Thursday, April 26, 2018

How To Use KitchenAid Artisan 5 Quart Tilt Head Stand Mixer | A Review




KitchenAid is an extremely well-known brand internationally when it comes to stand mixers and other kitchen appliances. Almost a century old name, it is used and preferred by most pastry chefs and bakers across the world. KitchenAid sent me the Artisan 5 Quart Tilt Head Stand Mixer* am sharing my experience using it and few more bits of information. You may find it helpful if you are a new proud owner or are considering /deliberating buying a stand mixer.


Do not forget to check the special discount offer exclusively for my readers at the end of the post! You can also watch my video How to Use A Kitchen Aid stand mixer here.


Broadly speaking, KitchenAid stand mixers come in Tilt-head and Bowl-lift models. Made in the USA, these are made entirely of die cast metal, so extremely sturdy and durable. You can choose these from a wide range of more than  15 colors.The stand mixers come with a 5 year warranty on domestic use and 1-year warranty on commercial use. Do refer the warranty document on the KitchenAid website for more details.


The Artisan 5 Quart tilt head model*  is  300 watts power, comes with a 4.8 L bowl. The Artisan Mini model* comes with a 3.3L bowl with 250 watts power. There is a professional 315 watt 4.8L Bowl Lift Model* you could check. Please do read the manual for more technical specifications.The 500 Watt Bowl Lift Model* with 1.3 HP motor is more powerful, comes with a bigger 6.9 L mixing bowl.

There is also a 1.3 HP motor Professional model* which apparently is 60% more powerful,handles small and large amounts of batter just as easily. It has more stability on the counter, comes with a wire guard for increased safety and stability in a commercial environment. These models are for handling heavy loads. Please do read the manual for more technical specifications.






The stainless steel bowl of the 5 Quart has a handle (some bowls don't), which makes it easy to shift, move it around, hold when you transfer the batter or heat the eggs for a genoise. You could also go in for a glass mixing bowl which is available in 3 different glass textures. If you bake extensively, it would make life a lot easier to have an extra mixing bowl and whisk.

In the tilt head models, as the name suggests, you can tilt the motor head back and forth. This makes fixing the attachments easier and gives better access to the mixing bowl.
The Artisan 5 Quart stand mixer comes with three attachments. A paddle or flat beater, dough hook, these are both nylon coated.  The stainless steel wire whip has 6 wires.
The wire whip of the professional model has 11 wires (wow!), the hook and paddle are all steel.


         

You can also check the paddle which comes with a flexible silicone scraper (above)as an additional accessory. While mixing batter or creaming,you will need to stop the stand mixer in between to scrape down the sides. The Flexi-edge beater helps here,so no need to scrape down in between.

Some of the accessories may be different for different models, so be sure you get the right one for your mixer.

The dough hook, paddle and whip rotate in the mixing bowl with a 59 point planetary mixing action, helping ingredients mix thoroughly.


The pouring shield can be fitted on the bowl, helps pour in ingredients and mix without any mess, prevents any  dry ingredients flying into your face as you start mixing. This again is an additional accessory for some models.

The lever on the side of the motor head helps  you tilt and lock or release it. There is the speed control lever with speed levels going from 1 to 10.



The attachment hub  fits more than 10 optional attachments such as the pasta maker, ice cream maker, spiralizer,food processor,grain mill  and others. So apart from baking, you can use the stand mixer for a whole lot of everyday cooking too. Please check the KitchenAid website for more details.

Ideally, the dough hook, paddle and whip should not hit the bottom or sides of the bowl when you run the mixer or they will wear out. It should not be too far away from the bowl either. This is called as beater to bowl clearance. There is this screw is for adjusting the height of the beater if necessary.

