If you have ever considered writing reviews for Epinions but thought that it might not be worth your time, the next three words will blow you away: I WON THIS! Epinions staff held a sweepstakes for the Home & Garden category. Every review written in that category became a sweepstakes entry, and one of my five reviews brought me incredible luck! Before you run off to register and write reviews for epinions.com, you may want to know what I think of my new mixer.
Recommend this product?
Having received my KitchenAid Artisan Mixer about three weeks before Passover, I decided to wait until the start of the Jewish Cooking and Baking Marathon before using it. In the meantime, I set it up in the corner of my kitchen counter, near the spice rack. I chose the green shade of Bay Leaf because it matched the countertops. This was the easiest set-up that I’ve ever done alone. The mixer was packed in a ready-to-use form. The bowl and the wire whip attachment were already attached to the housing. I only needed to pull it all out of the box and put it on the counter. Along with the whip, the mixer comes a mixer/beater and a dough hook, which both easily attach to the mixer and are stored in one of the kitchen drawers. There is also a splatter guard that fits over the mixing bowl and keeps everything clean during the mixing process. There is a chute-style opening that allows you to add ingredients without removing the guard or turning the unit off.
Over the last three weeks, I looked through my Jewish cookbook collection for interesting recipes involving the use of a big, brawny mixer. When the big day finally arrived, I still hadn’t made a decision – an embarrassment of riches. A close friend found a sugar-free chocolate cake mix that I chose to make for our Seder’s dessert (adding a little presentation garnish of Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup – also sugar-free).
In the past, I had to use a portable hand mixer and found it to be tiring. Due to multiple sclerosis, I have a difficult time with hand-held appliances. For example, it’s easier for me to use a high-quality manual can-opener than an electric model because I can rest the can on the table instead of holding it with one hand and pushing a lever with the other. It’s hard to describe the freedom of using the KitchenAid Artisan. I quickly attached the mixer/beater (the manual explains the purpose for each attachment), raised the height level a bit to keep the attachment from hitting the bowl, put the guard on, turned the mixer on Setting #4 (medium speed), and greased the pan while the mixer did all the hard work.
I’m not exaggerating when I say “hard work.” If you haven’t dealt with Passover cooking, the lack of leavening can make for a cake batter that fights you every step of the way. Because we are forbidden to use traditional yeasts and baking powders during Passover, eggs are pretty much the only way to make cakes and pastries rise. This makes for a pretty stiff batter – cake batter could pass for brownie batter, and the residue left after transferring the batter from mixing bowl to cake pan will turn into concrete mix unless the bowl is soaked overnight. Although I did soak the mixing bowl overnight, it was out of habit rather than necessity. That presoaked mixing bowl is now in the dishwasher with the mixer/beater attachment. The mixer housing doesn’t have a drop of batter on it (thanks to the splatter guard); but if it did get dirty, a damp cloth is all you need to clean it.
The KitchenAid Artisan mixer made it possible for me to make a beautiful dessert for my guests, and it will soon be mixing up matzoh brei (a sort of French toast that substitutes softened – with water or milk – matzoh for the bread). There’s also a sponge cake in its future.
Once the holiday is over, I plan to try some of the recipes in the owner’s manual (which has Spanish and French translations within it). One of the simplest but most intriguing is one for Creamy No-Cook Mints. There are a number of recipes for cakes, breads, and appetizers (I also have a KitchenAid Challah recipe in my Spice and Spirit cookbook). With attachments you can buy separately, you can make pasta (pasta kit, $500; pasta cutter, $150; and ravioli maker, $170), ice cream (ice cream maker $100), etc. This is just a sample of what’s available, and the prices quoted from KitchenAid’s website are subject to change.
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Amount Paid (US$): gift