29.10.15

Baking with Smeg



Since I was a little girl, I have always had a great love of baking. I can remember the Nutella cakes my sister and I used to make for our parents; we were so eager to please them and, much to their credit they gladly sampled our concoctions- somehow managing to keep a straight face all the while!
Growing up, my love of baking grew into a real passion. I found relaxation in popping an apron on and making something delicious for the family to enjoy.


When the opportunity arose to collaborate with the Italian brand Smeg, I knew this could be a really exciting way to explore one of my favourite pastimes in the kitchen. Smeg produce some of the most beautiful homeware appliances and are particularly loved for their retro designs that are so popular. I have been an admirer for a long time and so it was really exciting for me to welcome one of their beautiful, pastel blue stand mixers into our home.



When I first opened my mixer, I felt a real surge of excitement hit me. As if the stunning craftsmanship wasn’t enough to convince me, the weight and strength of the mixer really impressed me. Its beautiful, smooth surface and streamlined appearance is quite something to behold. Put simply, I knew instantly that this piece would forever adorn my counter tops- never to be banished to the dark cupboards beneath! 



Having enjoyed The Great British Bakeoff in recent weeks, I have definitely felt inspired to get a bit creative with my baking and now, with a beautiful Smeg stand mixer to trial, I have been all the more eager to have a go at some different recipes!
 Up to this point, I have approached baking from a more ‘old school’ technique in mixing most of my bakes by hand, so I was excited to witness the effect a machine would offer in terms of time saving and the quality of the finished bake. 

Needless to say, I was not disappointed! I can now fully appreciate how stand mixers such as this one are revolutionising the way we create dishes in the home.




I began my trial with a nod to my great love of Italian recipes and opted to make a loaf of bread.
 Using the bread hook to combine the dough, I was relieved of virtually any effort myself. 
I based my bread on Paul Hollywood's recipe for white cob bread which you can view (here). However, I opted to add sun-dried tomatoes and olives for a slightly more mediterranean touch- I just love that combination in bread!

The Smeg operates with a variable speed control which offers 10 speed settings. The mixer gently came to life as I pushed through the first couple of speed settings, getting a feel for its strength and ability. It effortlessly mixed my dough for me which I was able to then decant onto the table to go through the kneading and proving stages.


I ended up with a beautiful, light and flavoursome loaf, infused with flavour and colour. For a novice bread maker, I have to say I was pretty happy with the end result. Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house, does it? It certainly had the family eager to sample some! 



We found this bread went particularly well with parma hams, soft cheeses and plenty more olives! Just revisiting these photos of our evening meal has me wanting to bake another loaf all over again!



Of course, no baking session would be complete with incorporating chocolate somewhere. I wanted to really push the Smeg and so I decided to go for a chocolate cake. Not just any cake though- Mary Berry's Chocolate Obsession gateaux. Pulling out all the stops here, I really wanted to see how well the mixer could cope with finding that perfect balance between mixing wet ingredients thoroughly, whilst still allowing plenty of air to be incorporated.
Once more, the Smeg came to life with just a gentle push on the speed lever and, within a matter of seconds, my cake batter was mixed to perfection.  



I had my little helper on hand for this task, which made the whole process really enjoyable and fun. Sometimes I find myself in a hurry to complete a bake, but Noah reminds me to take my time and enjoy the magic of it all- including the obligatory chocolate spoon licking!





I think that is one of my favourite aspects of the stand mixer: its ease of use. I am by no means exaggerating by saying my toddler could operate it. The design is unfussy and just so practical which makes it a pleasure to involve the whole family in baking. 



I think its versatility is one of this stand mixer's greatest assets. Whilst it already comes with three mixing attachments: the whisk, beater and dough hook; you can also purchase a pasta roller and cutter set and a spaghetti cutter. With these additional accessories, I know I will be able to enjoy a real celebration of inspired Italian cuisine- right from the comfort of my home!



I've popped a little video up on our youtube channel- it's time to get that kettle on and have your cuppa (and slice of cake) at the ready!

www.smeguk.com





Love Bunty
xXx






Disclaimer: Whilst this post is a collaborative effort, all opinions expressed are representative of Bunty Living.
































































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