       


To fit one of the attachments (paddle, hook, whip),you first need to slide the locking lever to the unlock position, hold it in the unlock position and tilt the motor head. Makes it easy to fit the attachment. When you tilt the head, the lever goes to the lock position automatically, so the head stays tilted. Similarly, to lower the motor head, again unlock and gently lower it. The locking lever will automatically go into locked position. Please remember, the mixer needs to be in locked position when you use it.

Once the motor head is tilted back, we can slip the attachment on the beater shaft, push it up and turn it right to hook it over the pin , much like you would fix a light bulb. To unlock, press the attachment upward and turn left. Then pull it away.

Then  the bowl. Place it on the plate, gently turn it clockwise to lock it into position. Turn counter clockwise to unlock.

Now the stand mixer is ready to use.  It is recommended to start the mixer on the  low speed and then gradually move to higher speed levels. Usually, low speed is used for stirring and mixing, folding in ingredients. Medium speed for kneading, high speed for whipping eggs, cream etc. But please follow recipe instructions always.  Always stop the mixer if you have to scrape the batter down at any point of time.



About the attachments, the dough hook is basically used for kneading dough, for bread, pizza and even atta for making rotis, naan,samosa patti. There may be exceptions though. So follow recipe instructions always.

According to Rose Levy Beranbaum, for dough that is medium stiff, the 5 Quart mixer can handle up to 6 cups of flour to make about 2 loaves of bread without straining the motor.

If you would be mixing dough which is very stiff, then you can mix up to 1.5 pounds of dough at a time. The Kitchen Aid Professional 6 quart she says can handle 12 cups of flour for medium stiff dough. So choose the type of mixer depending on your need.

The temperature of yeast dough rises as it is mixed, so if you bake a lot with sticky dough such as focaccia, you may want to check the ice water jacket attachment useful, it helps to keep the dough at the optimal temperature.



The paddle attachment is normally used to make cake batter and cookie dough. You can also make really good flaky pastry. Stay tuned for these recipes coming up soon!

Sometimes, the paddle attachment is also used for mixing bread dough with a high proportion of liquid(like that amazing flatbread above). Also, if mixing small amounts of dough in the stand mixer, the paddle attachment works better as it reaches closer to the bottom of the bowl. Experiment and stick to whatever works best for you.

The whisk is used when you want to incorporate air, when you whip eggs, egg whites and cream. I have used a hand mixer for a very long time and I can tell you that the volume to which the eggs can be whipped in the stand mixer is something you can’t really achieve with a hand mixer. Not to mention the time and ease with which you can do it.

That volume helps make your cakes and bakes lighter. So making larger batches of meringue, macarons, buttercream, and genoise is a whole lot less time and effort, the end product better when you use a stand mixer.




Mixing speed levels and number in KitchenAid stand mixer as given in Rose's Beranbaum's Baking Bible

Low - Number 2
Medium Low- Number 3
Medium - Number 4
Medium-high - Numbers 6-8
High - Number 10

However, if the volume of ingredients is small in proportion to the mixer bowl, you may need to use higher speeds than indicated in the recipe.




The motor head will feel warm or even hot when you use it for heavy loads or prolong the mixing time. This is normal, not to worry. The machine is very sturdy, easy to use and maintain. It is a real workhorse.

The stand mixer makes the baking process so much easier as the machine takes care of the hard work. As you go, you will find it a joy because you can move on to getting your other ingredients ready, the stand mixer leaves you totally hands-free.  But when you mix stiff dough, the stand mixer may walk on the counter, so do not walk away from the machine.

But of course there will be the learning curve and you will need to figure out what works best for you for various recipes. You can call the KA helpline for any queries and help.
KitchenAid currently has its service center only in Delhi. Do check with the service center for more details on this.




If you are planning to buy the KitchenAid 5 Quart Tilt Head,do definitely check their current offer of the ice cream maker attachment worth Rs.6,500 free on purchase of the stand mixer!

DISCLAIMER:*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and buy through the link, I will earn a tiny commission on the same. I only recommend products which I have used and found good or those I would buy for myself.

