Perfect mixers for perfect desserts

Article Details

Some say baking is all in the hands, but they can’t do everything. That’s where mixers come in. The lifesavers of the baking world, they work harder and faster than your hands, saving you time and improving the quality of your desserts.

But with so many different types of mixers available, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve narrowed them down to 5 main types…

Hand mixer

The name says it all. They’re handheld devices that stir, whisk, beat and mix ingredients with two rotating metal beaters that can be removed and replaced with different attachments, depending on what you’re making. If you don’t bake too often, go for a hand mixer. They can do most things that stand mixers do and are easier to store.

Use it for

  • Cake batter
  • Cookie dough
  • Whipping butter
  • Beating eggs

Look for these features

  • Weight: Don’t get one that’s too heavy—you’ll be holding it for a while!
  • Wattage: Aim for mixers with 250 watts of power.
  • ‘Slow start’ feature: You want your mixer to start slow so you don’t make a mess.

Stand mixer

These are similar to hand mixers but can stand on their own and are attached to a bowl. They can mix larger batches of batter or dough for longer. If you’re a frequent baker and have plenty of counter space to spare, it’s worth investing in one. The higher the quality of the mixer, the better.

Use it for

  • Cookie dough
  • Cake batter
  • Meringue
  • Creaming butter
  • Sugar

Look for these features

  • Mixing bowl size: Get one with a mixing bowl larger than you think you might need.
  • Wattage: Aim for 350-375 watts of power so that you can mix cake and cookie mixtures.
  • ‘Slow start’ feature: Prevents you from making a mess in the beginning.

Countertop blender

These look like pitchers with rotating metal blades at the bottom to mix ingredients. The more powerful they are, the smoother the mixture and the more they can crush frozen foods and ice. They’re also very easy to clean.

Use it for

  • Purees
  • Pancakes
  • Silky smoothies
  • Frozen drinks
  • Slushies
  • Nut butters

Look for these features

  • Pitcher material: Glass or high-grade plastic are more durable, scratch-resistant and prevent lingering smells.
  • Secure lids: Choose blenders with tight covers to avoid messes.
  • Blade: Stainless steel blades last longer.
  • Speed: A wider range of speed lets you mix things as finely or roughly as you need.

Immersion or hand blender

A handheld blender that’s much lighter, easier to store and can carry out many of the same tasks but in smaller batches and with less power. If you don’t have much space, this type of blender will do fine. It comes with different blades and a number of strengths.

Use it for

  • Whipped cream
  • Single smoothie servings
  • Dessert sauces
  • Chocolate mousse

Look for these features

  • Build: Blenders with metal bodies are less likely to crack than plastic.
  • Power cord: Look for a blender with a long power cord to reach your bowl, or better yet, go for cordless.
  • Speed: Work with a greater variety of ingredients with more speed options.

Food processor

Your go-to appliance for chopping and shredding ingredients into smaller pieces. It looks like a countertop blender, but it has larger metal rotating blades and is less powerful, which means it can’t mix batter or blend liquids.

Use it for

  • Truffles
  • Rocky road slices
  • Chopped nuts
  • Chunky cookies
  • Pie crusts
  • Nut butters

Look for these features

  • Size: A larger feed tube and cup capacity to fit more ingredients and prepare bigger batches.
  • Wattage: You’ll need more power to mix pastry doughs.
  • Pulse function: Maintain control over the mixture’s texture by mixing in shorter intervals.

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