Wednesday, 23 October 2013


I recently had the good fortune of being asked to use the KenwoodClassic Chef Mixer from Argos. I have been used countless mixers of varying quality and price in my time so I had a lot to compare it to. I have to say it did well. It comes with a balloon whisk, a dough hook which I used for bread and the K beater for a cake, both with excellent results.
The K beater has a really peculiar shape that I can't help but think it has some clever hi-tech benefits to its mixing. It has a clear see through splash guard so no need to wrap a tea towel round the top!
Kenwood have had a reputation for decades as a brand you can rely on. I can remember growing up that the name Kenwood was used as the word for mixer just like Hoover for vacuum cleaner. It's one of those products that your mum had and is still using.

The Kenwood Classic Chef Mixer is available from Argos along with a great variety of other Kenwood products all competitivley priced. Mine was ordered one day and delivered the next morning, couldn't be easier.

I know some people have a thing about putting sweet and savoury together but for me it's not an issue. This is a sweet dough but not excessively so and with the addition of mushrooms and tarragon the whole thing becomes something quite decadent.
I wouldn't usually use a mixer for making bread but this sweat enriched dough is really sticky so starting it off in the mixer made it more manageable before I started kneading.

BREAD 500g White Bread Flour, 15g Yeast, 60g Butter, 40g Sugar, 10g Salt, 2 Eggs, 250ml Warm Milk
If you're using fresh yeast rub it into the flour along with the butter as you would when making pastry. Add the remaining ingredients and mix in your mixer on it's lowest setting till it comes together.
Spray a little oil onto your surface and tip the dough onto it. Dust your hands with a little flour and knead for 8-10 minutes.
If it gets sticky, spray a little more oil on the surface. Don't be tempted to add flour, this will make your dough heavy and you want to keep it soft, the softer your dough, the softer your bread will be.
Dust the bowl with a little flour and return the dough to it, cover with cling film or a shower cap and leave to rise for 1 hour whilst you make your filling.
MUSHROOMS: 1 tbsp Olive Oil, 1 Red Onion finely chopped, 1 Clove Garlic crushed, 300g Mushrooms finely chopped, 2 tsp Dried Tarragon, Salt & Pepper to season, 2 tbsp Double Cream

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions till soft, add the garlic and cook for another minute. Now add the mushrooms, tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Cook till the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Once the dough has risen divide into 20 pieces and form into neat balls. Roll out each ball into a rough rectangle and place a dessert spoon of mushroom into the centre. Bring the two ends into the middle then pull the sides together and seal tightly forming a rectangular roll.

Place each roll onto baking sheets lined with parchment and leave to rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.Once they have risen, brush with a little milk and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180C.

180g Sugar, 20g Butter, 3 eggs, 300g Self Raising Flour, ½ tsp Baking Powder, 2 x 411g Jars Mincemeat, 60g Glace Cherries, Flaked Almonds to decorate

This is a great recipe for your mixer, you simply weigh all the ingredients into the bowl with the beater attachment and the mixer does all the work for you in no time at all.

Pour the batter into a lined 2lb loaf tin sprinkle the top with flaked almonds and bake for 11/2 – 2 hours at 160C fan. You may want to cover it with foil after the first hour to stop it burning. Test the centre with a skewer and once cooked remove from the oven and cool in the tin.


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