Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Finally my new toy arrives!

After my old cake mixer kicked the bucket a few weeks back I have been umming & aahing over various mixers with the Kitchen Aid being at the back of my mind the whole time. I wasn’t satisfied with any of the other brands in the shops & figured that if you’re paying a few hundred why not add a couple extra & get your dream tool, especially as I can easily justify it by pumping out a couple of cakes a week. So I ended up convincing myself that I had to have the Empire Red beast of mixers but there was no talking Michael into buying it for me even after I produced such a beautiful baby for him earlier this year, my birthday & mothers day came & went & still I was tool-less. Luckily a nice break on my tax return meant that I had the means to make the purchase myself & here it is, everything I dreamed of & more (sorry if I am sounding a bit over the top but it is a Kitchen Aid after all!)

So yesterday was the big day, I had bought it online for a discounted price that none of the other stockists would match so it arrived at my door which was much easier than dragging a 5 month old child through the rain to the shops, not to mention pushing a pram & lugging the box at the same time, would not have been easy. I was visiting the lovely Megan today who also popped out a beauty of a baby a few days ago so of course I had the perfect excuse to bake my first ‘Kitchen Aid’ cake. As it was an earlyish visit I chose this delicious but easy cake of Bill Granger’s from Bill’s Food. Once again he did not let me down & the cake was very yummy & I didn’t even make the custard that he suggested would go well with it. Oh and yes the mixer lived up to it expectations, it purred through the creaming like a dream & left me in no doubt that the right choice had been made.

Pear and Vanilla Cake

80g (3oz) unsalted butter
185g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest from 1 lemon
185ml (3/4 cup) cream
165g (1 1/3 cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
4 pears (I only used 2)
20g (3/4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
60g (1/4 cup) raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 180c (350f/Gas 4). Cream the butter & sugar together in a bowl until light & fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla & lemon zest & beat for another minute. Add the cream & mix until smooth. Sift the flour, baking powder & salt & beat until smooth. Pour into a 24cm (9 inch) non stick springform cake tin & smooth the surface.

Peel & core the pears, cut into 3mm (1/8 inch) slices & arrange on the batter in two concentric circles. Brush the pears with the melted butter & sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean & te pears on top are lightly browned. Remove the side from the cake tin & slide the cake onto a plate. Cool slightly before serving.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new purchase!
I have lusted after one of those for a very long time I look forward to seeing some wonderful baking
Mel (with just a touch of the green eyed monster)

PS Did you name it ;)

Ange said...

Thks Mel & no it doesnt have a name (yet)- will have to think about that one!

Ed said...

Why can't I have one of those too? I suppose I'll have to get baking to prove I need one.

Ellie said...

Oh, so so jealous! Can't wait to see what goodness it brings :)

Sarah said...

I love your blog! We have a lot of the same cookbooks and I subscribe to multiple cooking mags too!

I'm going to be purchasing a KitchenAid in a few weeks and would like to know where you purchased yours from. I'm looking at getting it from Peter's of Kensington for $625 if there's no better deal out there. I'm trying to decide between the Empire Red or Pistachio...

Ange said...

Sarah - I got mine from Kitchen warehouse online - was also 625 & 20 delivery to Victoria - they also sent me a free veggie peeler - WOW!

Brilynn said...

It's beautiful... you two will be very happy together!

KikiMiss said...

Well, aren't you a lucky girl!! Another one in the market for a KA, in fact I have been for years I just kept telling myself I was being OTT. you reeeeally love it? Is it worth the big bucks, I have been looking at the Sunbeam mixers (the retro looking version) and thought it would be just as good, in fact it has a heftier engine in wattage I believe.

Would you mind telling me why you went for the KA in the end please? I sort of need to justify it to myself and the big fella that's all.

I look forward to some wonderful baking in the coming posts.

Ange said...

Hi kikimiss, I looked at the sunbeam too & other brands & in the end I figured if your spending hundreds you might as well buy what you really want - it should last forever & it was just a dream of mine I had to fulfil - I just basically went on the reputation & so far I love it - have only made one cake but it was nice & quiet, easy to use & seemed to work pretty bloody good in my opinion

Miss Eagle said...

Ange, marvellous news. Pity about The Other not coughing up for it, though. Will he be entitled to a cake from the KA? In my day - aeons ago - the choice was between a Sunbeam Mixmaster and the machine of dreams, the Kenwood Chef. In fact, the appliance dreams of the good housewife revolved about the Kenwood and the Elna Sewing Machine. Managed to acquire both with a bit of extracurricular income - patchwork for the Elna; food stalls for the Kenwood! The thing I love about the KA is that it has a very deep bowl. It seems to me so deep that it needs no cover yet the mixture doesn't not spin out. Is this the case?

Blessings and bliss

Ange said...

Miss Eagle - Unfor Michael will get to enjoy the fruits oof the KA as I will not be able to resist baking & if I eat it all then I will never get the baby weight off so will have to let him have some too!!!!! And know what you mean about the Kenwood - I had my mums on loan while I was deciding what to buy - she got it as a wedding pressie 35 years ago & it is still going strong, lets hope the KA does as well. As for the deep bowl, so far so good & looks like a lot of batter will fit in too

Jules said...

Hi Ange,
Isn’t she just beautiful all dressed in her red coat! I’m thrilled for you the perfect piece of kit for the kitchen! Enjoy and have many happy times together :)

KikiMiss said...

Right, well you've all convinced me..I NEED IT. Now to choose a colour, there are so many to select from. I think I want something different to the red..maybe pistachio?

I'm going to download a pic and have it as my screen saver now..for inspiration. Ha ha ha ha.

Pinky said...

Wow, I'm so pleased for you! Mine is the Sunshine Yellow one and looks SO FANTASTIC on my bench. I kiss it hello every morning.
I've tagged you for a meme: visit me to check it out. Only if you want to though!
Happy baking...

Angela said...

I just bought myself an empire red KA at Cedar Hospitality - they had a special on $630. As it was an impulse buy, I had to carry it all the way home - not recommended!
So, I specifically looked up your blog to find a recipe for my first cake. What a co-incidence to see you have just bought one too!
I'm going to make a 3rd Birthday cake for Ruben & try the Birthday Custard Sponge.

Ange said...

Hi Ange, I rang Cedar Hospitality & they quoted me way over $700 so you got lucky (apart from having to walk home with it - dont know how you managed - its so heavy!). Good luck on the sponge, Michael loved it for his bday and he is really just a big kid too.