Today I want to talk about one of the important tools in my world, and any baker’s world: the stand mixer. If you and I have been connected for some time, you’ve probably noticed that for the years I have been baking, I have been a KitchenAid-stand-mixer girl–I have not only referred to my love for them countless times, but I have personally given away several here on the blog. I have always had success with them, but recently my well-cared-for, 3 year-old mixer started doing some crazy, crazy things (clunking, getting stuck on certain speeds, etc).
I had never tried any other brand, so when my friends at Breville Canada asked me to try their Scraper Mixer Pro 5-Quart Die-Cast Stand Mixer (BEM800XL), I couldn’t resist. Now, I don’t do many reviews on this site, but with this product I was genuinely keen–not only to try the mixer, but to share my honest and unbiased thoughts with my fellow bakeaholics. Now, you guys know that I bake . . . a lot. And it means the world to me, so when reading about this mixer, I was particularly intrigued by these notable features:
- Planetary Mixing Action covers 360 degree beater-to-bowl, for thoroughly mixed ingredients (such a key feature for cake baking!)
- Scraper beater continuously fold and scrapes the sides and bottom of the bowl, eliminating the need for hand scraping with a spatula (if I had a cupcake for every time I have scraped down the sides of the bowl with a spatula . . . )
- 12 Speed Electronic Control
- 10 Minute Timer with Auto-Off (versus no timer)
- 550-watt motor (versus my then 325-watt motor) with metal gears and Load Sensing Technology with Motor Protection
And while I didn’t intend for this post to be a straight-out comparison between Breville and KitchenAid mixers, it is hard not to compare, since there’s no denying that many of us currently use, or have them on baking wish-lists. So while I want to focus on this Scraper Mixer Pro, I will go ahead and point out any relevant comparisons between the two when it might offer some valuable and life-altering mixer insight :).
Straight Out of the Box Impression:
- The mixer was surprisingly lightweight, which I loved (16.8 lbs versus 26 lbs), and comes with all of the same components my other mixer did: wire whip, flat beater, dough hook and pouring shield, as well as a few additional components: their signature scraper beater and a spatula.
- The silver solid die-cast metal design has a sleek and modern look to it and looks great on my countertop.
- I was intrigued by the electronic control dial with options organized by baking terms/action (ie. folding/kneading, light mixing, creaming/beating, aerating/whipping), instead of numbered speeds and clunky levers (especially since my other mixer had a lever malfunction, due to which I couldn’t even turn the mixer off without unplugging it–ugh).
This is the scraper beater with its flexible edge that makes it possible to skip the whole scraping-down-the bowl-every-few-moments. Again, a total bonus. It saves time and adds an ease that us bakers need. Now in all fairness, I do have an additional beater that I ordered for my KA mixer, with one side of So, needless to say, the first thing I did after receiving this mixer was–you guessed it–baked a cake!
This was quite a moment for me, because it was all so mysterious and exciting to use a new machine. I had no idea what to expect, but I went for it and the first delight I baked was this Perfectly Pink Angel Food Cake, from the post I shared awhile back (would it be weird to tell you that this cake post has been shared with over 1.6 million people on facebook? holy!) Yummiest cake ever, really. Anyway, since this cake is all about the mixer with meringue aplenty, I figured it would be a good place to start, but because that was all about the wire whip, that still didn’t give me a chance to test out the scraper beater.
So the next recipe I made was the Chocolate Root Beer Float Cake from my book (above), which I am going to be sharing here very soon, so that I could give the scraper beater a go, as well as test out the creaming/beating setting a good test, since the cake layers are chocolate root beer butter cake, and the ultimate creaming job is key to its decadent but light texture. The Vanilla Bakery Frosting also requires serious fluffing in two parts on a higher speed, for a total of 14 minutes, so this cake was the ideal way to see what a day-in-the-life as my mixer would entail:
Here are some of my observations:
- I loved the ease of the lift assist handle to lift and lock the mixer head in the upright position–no more finger prints all over the mixer head! It’s also great to have it lock in place instead of banging down.
- This mixer is SO quiet! Oh my gosh, this is huge for me. I don’t think anyone likes the loud sound of a mixer going for 10 straight minutes, or any minutes at all, but with my open concept kitchen/living room, I use to be constantly told “Mom, we can’t hear the tv!” Because my mixer is pretty much always going, this is a super plus for me.
- The timer (up to 10 mins) with auto-off came in really handy when making everything from the meringue to frosting.
- The backlit LCD display of the settings and the electronic dial just made the whole experience feel super smooth.
- The mixer held up well for extending mixing and the scraper beater really did eliminate the need for bowl scraping by hand. I felt the mixtures all looked slightly fluffier than usual but, in all fairness, that’s hard to say 100% without placing mixtures by each mixer side by side. Either way those cakes and frostings turned out beautifully, as has everything I have whipped up since.
A Few More Tidbits about the Scraper Mixer Pro:
- It costs about $300 USD (and for us Canadians, you can actually find it on amazon.ca for about $300 CDN) versus the pricer KitchenAid mixers.
- While it doesn’t come in the wide array of colours, it does come in your choice of Silver (as shown), Cranberry or Black Sesame. (I do admit there is a place in my heart for pastel coloured mixers, but the truth is that the ease of use and performance of my mixer is most important. That, and these really are gorgeous and sleek–kind of a nice change!)
- As far as additional accessories offered, at this time you can purchase the Second Bowl (3 QT for smaller quantities), the the Freeze and Mix (a nifty thermal bowl and attachment for making ice cream) and the Scraper Whisk (a super duper nifty whisk that boasts the flexible edge scraper beater detail along with a 3 QT bowl).
I am very pleased with this mixer, and I will continue to use it as my go-to (I have to admit I still have my KA mixer in the works, as I often have them both going at the same time). And while these are my genuine thoughts and observations about this mixer, I should note that I can’t comment on the long-term endurance or performance of it, since I have only had the mixer for a few weeks. Overall, in my opinion, so far it’s a winner!
Enter below to win your very own Breville Scraper Mixer Pro 5-Quart Die-Cast Stand Mixer, courtesy of Breville Canada! Winner will be posted on the actual giveaway icon below on September 14th.
Canadian residents only this time, but don’t worry American and international friends–I have another (sprinkly) giveaway soon-coming, open worldwide!
See you soon with some serious cake!