You will be paying the same price as mentioned on the website, there will not be any variation here. This commission will help me with me costs of running the blog and channel and bring out more videos for you. Your support will be greatly appreciated!

More videos and recipes using the KitchenAid stand mixer coming up next, stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How To Zest Citrus Fruits,Tools & Tips




Using orange, lemon or lime zest in your desserts and bakes gives them that zesty kick and aromawhich can't really be compared! Once you get hooked to this, you will not even want to touch synthetic essence with a 10 foot pole! Here are a few tips for zesting citrus fruit, tools you can use. 


I absolutely love using zest, orange zest in particular. It is not rocket science of course, but it may help to remember a couple of things when you zest citrus fruits. Zest is the outer colored part of citrus fruits. The natural oils in the skin gives that amazingly fresh aroma. 





Lemons have this thicker skin which gives you a generous lot of zest. Use lemons if you can find them as these limes can be stingy. You could also try using sweet limes. I like using Malta variety oranges as the skin is thicker. Of course as much as possible, try to use whatever is recommended or complements the recipe.

Remember to use really fresh fruits for the best aroma. The sad looking one from the bottom of the fridge will not work for sure. Try to use organic oranges, unsprayed ones as we will be using the skin here.  It is important to wash these well and wipe them dry.  Wash with warm water, in case you suspect the fruit is waxed.


Watch the video How To Zest Citrus Fruits



The best and my favorite tool for this is my microplane zester. Gives finely grated zest, with minimal effort,really fast! I would hate if I had to spend unnecessary time and effort for the simple task. You can order this online here in India or in the USA if someone can carry it for you.(usually much lower in price in the USA, be sure to compare)

If your recipe needs you to use both juice and the zest, zest the orange first and then squeeze the juice. If you do it the other way, it will be more pain than pleasure!

So we hold the zester at an angle and go back and forth, try not to use too much pressure as you do this.We need to scrape out just the colored part, not the white bitter pith here. Keep rotating the fruit as you go.


As much as possible, Try to grate it directly above the batter or eggs, where ever you want to use the zest. If you touch this with your hands, you may lose some of the oils here. You will hands will smell gorgeous though! If you grate directly without measuring with a spoon, you would  just have to take an educated guess. Use more rather than less,doesn't really hurt!Always use grated zest immediately. 

I like to whisk the zest with a small whisk into a small part of liquid in the recipe so that it is evenly distributed. A clump of it would taste terrible. 

If you do not have a zester, you can take a really sharp peeler or knife and peel out only the colored part. Then grind it with some sugar in the smallest jar of your processor till the zest is really fine. Remember, this sugar must be part of the recipe ingredients. 





Then we have these other kinds of citrus zesters. One which gives fine zest is good as otherwise you may get strands of it in your mouth unless you strain the batter. Not always pleasant. 

Then this is something you could use to grate out thin longish zest, appropriate for using as a garnish or your cakes and desserts. Check these out here and here. Do note these strands dry in minutes, so best limited to blog and Instagram purposes!

I am not sure if a regular box type cheese grater would work well, it would be difficult to use, the zest not as fine, plus you may injure your fingers. 

Then you could also make your citrus zest powder. I came across powdered lemon zest in Rose Beranbaum's Baking Bible. Take super fine sugar and rub into the zest. Spread it on a plate in a thin layer. and let it feels dry to the touch Let it dry at room temperature for about 12 hours. 
Grind it using a mortar and pestle, strain it using a fine meshed strainer, grind and powder again. Store airtight, you can freeze this airtight for 2 months. She suggests using this as a garnish.




Once you start using freshly grated zest, you will never look at oranges or the peel to be precise, the same way again!


Please note:*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and buy through the link, I will earn a tiny commission on the same. I recommend products which I have used and found good.You will be paying the same price as mentioned on the website, there will not be any variation here. This commission will help me with me costs of running the blog and channel. Your support will be greatly appreciated.