Product Type: Kitchenaid mixers
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A thing of beauty is a joy forever!
Kitchenaid Artisan KSM150PS
Member Name: hayley_jayne
Kitchenaid Artisan KSM150PS
Advantages: Looks amazing and mixes like a dream
Disadvantages: Quite expensive
This christmas has been all about our little girl having a wonderful time. On christmas day, after all everybody else's presents were open I had the biggest and most amazing shock of my life. My very own Kitchenaid Artisan, indeed the 90th Anniversary Edition in Candy Apple Red, the exact colour I liked the best of all ...... Speechless, is probably all I can say. Two weeks on I am still in awe of what is sitting on my worktop.
So, incredible looks aside, a little about Kitchenaid Mixers. These have been around for nearly a century. They were designed by a guy called Herbert Johnson in 1919 who adapted his commercial mixer the Hobart Model H to make it suitable for the home. In 1936, Egmont Arens (designer and also the editor of Vanity Fair) joined forces with Johnson and redesigned the machine into three different models. Its selling success was sealed in 1955 when the mixer became available in a range of colours including Petal Pink and Sunny Yellow. It was this never before seen choice of colours that made the Kitchenaid Mixer so popular. The mixer remains in the same design as that from 1936 with virtually no change.
*Made in America?*
Amazingly in this day and age the mixers are still built / assembled by hand in the United States (although I would imagine the parts come from elsewhere). The Kitchenaid brand is now owned by Whirlpool though so the factory isn't in the same place anymore, it got moved. I saw that at the factory they have a Cobalt Blue K5A model on display that belonged to Julia Childs and that was signed 'Bon Appetit' by her; how cool! I do hope that they carry on with the factory there, it seems to be a rarer and rare thing these days to see things made in the US or here for that matter. From my random readings on the web over the last few years it seems that the general opinion is that these mixers aren't built to last in the way they used to be. I can't really comment as I have only had mine two weeks but it is working like a dream so far. There is also a number of reviews that mention that the gears and gearbox are now made from plastic, I don't know about that personally as I haven't looked inside it!
*What does it come with and what capacity ingredients does it take?*
The Artisan mixer comes with a 4.8 litre stainless steel bowl. It seems we were lucky as ours also came with a free glass bowl of the same capacity (RRP £61). It also comes with a flat beater, a wire whisk, a dough hook and a pouring shield. These are the ones most amateur home cooks would mainly use. There is a huge range of other accessories including a ice cream maker, pasta shape press, grain mill and even a sausage stuffer. However, it must be noted that these attachments are expensive and a number of them are quite hard to find in the UK. Hmmmm, guess it might be worth saving for a trip to the states!
The mixer is guaranteed for parts and labour for five years. You register for the warranty online and when you do so they send you a hardback copy of Kitchenaid the Cookbook in hardback. This is a lovely book in itself and I like how it tells a bit about the history of Kitchenaid. The downside though is I think they are trying to encourage you to buy more attachments as many of the recipies need some of the other attachments. From reading many of the individual reviews on Amazon for some of the attachments I think I would probably stick to food processors for some of those things in many cases because some have quite poor reviews (although some are very positive).
*Instructions and ease of use*
The machine itself is very simple to use. The head is just on a lever so you push the lever and lift the head up. Similarly the attachments it comes with just click in and out and how to do this is clearly explained in the instructions. I do think it could offer more on the subject of mixing speeds and so on though. I found it quite tricky to work out exactly how best to try and make bread in it for example, without over kneading the dough. However, there is a general guide to the ten speeds that the machine has and what you should use them for. The electric lead is a decent length and easily reaches where I plug it in.
*Value for Money*
I am going to drop one star off my review for value for money. I think you definitely pay for the looks and the brand with this mixer. For me, I am happy with this as I am just a home cook and it meets everything I could need or expect. However, I don't think it would be right to rave about this without being honest that you can get machines that do just a good a job or even better for less. Still, i wouldn't change it for the world, I love it!
*How have things turned out to date?*
I have used the mixer four times so far, wish it was more but had a backlog of cakes / bread etc from christmas.
I have made bead twice, one wholemeal and one white. I didn't quite get this right (touch dense) but it was still very yummy. From quite a bit of research I eventually worked out that you don't knead the bread for very long at all maybe three minutes or so, so I think I probably over kneaded a bit. Just remember to get your water temp right for the yeast and that it is mixer setting 2 for the kneading. I only made a 500g loaf, the book suggests it can cope with a 1kg loaf but I suspect it might struggle a little. I reckon above that would be a no go. I think if you want to make 3 small loaves at a go regularly you will need something a bit more heavy duty.
I also made the Hummingbird Buttermilk Pound Cake, it was so fast using the mixer, in the oven in no time and very very nice!
The triumph was the pizza dough, which just blew us away. I have never made anything so amazing, ever! This is from Dan Stevens the River Cottage Handbook 3 - Bread. Thanks Dan, you are a genius! This can be found in full on the Guardian's website put 'river cottage pizza' in google and look for the Guardian Article.
- 250g strong white bread flour
- 250g plain white flour
- 5g powdered dried yeast
- 10g salt
- 325ml warm water
- About 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 handful coarse flour (rye, semolina or polenta), for dusting
Put the flour, yeast, salt and water in the mixer bowl. Using the dough hook mix for a few seconds then add the oil. Knead on mixer speed 2 (it says ten min but I was happy with it after about 4-5 min). Then I rolled it into a ball and left it to prove for a couple of hours in a lightly oiled bowl in a plastic bag (warm place).
I think you can use the dough straight after knocking it back but I knocked it back and then let it prove a second time in the fridge for about 6 hours as didn't need it until the evening. Make sure you roll it super thin and cook in an oven on max heat until the cheese is golden and bubbling. I used the batch cook tomato sauce recipe from BBC Good Food for the tomato base.
Summary: Stunning mixer, perfect for the amateur home cook that also likes pretty, sparkly things!
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