I’ve mentioned before how much I love my Kenwood Chef food mixer. It’s brilliant for cakes and meringues, mixing and kneading dough, and so on. It has an integral blender on its rear end, but unfortunately my blender jug had cracked. I asked Kenwood about a replacement and they suggested I might like to try out their new standalone blender (the Kenwood BLM800 Blend-X Pro) instead.
OK, I said. I’ll give it a whirl.
Now, I’ve never really seen myself as a standalone blender kind of person. High powered blenders are all well and good if you’re the sort of someone who chugs green smoothies for breakfast, but that doesn’t happen much (or indeed ever) here at FFF towers. But let me tell you, HOW WRONG I WAS!
I AM a standalone blender kind of person! Oh my – how did I manage without this brilliant device?! Since unpacking it, I must have used it two or three times EVERY DAY. For all sorts of things, too. Here are just a few examples:
- Almond butter. I hate peanut butter with a passion. Almond butter is a delicious alternative. I put 150g of whole raw almonds into the blender and set it running. It took about 10 minutes, including stopping a few times to scrape down the sides, and I had a cup of fresh, tasty, additive-free, delicious almond butter. Yum!
- Smooth, creamy, béchamel sauce. During Passover, I was making a fish pie and using potato flour to thicken my sauce. It looked weird, and a bit lumpy. Threw it in the blender for 30 seconds – voila! The creamiest, smoothest, most delicious béchamel ever! (It was a fantastic fish pie.)
- Pancake batter. Throw in the ingredients, blend, pour into a hot pan and fry. You can basically whizz up the batter while the pan is heating. No more whisking by hand in this house! Hurrah!
- Delicious, fresh pesto. Just a few seconds to make amazing fresh basil pesto – so much better than out of a jar. I used about 100g of fresh basil and froze cupcake cases of pesto for future dinners. Brilliant!
- Instant banana ice-cream. 4 frozen bananas, 150ml double cream, and about a minute of blender power, to create creamy dreamy banana ice-cream with no fuss, mess, or added sugar. Lots of brownie points from Kipper (and my in-laws).
The Kenwood BLM800 Blend-X Pro blender has a range of pre-programmed settings that make it simple to whizz up perfect smoothies and creamy soups, chop vegetables, or crush ice. It also has a big dial which you can turn to crank up the motor and blitz the contents of the jug. Very satisfying. The ‘stir stick’ can be poked through a hole in the lid while the motor is running to shove things down onto the blades, although to be honest, I found it easier to stop the motor, scrape down and turn back on. Each to their own, I suppose.
The BLM800 Blend-X Pro also has a ‘rinse’ setting. If I’m honest, one thing that put me off blenders like this one was the cleaning. However, I’ve found it to be a complete doddle with the Kenwood. Add a little hot water and press the ‘rinse’ button and it will basically clean off whatever gunk is stuck to the blades and bottom of the jug. Then, the whole thing easily comes to pieces, and each piece is very easy to clean – no awkward corners where yuk can collect. The whole disassembly/washing process takes no more than 4 or 5 minutes tops, and is pretty effortless.
I should point out here that it wasn’t completely plain sailing with the blender. About a week after I started using it, the rubber seal at the bottom of the jug broke, sending a pint of waffle batter down into the motor and across my kitchen counter 🙁 . However, Kenwood assured me that this was an isolated incident, and their customer service people were great and quickly replaced the faulty machine with a new one. Having worked in PR in a past life, I can only imagine the horror on the faces of those involved, when they discovered that the one they’d sent to a reviewer was the faulty one. Sod’s law!
Anyway, the one other thing I made with the blender, and will definitely be making again, is these delicious coconut berry bars. Kipper was having some friends over to play, and I was having the parents over for tea 🙂 . We had a chocolate hazelnut brownie cake, but I decided to quickly whizz up something a bit healthier for the kids.
I added some frozen berries, and a few other bits and whizzed it into a smooth, fudgy mixture. This was pressed between two sheets of greaseproof paper and refrigerated before cutting into squares. All the grown-ups thought these were addictively yummy. The children, naturally, preferred the chocolate brownie cake….
Apologies for only having a few squares in the photos – these yummy, fruity, coconutty bars were devoured before I could get some proper pics!
- 200g desiccated coconut
- 100g frozen mixed berries
- 25g brown sugar
- Zest of a lime
- Pinch cinnamon
- Tip the coconut into the jug of a high-powered blender and process for a minute or two until it liquifies into creamy coconut butter. Scrape down the sides and process again.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend to a smooth paste.
- Spread onto a greaseproof-paper-lined tray, cover with another piece of greaseproof, and pat into a rectangle about 1cm thick.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour until firm. Cut into squares and serve!
- Store any uneaten bars in the fridge or freezer to retain their consistency.
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Disclaimer: I was sent the Kenwood BLM800 Blend-X Pro to review. I was not required to write a positive post and any opinions expressed are my own.