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Sep 24, 2008 05:05 PM

No stand or hand mixer or food processor?

Help! My dorm has no stand mixer, or hand mixer, or a food processor.
All I have are a couple of plastic bowls, basic utensils, a stove, refrigerator/freezer, and an oven.
Anyone know of some dessert recipes besides store bought mixes or doughs that I can make with such a limited kitchen?
Any help would be appreciated!

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  1. You can make most bread, cookie and pie doughs w/out an electric appliance(Gasp!). How do you think your great grandma did it?? It just requires a good deal of patience and a lot of elbow grease. (But think how buff your forearms will be...) You just need a sturdy, metal bowl and a strong wooden spoon. A lot of older cookbooks(and some newer ones) actually tell you how to do stuff by HAND if you're not blessed w/ a cuise or a Kitchen-Aid. You can also buy a decent hand mixer (from cuisinart or krups or braun) for less than $60.00 if you can get your roomies to chip in for it. Happy baking and cooking! It's good to see that there are young chow-pups out there to take up the reins for us oldies when we're gone.

    1. You can prepare cake batter without power tools. Mix with a spoon at a rate of 150 strokes per minute (it's OK to rest between sets) and follow the recipe as you normally would.

      2 Replies
      1. re: todao

        I am in a similar situation (not dorm, different kitchen) and made 3 batches of cupcakes and 1 bowl of buttercream frosting last night, all from scratch, and with a simple wire whisk and two bowls. Good workout for the arms and not at all difficult. (And I am walking uphill both ways through the snow and sending you this post via smoke signals). :)

        I recall my mother whipping cream and / or egg whites until stiff, just with a fork.

        So you can definitely do it.

        Or you could go to a thrift store and find an inexpensive hand-cranked beater or even a low cost electric mixer you could leave in your dorm kitchen and won't care about if it breaks or disappears.

        1. re: Rasam

          Beating egg whites with a balloon whisk is certainly easier than with a fork, but when asked to make dessert at friends' places that's a skill that was much appreciated. And it's quite the crowd pleaser, you get way more compassion than you deserve (I mean, it's a pain, but it's not that hard). That mostly came up in my early 20's, but lo and behold, I recently found myself at a friend's place who had no whisk ... and the cake turned out fine!

      2. pie and biscuits (stuffed with jam or sandwiching fruit) or anything that uses the pastry method

        Alll you need is a fork to cut the butter

        1 Reply
        1. re: sixelagogo

          Anything with the muffin method does not need electric tools - quick breads, muffins, pancakes, etc. This is where you mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the wet in another, and then combine them.

          The cake method which requires 'creaming' butter and sugar is one where an electric mixer comes in handy.

          Electric is also nice for whipping egg whites, though it can be done by hand with a wire whisk. For about $30 you can get an electric immersion blender with an effective whisk attachment.

        2. Besides what the previous posters have recommended, here are some other suggestions. Brownies, custards and puddings (Nigella Lawson's gooey chocolate puddings are fabulously easy and delicious:; apple crisp, most cookies (you need to cream butter and sugar together but easy enough to do with a wooden spoon and and a nice big bowl); most fruit and nut quick breads which can serve as dessert (like banana bread), really the list is endless. Check out a couple of books from your local library to get more ideas. As a previous post said, it wasn't that long ago that no one had appliances and believe me, desserts have been around much longer that the food processor, mixer or blender!

          1. As others have mentioned all you need is a wooden spoon, spatula (for folding) and whisk (helpful for eggs but not essential).

            Cheesecakes and pies made with a pudding-type filling and graham cracker crust are very easy (eg key lime pie).

            Yes, my bubby had the forearms of a sailor.