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Hey, fondue, I’m Sandra Dee

18 Dec

Strange how I can link something as innocuous as fondue to a lazy interpretation of an Italian insult and reference one of my all-time favourite movies in one go, but that’s totally how I jelly-roll.

In case it wasn’t blatantly obvious (and why wouldn’t it have been?), this post is about fondue.  Well, kind of.  So… not really.

I’m doing well so far, huh?

Anyway, because I’m so fancy and shit I was browsing through a K-Mart brochure, and I saw their chocolate fondue sets.  I’ve seen them before, but it not being 50 years ago, I never considered buying one.  But then I realised it might come in handy to melt the… melts.  (To be honest, if the had used the word ‘cheese’ instead of ‘chocolate’ on the box, I might not have thought of using it.  S-M-R-T, I mean S-M-A-R-T.)

chocolate fondue set

So I bought one of these babies, because it’s only 12 bucks and I will try to use it more than twice and only shove it to the middle of the shelf, not right to the back where it will never see the light of day again, mmmkay?

Considering chocolate fondue includes cream to keep it more liquid-like, I wondered whether the melts might be too thick to properly melt and/or stay melted.

Luckily it all worked out fine.  Took longer to melt than if I was using a microwave or double boiler, but on the other hand it keeps a constant temperature and the chocolate stayed melted to a nice dipping consistency.  And the Wilton Candy Melts worked fine in this, too (the Nestlé and Cadbury ones were, as usual, perfect).

You can also get ones that use a tea light to provide the heat, but I’m way too impatient for that ridiculousness.

I definitely recommend giving one of these bad boys a go if you use melts a lot (or are lazy and would like to sit on the lounge whilst you work… or something).  It also included heaps of accessories – chocolate moulds, sticks, cellophane bags, fondue forks, small bowls and more).

Overall, it was an absolute bargain for the coin I paid, and it works a treat.

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Out with the old… in with the awesome

4 Nov

The mixer I’ve had for the last few years is a Sunbeam Mixmaster Compact Pro.  It did most of what I wanted it to do, but anytime I used sugar (icing, caster or regular) and butter or shortening, it never made the sugars dissolve.  I’ve never successfully creamed butter and sugar for a cake, or made a decent buttercream, and I have tried dozens of times over the years (without success) to get a mock cream going, (’cause mock cream>*).

Anyway, I’ve wanted a new mixer for a while (even before I bought the Sunbeam) but could never justify the expense of a really decent one.  Today I was having a look online and comparing prices and found a Kenwood Chef Premier KMC510 at Hardly Normal that came with a mincer attachment and a flexible beater.  But you also get (via redemption) a juicing and blending pack, which includes a 1.5L glass blender, a mini chopper/mill and a continuous centrifugal juicer (supposedly worth $349, but you know how those things work). I’m purposely not mentioning the price because: a) I’m trying to forget how much it cost, and b) I don’t want anyone to tell me I could have gotten it somewhere much cheaper.  Just shut up, mmmkay?.

The interwebs said that my local store had one in stock, so I headed straight over and picked one up.  It’s not that fantastic looking (you can get some pretty cool retro style ones these days), but the freebies definitely make up for it.

Here’s what was included:

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  • 1000w unit
  • 4.6L stainless steel bowl
  • Mincer attachment
  • K beater
  • Flexible beater
  • Dough hook
  • Balloon whisk
  • Splash guard
  • Spatula
  • Big, thick cookbook
  • Two DVD(s) and/or CD(s) – haven’t had a look at those yet

Man, I love that whisk.  Also want to try that mincer out and make some snausages one time.

This is gonna be fun.

When a unitasker’s single function is to make cupcakes, it’s enough

18 Oct

I think I’ve previously mentioned that I have no qualms about spending my hard-earned on unitaskers (appliances that only do one thing). I love gadgets. I don’t care if it only does one thing – if it’s cool, I want it.

When I first found out about Sunbeam’s Parties cupcake maker, it was $90. Pretty steep for a machine that just cooks cupcakes, I admit.

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But just look at that thing, will you. How can you possibly pass up that total awesomeness? You can’t. So I didn’t.

Let me tell you, this is my least regretted unitasker purchase. It makes perfect cupcakes every single time. Yes, it only makes six at a time – but I would rather take longer using this than use the oven. The results are always amazing.

If you were lazy, you could even put it on the coffee table and have a baking and frosting station going while you sat on the nice comfortable lounge and watched awesome ’80s movies. Or something. Yeah.

Sadly, this baby is discontinued (how dare they!), but I’m sure you could find a lesser, nowhere near as awesome version out there somewhere.

I would seriously consider buying a second, used one if I could find one.

Do yourself a favour and have another look. Go on.

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Was that as good for you as it was for me? Ahhh.