The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
There are times when the recipe I'm making requires small quantities of ingredients to be chopped or blended. As a child my mum used to ask me to chop some almonds and I remember how fiddly these were to cut as they have no flat base and there were several occasions when the knife would slip, but luckily no fingers were chopped off!
Fast forward a few years and we've now invested in a Kenwood mini chopper. This is such a handy little device and one that we continuously use. It was used regularly on Delia Smith's cookery show and is marketed as a 'Delia cheat gadget'. Last weekend for example I decided to make a date and almond cake. This required some blanched almonds that had to be chopped finely. No more chopping board and risking chopped fingers! Out came our trusty mini chopper and in a matter of seconds I had a couple of handfuls of roughly chopped almonds.
The Kenwood mini chopper is basically a mini food processor and is great for times when small quantities of ingredients have to be processed as using a large food processor would not be suitable. The chopper consists of a small plastic bowl, with a 350ml capacity, in which a small detachable blade is placed. This then slots into the main unit, which holds the motor and is white in colour. The entire unit is very small, only around 20cm across and 10cm high. This is great as it is easy to store and handy to have if you have a small kitchen like ours. Overall the unit is well built and has an interesting curved shape, making it a stylish addition to any kitchen.
To use, the ingredients are placed in the bowl, along with the blade. The lid is then used to cover the bowl and once it has clicked into place you're ready to go! On the top of the main body is a large button which when pressed gets the processor going.
The 300W motor is very powerful and crushes the nuts with ease. This requires only a few seconds for the food to be processed, obviously depending on the consistency required in your recipe. Unlike most large food processors the button must be pressed continuously throughout. There are two speed settings; the button is pressed half way down for setting 1 (slower) and fully for setting 2 (faster). This isn't too noisy when in use but again will depend on the ingredients that are being processed.
As well as nuts I have also used this to chop herbs, for example when I make home-made pesto sauce. We also tend to cook a lot of curries and this is great for blending spices such as cumin to release their flavour. It should be noted though that using it for crushing spices does tend to discolour the plastic bowl and there is a warning in the manual that this is the case. However my mum had bought this primarily for processing spices so this is something that we are content with.
On other occasions I have used it to process a couple of onions and tomatoes, although these do have to quartered first to get them to fit in the bowl and have to be processed in small quantities, probably one tomato or onion at a time. This can seem fiddly but the amount is too small for a full-sized processor to cope with. For larger quantities I obviously use the full-sized food processor.
According to the manual this can also be used for processing meats, breadcrumbs and fruit. Although I do not have children I could see this being useful for making home-made baby food. It is however not suited to processing very hard foods such as ice cubes and coffee beans nor should it be used for processing hot liquids.
One of the biggest factors when purchasing gadgets such as this is how easy it is to clean. This is remarkably easy. The bowl and blade simply need to be washed with a little washing up liquid, although I would recommend that this is done soon after it's been used as leaving the ingredients to dry does make this process much more difficult! It is also important to note that the cylindrical blade holder is hollow and food can get stuck up there, so this should be rinsed out thoroughly. Again, washing straight after use makes this job so much easier.
The unit retails at between £11 and £25 with the cheaper prices online. We bought ours a couple of years ago for I believe £14.99. This is such a handy little contraption and one that we couldn't now do without and for this reason I have no hesitation in recommending.