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Advice for small amounts in a KA mixer?

xnyorkr Apr 30, 2007 12:41 PM

It must be me. I am truly amazed, and disappointed. I just got a KA 5 plus pro, the 5-quart stand mixer with 475 watts. I've used it about 5 times so far. It certainly **does not** cream. I put in one stick of butter and one cup of sugar, and I get a lumpy mess, even if I scrape the sides. Or when I put in 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese and some milk, same thing, lumpy, uneven, no matter what I do. When I add eggs, they kind of sit on the top and don't get incorporated into the butter or cream cheese mixture. I tried using the mixing thing, then the wire wisk (which is supposed to be for whipped cream and egg whites). I played with the screw to move the bowl up and down. It doesn't even mix well when I add more ingredients like flour. It's certainly powerful, but the stuff goes from unmixed to overworked in a second. I give up when my ingredients are mixed but not smooth.

OK, I know I am missing something. This machine is supposed to have 4-on-the-floor and air conditioning. Is it that I'm just working with too small a quantity of ingredients for that type of mixer?

Thanks!

  1. c
    ctl98 May 1, 2007 05:19 AM

    I have an artisan and I've never had this problem with my KA. I can even whip up just one egg white. I understand yours is the model where the bowl goes up and down, so sorry I'm of no help to you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ctl98
      xnyorkr May 1, 2007 06:29 AM

      Thanks. I don't think it should make a difference which way you take the bowl out. It should whip up even one egg, like yours does. I might call KA.

      1. re: xnyorkr
        geekyfoodie May 1, 2007 11:07 AM

        I have the Accolade, which is pretty similar to the Artisan, and I've whipped a single egg white and have had no problems creaming with the paddle attachment. I've worked with cream cheese for cheesecakes and it came out perfectly.

        I hear KA has amazing customer service, so calling them can't hurt. Good luck!

    2. p
      ptridel May 1, 2007 10:07 AM

      what is your creaming technique? Almost every recipe designed for homecooks does not correspond to the professional technique. Put your butter in (not refrigerator cold, or it will take too long) first. Use the paddle attachment, beat it for several minutes, until you can put your hand on the outside of the bowl and it is about the same temp as your hand. The butter should look very creamy. Now add your sugar. Beat for awhile longer, scraping the sides as necessary. Eventually the sugar will be so mixed in that when you taste a little it is hard to distinguish the sugar granules from the butter. It should be fairly light and completely homogeneous. Beat your cream cheese by itself with the paddle for a long time. You're not going to overwork it.

      Try to add other ingredients one at a time, and be prepared to stop the mixer after a few seconds and scrape it down. Kitchen aids are not miracle workers. With care and practice, though, you can make the exact same quality of dough/batter as with a large kitchen mixer like a Hobart, since the parts themselves are exactly the same.

      8 Replies
      1. re: ptridel
        xnyorkr May 1, 2007 11:06 AM

        I think you are exactly right - it's a whole new paradigm of mixing for me, and I need to practice. I was letting the butter (or cream cheese) get to room temp, putting it in the bowl with the sugar at the same time, and lettin' 'er rip. I saw Alton Brown on the Food Ntwk do it that way. He recommends letting it mix for about 3 minutes to incorporate as much air as possible. Well, the more mine mixes, the thinner and stuck to the bowl it gets. Yes, I stop to scrape the sides, but that seems to make the mixture thinner, not fluffier. And as far as not being able to distinguish sugar granules, mine goes beyond grainy to lumpy. Very strange.

        And then when I add eggs (one at a time, of course), each egg splatters around a little (I start it on low) and then sits over the butter on the bottom of the bowl.

        All this with adjusting that screw to make the bowl go up or down.

        That's another thing. The write-up on my model mixer says that each speed starts off slowly and gets faster. Mine do not - they go from start to whoosh.

        I called KA and they said there is a "test" they can run with me using the mixer to see if there is a problem with its ... (? I forgot what she said).

        1. re: xnyorkr
          eLizard May 1, 2007 01:48 PM

          It may be the mixer. I have the pro 600 and mix very small things.....quarter cup of cream, couple of egg whites, and never have had this problem. and i put the butter and sugar in together......

          1. re: eLizard
            r
            rdowd May 3, 2007 07:08 AM

            Same here. I've been using the 600 for the past two months, and the first time I creamed butter it was like a lightbulb going off. "Oh, so that's what 'light and fluffy' is supposed to look like!" I've had no problem with small amounts of eggs, flour, etc, though the do take a little longer to take hold.
            Cream cheese for icing/frosting, for instance, is taking a little more experimentation, but I know I'm close. There's definitely a slight learning curve, as with any new kitchen toy.

            1. re: rdowd
              xnyorkr May 3, 2007 08:54 AM

              How do you do it? What *does* light and fluffy look like? I was on the phone with the KA customer service testing my mixer last night. It passed the test, but my next cake still came out like a brick.

              1. re: xnyorkr
                free sample addict aka Tracy L May 3, 2007 04:51 PM

                I have the same size KA and found it hard to beat less than a cup of cream but other than that I've used the tecniques mentioned above. It had been years since I used a KA and for the most part I have either used a food processor or elbow grease and spoon for mixing. To get back into the swing of stand mixer baking/cooking I tested a lot of the recipes from the cookbook that came with the mixer. Though, the recipes are not anything to write home about they are a great tool in learning how to use a mixer effectively. For instance it tells you to beat something at the 2 speed for 1 minute. BTW, Alton Brown had a Yellow Cake episode and he used his KA. Might be worth tracking the recipe down.

                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                  xnyorkr May 4, 2007 04:23 AM

                  I saw that Alton Brown episode! It was great! That episode, and one in which Ina Gartner makes a chocolate cake, are the ones that pushed me over the edge and made me buy one of these KA stand mixers to begin with. Most of the stuff I made with it so far ended up as food for the birds on my deck 8 ^ (

                  1. re: xnyorkr
                    m
                    mpalmer6c May 4, 2007 05:55 PM

                    Puzzling, all these problems. I've had a KA mixer for 20 years, and can't think of a time when it didn't work perfectly.

                2. re: xnyorkr
                  r
                  rdowd May 4, 2007 07:40 AM

                  Using the paddle attachment, work the butter for 1-2 minutes before slowly adding the sugar. It ends up increasing in volume (greater than the sum of its parts,) as a result of all the little holes that you've torn in the butter with the sugar granules. The color is somewhere between butter and eggshell - a very pale yellow. I started with room temp butter, and creamed for 6-8 minutes total.
                  Haven't done it for cake yet, but our cookies came out divine - far better than our hand-mixed batches.

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