Something old something new

IMG_5419Whoop whoop, I have finally taken delivery of my Christmas gift – a brand new Kenwood mixer. Or, to be technically correct, a Kenwood Chef Titanium KM010 4.6 litre 1400 watt Kitchen Machine. Flash aye!

More time was spent researching and checking out mixers than I spent choosing my wedding dress. True. That was easy – try one, buy it! Mixers were oh, so much more complicated. The Breville almost had me but the fine folk at Harvey Norman Botany came through with a too good to refuse deal. I’m optimistic that Kenny, as I’m calling him, is worth double the price of his competition.

The anticipation opening the box was unbearable – all my other mixers have been courtesy of garage sales or Trade Me. This was quickly followed by the inevitable question, “where am I going to keep my new toy?”. I’ll take a moment here to thank Uncle Frank for driving said very large mixer (along with a car load of Christmas gifts and decorations – see my posting on this obsession) to the half way Auckland-Wellington point for us to collect.

IMG_5392What to make for his first outing? Do I go all out and christen him by turning out some dainty rose macrons? A loaf of bread with my ever-expanding sourdough starter? Or something reliable and ‘safe’. Unlike me, I opted for the later and settled on Mum’s old banana cake recipe. This was a good decision. I’m used to my trusty hand beater or the wonderful old Sunbeam (which I’m keeping for sentimental reasons – thus the space issue) which has a bowl that turns while mixing. So, Kenny, with his stay still bowl but super dooper scraper mechanism will take a little getting used to.

I like this banana cake recipe. It’s easy. It’s never failed. It’s inexpensive. It can become egg free (replacing the one egg with a tablespoon of golden syrup). And, mostly, because it is delicious. I used Kenny to make almost the whole cake. Normally I would fold the dry ingredients in by hand, but thought I’d give it a whirl in the mixer and see what happened.

What you’ll need:

125 butter (at room temperature)

180g sugar

1 egg (or 1 Tbsp golden syrup for an egg-free cake)

1 tsp vanilla essence

125ml milk

1 tsp baking soda

2 ripe bananas, mashed

220g plain flour}

3 tsp baking powder} sifted together

1 tsp ground cinnamon}

Optional: chopped walnuts

Lemon icing

What to do:

Prepare a tin by lining with baking paper. I use a 21cm ring tin, but have used a 19/20cm round tin in the past. Turn your oven to 180C.

IMG_5373Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This seemed to take a nanosecond in Kenny (check out the scraper blade!).

Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

IMG_5378Warm the milk and add the baking soda, so that it begins to froth when stirred (don’t boil or over-heat the milk or it will kill the soda).

Mix the milk into the creamed mixture, then add in the banana. Finally, mix in the previously sifted dry ingredients.

IMG_5381I decided to add some chopped walnuts and mixed these through at the very end by hand.

IMG_5382Pour into your tin and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. This cake took only 35 minutes. Cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, before turning out. Ice, if desired, when cold. (Don’t be put off by the cracked top, the cake wasn’t at all dry and icing covered this.)

IMG_5394I made a lovely rich lemon curd butter cream icing, using my cupcake icing recipe with a large tablespoon of Barkers lemon curd added.

IMG_5413As you can see, the cake went down a treat. Because it’s the middle of summer (and we enjoy such a tropical climate in Wellington), I kept the cake in the fridge. Probably not necessary though, as it didn’t last long enough to go off.

The verdict on the new man in my life? I think Kenny and I are going to become firm friends – especially once I learn to use the right beater tool for the right mixture and get the speed correct. What’s a few liberal splashings of batter or dough on clothing in these early days compared to the lifetime of adventures we’re going to have? (Of course, I could have used the splash guard.) This won’t be the last you hear of Kenny. I can feel some cupcakes coming on.

March addition to post: I recently came across another blogger as keen on her Kenwood as I am mine. You’ll find a detailed product comparison between it and a Kitchen Aid at http://thingswemake.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/kenwood-vs-kitchenaid/. Worth a read!

3 thoughts on “Something old something new

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