As I've gotten older I've become a lot more adventurous in the kitchen, with baking being one of my favourite hobbies. I love baking cakes and pastries for friends and family; for special ocassions and even not so special ocassions and one of the things I have always felt a need for was a proper electric hand mixer. In my house we have manual ones where you turn the handle and the whisking blades rotate but this can be very time consuming and also quite tiresome so at the beginning of this year I decided it would be a good idea for me to invest in my very own electric hand mixer and after much searching and umming and ahing over price I settled for the Kenwood HM324 hand mixer.
About the kenwood HM324 hand mixer
The hand mixer I chose is quite simple in its design with a black body and stainless steel attachments, but what swung it for me was the fact that it came with both a set of beaters and a set of kneaders. I don't really make bread but I thought having kneaders as one of the included attachments may inspire me to start. The mixer has 3 different speed settings which are easily identified as speeds 1, 2 and 3 and the stainless steel attachments are dishwasher safe for ease of cleaning.
Using the Kenwood HM324 hand mixer
The mixer is very easy to use. On the underside of the body are 2 holes where the tools slot into, one which is completely circular and another that looks a little like a 3 quarter moon. Once the beaters or the kneaders are pushed in there is an automatic locking mechanism that holds them in place to prevent them from popping out during use. Even when plugged in the hand mixer cannot be used and will not operate until the tools are clicked into place so there's no risk of little fingers being popped in the holes and the unit starting to work so it is quite safe in that resepect. To start using, the first step is to insert the tools into the appropriate slots, then plug the unit into a wall socket. To start mixing there is a button located on the top of the body which although not marked with any instructions has the speed settings 1,2,3, clearly visible; simply push this button forward to start the beaters or kneaders rotating. I always start the mixer on setting one and then as the mixture gets thicker up the speed to setting 2 and then setting 3 if required, but to be honest I don't find that I need to use setting 3 that often and get excellent results from speeds 1 and 2. Mixing butter and sugar together to form a light and fluffy mixture takes around 3 minutes with my Kenwood mixer....using the manual hand beaters this used to take me anything between 10 and 15 minutes, so using an electric one certainly does save me a lot of time. If the mixer appears to be labouring then I suggest you increase the speed as it will mix a lot better if you do this. The handle is also located on top of the main body and can be held quite easily with either your right or your left hand and I don't find it difficult to keep control of when I'm using it, I can move the mixer around with ease while it's beating and don't find this to be a strain on my arm at all.