Saturday, 20 July 2013

Product Review: Breville 'The Scraper Mixer Pro' BEM800

After being in service for my family for 30 years, at long last our Kenwood Chef mixer finally gave way to old age. The motor could still run, but the mixing blades could not be fastened to its rotating head properly, so it is as good as gone. I do not know which model it is, but it was when Kenwood mixers were still made in the UK and spare parts for such an old model is hard to come by.

I had to find a replacement fast as orders for cakes kept coming in, but I wanted to get something that is of good performance and could last me a long time, so naturally I thought of getting a Kenwood model too. The KM040 model seems to be the best choice; even if the price was a bit steep, I was willing to make the investment as I know Kenwood is not expensive for nothing.

An electrical appliance shop in Kelana Jaya offered me the best price, but unfortunately they did not have any in stock. I had to wait at least 3 days for the stock to arrive, but I could not wait.

I went to Aeon Midvalley as I know it also sells Kenwood mixers, but I was disappointed to find that the price had been marked up so much. Exasperated, I began to look at other make and models.

Coincidentally, Breville was having a roadshow for their mixer at Aeon Midvalley. I am loyal to a fault with Kenwood, so I was a bit wary of other make, especially Breville since I rarely heard of its name. Had it been a Kitchenaid, I might be more responsive as it is well known and proven to be a workhorse in the kitchen.

The promoter was explaining the details and demonstrating the Breville mixer to us and my mum was very impressed with it. While the said demonstration was taking place, I quickly Googled up Breville mixers on my phone and read reviews and comparisons of the mixer with others in the market.

My new baby :) But the only option available was the boring silver
I was surprised to know that the Breville BEM800 is comparable to the Kitchenaid Artisan and in some reviews, it is considered the better mixer than Kitchenaid's. At a price tag of RM1999.00 it is cheaper than Kenwood and Kitchenaid. Of course there are pros and cons of each make (Kenwood, Kitchenaid and Breville), but after going through the demonstration again, I was convinced enough to give it a try.

The Breville BEM800 is powered by a 1,000W motor and the body is of die cast metal, so it is powerful, steady and solid. However, the motor's sound is quite minimal and compared to the noisy Kenwood, the Breville purrs like a kitty. 

The mixer comes with a stainless steel 5.5 quart bowl, plastic guards for the bowl (so there is no or less spills when you mix those batter), a plastic spatula and 4 blade attachments; the 'Scraper' beater (actually it is the K beater with scraper on its sides), the K beater, the whisk and the kneading hook. All are made of stainless steel except for the Scraper beater.

Here are the whisk and Scraper attachments. The other two are in the box and I was quite lazy to take them out
Instead of the conventional numeral speed dial, the Breville Scraper Mixer Pro has a LED indicator dial that indicates the right speed for various mixing tasks, from folding a batter to aerating and whipping of meringue or cream. It also has a timer, so it is easy for me to set the time for each task (whipping Italian Meringue buttercream takes about 35 minutes from start to finish). Also, the mixing bowl has a handle, so it was easy for me to pour batter into the baking tin. 

For the first 2 weeks, I used it almost daily and for 3 to 4 times a day, so I could say that I put it through quite a test, but I am happy to say that the Breville mixer passed the test with flying colours. So far, I had whipped up perfect Italian Meringue buttercream everytime since I start using the Breville mixer.

My only grouse is that the mixer does not come with other functions such as grinding, pasta and ice cream making etc (which you can do with a Kenwood or Kitchenaid mixer, provided that you buy the attachment separately), but honestly, I needed it to work at its best as a mixer, so other functions should be secondary. 

Perhaps if I could afford it in the future, I could get myself one of those multi functioned Kenwood or Kitchenaid... :) But right now, I am very happy with my Breville mixer and alhamdullillah had made the right choice in purchasing it.

Selamat Berpuasa


Probably this wish is a bit late as here in Malaysia we are already on our 11th day of fasting, but I would like to wish 'Selamat Berpuasa' to everyone nonetheless :)

The month of Ramadhan, in which Muslims worldwide would fast from dawn till dusk, is a very special month for Muslims and efforts to better ourselves should be intensified. Not only should we fast from eating and drinking, but we should also refrain from doing bad things and having bad thoughts, or else our day's hunger and thirst would come to nothing. 

