately white in colour with some silver detailing on the mixer itself. The bowl is stainless steel. It is quite a curved design and I think it looks very good. I have no qualms leaving this on my kitchen worktop. I think that the colour scheme is very good because it will blend in very easily in the vast majority of kitchens. My kitchens appliances are all white and it fits in really well with everything else. It would also look good in a kitchen with predominantly silver appliances.
The shape of the mixer is quite modern and I find that for a food mixer it is quite compact, it doesn't take up much room on the work surface at all.
==Setting it up==
The mixer is very easy to put together and set up. You simply slide the hand mixer onto the stand, click the mixing bowl into place and select the attachments you wish to use. You then plug it in and you are ready to go.
==Using the mixer==
Using the mixer is exceptionally simple. You simply add the ingredients from your recipe in the correct order and turn it on! The mixer has ten settings which are speed defined and in addition to the hand mixers attachments, the mixing bowl also moves. You can also use the hand mixer on its own.
I really like the way that the bowl moves and always use this feature as it really helps to mix the ingredients together well and I am never left with any flour on the bottom. Some mixers do not have this feature and I imagine that this makes combining the ingredients more difficult.
I tend to use the mixer on the lower settings simply because I don't want my kitchen splattered with cake mix. My preferred setting is number one for the mixer itself and also number one for the bowl. I find this a brilliant speed. It mixes well, leaving you with a well combined mix within twenty seconds but it does not splatter mix all over the kitchen. I do sometimes get a flour cloud if I just tip in a large amount of flour on top of a mound of mix however I would imagine that if I poured it in more slowly or even folded it in with a spoon quickly then this would not happen.
I usually use the beater attachments and find these work very well for everyday mixing. They combine the ingredients with ease and any additional fillings are always well spaced through the mix. I often use the whisk attachments to make things like icing. I find these great,especially for buttercream as along as you've had the butter at room temperature for ten minutes or so it breaks up the butter quickly and results in a smooth and soft icing. The hooks are especially useful when working with dough, producing a good textured dough with minimal effort.
The mixer works quickly and effectively and I have never had any problems. With this mixer I can easily put together a sponge cake within two or three minutes when if I was doing it by hand it would take about three times longer. I never end up with anything unmixed at the bottom of the bowl.
==Cleaning the mixer==
Taking the mixer apart to clean is very easy. There is a beater ejection button at the top of the mixer which drops the beaters into the mixing bowl. I find this brilliant because it means all of the message is in the bowl so it can easily be carried to the sink.
The bowl is easy to get off of the main body of the mixer. You simply twist it and click it off. I wash the bowl with some warm water and fairy liquid but I believe it can also be put in the dishwasher. The bowl is simple to clean and everything wipes off with ease leaving the bowl shiny and streak free. To clean the actual mixer I tend to just wipe it over with a bit of kitchen roll but sometimes I. Do need to dampen it a little first.
==But more importantly...how does the food taste?==
The food tastes great. All of the food is consistent and everything is well mixed.
2 litre capacity
1kg dry capacity
Approx 34cm long, 31cm long And 25cm in depth
1 year guarantee
I think that this is an excellent mixer and it helps me out a lot in the kitchen. It works to a very high standard, is quick and simple to both use and clean and looks good. I think that the price is reasonable and if you can pick one up from John Lewis you are getting an absolute bargain!
The Hand and Stand Mixer can be used as a conventional stand mixer, or the entire head can be detached to use as a hand mixer. It is significantly smaller than most stand mixers, and the compact build makes it ideal for small kitchens, as well as saving cupbord space on a seperate hand mixer.
The mixer comes with beaters, whisks and dough hooks, and can be used for most baking. Unusually, as a stand mixer, the beaters turn in a fixed position and the bowl rotates. Because the beaters are off-centre, it is easy to add extra ingredients or scrape the mixture when the mixer is running. The only drawback I have found is that this does make it dificult to cover the mixer with a towel to manage ingredients like icing sugar. Otherwise it mixes well, although it works better with larger amounts of mix - egg whites for example may pass under the beaters in stand mixer form, requiring the hand mixer option.
I tend not to use the hand mixer option much, since I find the head slightly heavy, but this is personal taste. It works perfectly well as a hand mixer for sauces and other recipes. The attached bowl has a 2l capacity, adequate for family use, but for heavier use, or serious cake baking you will probably want something bigger. The beauty of the Breville is that, in this situation, you can always use it as a hand mixer with a seperate larger bowl. Since all the attachments are dishwashable, it makes clean-up easy.
When running, the engines produce the same volume as a normal stand mixer. This does mean that it is very loud compared to a hand mixer, although the sound does seem to smooth out at higher speeds. With ten speed settings (two on the bowl, five on the mixing head) and a fast "pulse" button it has a range of options to suit most cooks. I've used it for everything from sponge cakes to cheese sauce and bread mixes.
There are a few drawbacks: Because it is small and lightweight, heavier doughs may make it "walk" during mixing, so you need to keep an eye on it. One thing I did not expect was how difficult it was to get extras for this. No where online seems to sell them, so if you want an additional bowl, you may find yourself going back to the manufacturer.
However this mixer has one huge advantage over the alternatives: Price. The alternative options for a stand mixer like this one are Kenwoods and Kitchen Aids, which are usually between five and ten times the cost.
If you are looking for a light, budget, stand mixer for a small kitchen, to be used a couple of times a week, this can't be beaten. It's durable, versatile and above all, affordable.
If you use both a stand mixer and a hand mixer then this Breville twin motor mixer is perfect as it features both in one unit. When being used on the stand the bowl rotates and is driven against the two beaters ensuring a three-way beating action. With 10 speeds a boost button stainless steel bowl beaters hooks and whisks this mixer makes food preparation easy. The removable parts are all dishwasher safe and a safety lock ensures it won't start without everything being securely in place. It comes co