Thursday, February 5, 2009

SideSwipe Spatula Mixer Blade

I received the SideSwipe Blade for my KitchenAid stand mixer about a week ago. This was a Christmas present from The Mister but the blade has been on backorder since the holidays. I'm sure part of the reason (other than it being the holidays) for the backorder was due to the recommendation by Cook's Illustrated. And since I love my gadgets, and having watched the video of the blade in action, this was definitely on my "have-to-have" list.

The SideSwipe blade has little silicone fins on the side that scrapes down the side of the bowl while mixing. For anyone who uses a stand mixer knows all about having to scrape down those sides when mixing ingredients. I knew exactly which recipe to test the new blade, the Vanilla-Vanilla Cupcakes. The recipe, although simple, does require quite a bit of scraping down of the bowl for both the cake batter and the vanilla buttercream frosting. What better recipe to test the new toy out!

The blade fitted perfectly on the Pro 6. I ran the blade in an empty bowl just to see and the fins did hit the sides, quite loudly as a matter of fact. I had to lower the height of my mixing bowl so that the bottom fins just touched the bottom of the bowl.

I prepared the cake batter as usual and the blade worked exactly as advertised. A note from the manufacture that the blade might leave a narrow stripe of ingredients just above the top path of the blade when making large batches of thick dough. So a little bit of scraping down may be necessary when working with large batches. But even with my double batch required no scraping, not once.

A few things I noticed. Little bits of butter were wedged into the corners on some of the ridges. The amount was minimal to where I didn't feel it necessary to stop and scrape the fins.

Some dry ingredients that get onto dry parts of the silicone stuck and didn't incorporate. Again, this was a very small amount and I didn't feel the need to stop and scrape off the dry ingredients.

I knew going in that I had to adjust the mixing time but I was so enthralled by the blade action, I forgot to monitor the final mixing stage of the cake batter. The blade mixed the batter so well and so quickly, I overmixed the batter a bit. This would be a very big thing to remember when working with batter that should not be overmixed. Thank goodness I snapped out of my stuper quick enough to still have a decent batter. Although I didn't time the mixing, my guess is that it cut down the mixing time by half for both the cake batter and the frosting. All I can remember was that is was quick!

I especially liked the blade for mixing the buttercream frosting. A double batch meant I had to encorporate 5 cups of shifted powdered sugar to the butter. That's a lot of mixing. But the blade encorporated each addition so fast that the frosting was done before I knew it. And it worked through a slightly stiffer mix (compared to the cake batter) with no effort. The other thing to note is that not only to adjust for mixing time but also the speed of the mixer. I used a lower speed for both the batter and the frosting. Read through the FAQs for other things to consider.

With some minor adjustments, overall, this is a very good investment at $29.95 ($24.95 for tilt bowls) and worth every penny for me. SideSwipe has a new, narrower blade coming out soon. Check their website for dates.

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