May this Ramadhan be the best and brings out the best in everyone, and once again, Selamat Berpuasa :)

Please refrain from breaking your fast halfway through the day like these kitties...

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Chocolate Cake for my lil' nephew, Afiq

I know nothing of this character called Pororo and when my cousin called me up to order a cake with Pororo image on it, I thought to myself it must be a Japanese cartoon character or something, like Ultraman or Naruto but with a cuter name.

I was surprised to find that Pororo doesn't come from Japan (it's actually from Spain) and that he is a lovable penguin adored by most under 5 years old preschoolers.

Anyway, my cousin said that Afiq was happy with the cake that he sang Pororo's song when he saw it. I love nothing more than brightening up anybody's day, especially a child's; it makes me happy all over :)

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and icing image print - 8" round

Red Velvet Cake for Sylvia

This cake had been ordered way back in December but I am posting it up only now. Sylvia was a colleague of mine until recently; she is now in Australia and I wish Sylvia all the best :)

Assalamualaikum & hello again!

It has been so long since I last posted :) To tell you the truth, I am simply a bit lazy to update because everytime I do, it would take me an hour for a post. The posts may not be long, but I contemplate on the writings a lot. But anyway, in business one must not be lazy!  :)

I have been quite busy in my daily life and have been receiving quite a number of cake orders of late, alhamdulillah. I shall try my best to post up every single one of them and please wish me luck on that! :)

Anyway, i have updated the Terms & Pricing page: 

1. I had revised the price of my Carrot Walnut Cake to RM 70.00 (10" square) due to the price increase of some ingredients.

2. Added a new cake flavour; Banana Walnut Cake. It's currently my mother's favourite and mine too :)

3. Added the Novelty Shaped Cakes to the list of products; they're baked using Wilton's shaped pans and the cakes can be in either butter, chocolate or marbled cake.

4. Delivery service is available upon request. However, as I am working, I may be able to deliver after 8pm (weekdays) and weekends only. Delivery charges starts from RM 20.00 (depending on locations).

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Cris' Farewell Cake

Sadly, another colleague at work had to leave us in search of greener pasture. We have had 2 farewells within a span of a few months and both of these colleagues were from the same department. 

I was requested to bake a rainbow cake for Cris' farewell party and wanting to be different, I suggested a star shaped rainbow cake. The end product was tall and big; it was 13" across and weigh nearly 4kgs. 

All the best, Cris and I shall miss her beautiful personality and lovely singing voice! :)

Star Shaped Rainbow Cake - 13" across

Football Cupcakes for Punitha

A colleague of mine, Punitha, had ordered these football themed cupcakes from me some time before Christmas to celebrate the 1st birthday of her son. I couldn't quite believe it at first but at only 1 year old, Punitha's son had already developed a passion for football. I hope that one day he will become a successful football player and make us Malaysian proud :)

These vanilla cupcakes were decorated with green coloured buttercream frosting resembling grass and for the football centrepiece, I had molded it from white chocolate and painted with some black food colouring.

Football Themed Cupcakes - Vanilla Cupcakes with buttercream frosting and white chocolate football centrepiece

Frosty the Snowman for Mrs. Julien


It's been a while but I'm glad to finally have the time to update this mini blog of mine.

I have been very busy with work of late, and baking too :) Before Christmas I was commissioned to bake Frosty the Snowman for Mrs. Julien, a lovely lady whom I get to know through my sister.

The cake was for a party with young children, therefore Mrs. Julien had requested that I do away with the candy decorations for fear that it might become choking hazards. The end product was simple, but I was happy with it because it was my first snowman cake and it looked festive enough. I wish I had managed to do a better hat for Frosty, though :)

Anyway, Frosty did not get to see the light of Christmas as it was devoured in the pre-Christmas party. Till we meet again, Frosty!

And thank you Mrs. Julien for your faith in me :)

Frosty the Snowman - Two layer butter cake with buttercream frosting and chocolate buttercream frosting for the hat, facial feature and buttons. I especially love the baby blue scarf!