I’ve had a passion for baking ever since I could hold a spatula. With that said, not all of my past attempts at creating delectable delights have been successful. So when I was given the opportunity to put the new Kenwood Chef Sense to the test (and blog about my culinary endeavours), I grabbed it with both oven mitts!
Having never used a mixer in my life (I know, I can’t believe it either!), I’ve always exerted a whole lot of manpower whipping up batter the old-fashioned way. So, as you can imagine, it was with high expectations and excitement that I lifted the lid on my new Kenwood toy.
First impressions count and the Kenwood Chef Sense certainly left a great one. With its heavy-duty and stylish body, it stole the show from the moment it took pride of place on the benchtop. I chose Drizzled Pink from Harvey Norman’s exclusive Chef Sense Colour Collection range because I thought the pastel pink colour would go nicely with my kitchen’s neutral colour scheme – although I was quite tempted by the other options of Zested Yellow, Glazed Green, and Dusted Blue. With the Chef Sense looking right at home in my kitchen, I flipped my way through the included recipe book before landing on a show-stopping Red Velvet Cake – which would become my first Chef Sense masterpiece.
I began by attaching the creaming tool to the mixer. My attempts at creaming butter and sugar to the point of being ‘pale and fluffy’ (as most cake recipes instruct) have not always gone to plan. I can manage ‘pale and clumpy’ – does that count for anything? But the Kenwood Chef Sense made history in my life as a baker. In a smooth, rotating motion, I watched the creaming tool whirl its way through the butter and sugar with total mix planetary action, using its soft, plastic edges like a spatula along the sides of the bowl until the ingredients had become one and the mixture was pale and fluffy! Needless to say I was beyond thrilled at having achieved a luscious, creamy consistency – and in no time at all.
After combining eggs and vanilla extract into the smooth batter, it was time to add the dry ingredients. Replacing the creaming attachment with the K-beater was super easy – all I had to do was twist and the attachment came out of the mixer head, and then I popped in the next one and twisted it to lock it into place. Now that the Chef Sense was ready to go, I added flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the bowl and set the mixer on soft start.
The mixture became heavier when I added some more of the dry ingredients, so I was relying on the K-beater to do the hard work for me just as the creaming tool had. While the beater was working its magic, I increased the speed from soft start to medium using the intelligent control knob to really get the show going. Using the single-touch rear head lift, I opened the Chef Sense to check on the K-beaters performance. I was not disappointed. It had brought the wet and dry ingredients together beautifully, and in under a minute of beating had produced a well-combined mixture with a consistent texture – minus the mess. The variable speed system gave me complete control so none of the batter had managed to find its way outside of the bowl (a first for me, let me tell you!).
It was now time to add the final ingredient to the mixture – red-dyed buttermilk. How quickly I had reached the final step of the recipe! Turning the mixer on to a medium speed, I slowly poured in the buttermilk and watched the Kenwood Chef Sense transform the mixture into a flawless, velvety batter. I was amazed at how much room there was left in the bowl after it had an entire cake’s worth of batter inside! It got me thinking, did this mean I’d be able to make batter for two cakes in one go? Exclusive to Harvey Norman, the heavy-duty glass bowl has a massive capacity of 4.6 litres! It was much larger, deeper and heavier than I had expected, but these all proved to be good things; the high sides prevented any ingredients from ‘escaping’, and the solid weight of the bowl made it unmovable which would definitely come in handy when kneading dough. Plus, I was able to measure out ingredients straight into the bowl thanks to its internal graduations.
With my Red Velvet cake sponge in the oven, I called the creaming tool to the stage one last time to make butter cream icing for my cake. Again, it was a simple matter of placing the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract into the bowl and taking a step back while the Chef Sense mixer did its thing. I was left with a smooth and delicious icing that was both spreadable and firm enough to sit perfectly on my cake. I spread a layer of the glorious mixture between the two sponges, on the sides and on top, and sprinkled it with flaked almonds. As you can probably guess, my Red Velvet cake was a complete success. The texture was just right; soft, fluffy and moist with a brilliant red colour. I was delighted with the end result, and so were my family! I realised that with the Chef Sense I could do more, create more. So after that, I signed up for round two.
I decided to dedicate my next Chef Sense adventure to my favourite thing in the world: chocolate. And who doesn’t love chocolate cupcakes? After I had melted dark chocolate with water in a small pot and put it aside for later, I switched on the Chef Sense to beat butter and brown sugar. The mixture was smooth and ready in under a minute, so I added in an egg at a time while the mixer continued to beat. I then sifted plain and self-raising flour and cocoa powder straight into the bowl and combined all the ingredients, adding choc chips at the end.
Once again, I was impressed by the amount of room left in the bowl; the cupcake mixture seemed to take up so little space, sitting at the bottom of the bowl. I only needed to make one batch of 24 mini cupcakes, but the bowl could easily fit double and more! I scooped out teaspoons of the smooth cupcake batter into a prepared mini cupcake tray and popped them in the oven. When they had cooled, I topped them with some chocolate frosting for a finishing touch.
Like the Red Velvet cake, the chocolate cupcakes were soft, moist and very popular among my colleagues when I brought them into work. Everyone agreed that they were delicious and that the texture was just right. Had I beat the mixture with my spoon by hand, I’m sure the cupcakes would not have come out of the oven with the same results. After all, the success of your sweet treats always depends on the hard work that goes into the batter – the whisking, beating, creaming, etc. The Chef Sense not only takes care of that for you, it takes care of it with ease – it’s not hard work anymore!
All in all, I was more than satisfied with the performance of the Chef Sense mixer and the end results it delivered. The premium design, massive bowl capacity, range of included tools, intelligent controls and other convenient features like the single-touch rear head lift, easy twist-out attachment system and variable speed are all things that I loved about the Chef Sense. It not only enhanced my kitchen space and spared my arms the workout, but it also made quick work of whatever I threw at it (literally) and cut the time I usually spend baking in the kitchen by half!
Will I go back to my old ways now that I’ve experienced the performance of a top-of-the-line, super-stylish, multi-functional mixer? Of course not. The Chef Sense took care of everything for me and produced outstanding results. And to think there are over 20 more Chef Sense attachments available to purchase separately including a range of pasta cutters, ice-cream maker, blender and grinder! It gets the mind buzzing with possibilities.
Designed and engineered to meet a diverse range of culinary needs, the Chef Sense is the kind of innovative, quality product we’ve come to expect from a trusted global brand like Kenwood. The Chef Sense is available now at Harvey Norman, so head in to your local store or browse online to discover the possibilities that come with having a sixth sense in the kitchen.