Friday, August 8, 2014

Review of Bosch MaxoMixx Handheld blender and easy Honey Almond Butter recipe

Recently I had the privilege to receive Bosch's MaxoMixx handheld blender to review. In my previous post Brown Butter Wholewheat Pecan Banana cake , I whipped up this delicious cake using the whisk attachment of MaxoMixx blender.(See below for the various attachments) As I mention before, MaxoMixx ain't your usual one function handheld blender which only pulverized your chunky soup. It has up to 5 different functions that will slice, chop, blend, mince and liquified your food the way you want it to be.
You can see from above, those are basically all the things in the whole package. Not that complicated so far. Usually I'm plain lazy to read up the manual but luckily the instructions available in the package has clear pictorial format, yay! It basically shows you which parts can be attached to the other. All very clearly labelled too, cool. :) I bet even my 8 year old kid can put this together. 

It is really easy to attach or detach the base unit from the Blender Foot. You just have to give the release button a firm press on both sides and pops it comes off.

Here is a look at the four-winged Quattro blade stainless steel foot. The blades might looks short and small, but it packs a whole lot of power! This is also MaxoMixx's key feature which makes it more powerful and stronger then other well known brands. Which we all know that most of the other handheld blenders only has 2 or 3 wings. I guess in this case, the more the merrier right?

There is actually two mode for the blend, normal and ...turbo. So far so good, no rocket science here.
You can see a series of numbers on top which ranges from 0-12 on top of the Base Unit of the MaxoMixx. That is actually the setting for the speed of the blade. I did not take note of it initially as the two buttons at the bottom; (my finger is pressing on "Turbo") is already suffice to achieve what I needed the MaxoMixx blender to do. In other words, pretty much powerful enough and not having to switch to level 12 at the moment....for now. :P Note that my thumb is actually pressing on the "turbo" button, and the button above turbo is "connected" the controllable speed range of 0-12. Sounds complicated but its not...you just need to hands on to find out. I did! And I feel "powerful" with that in my hand haha! :)

So my advice is go normal or low speed first, you won't want to clean up all those food that is flying out when it whirls haha! Well, this actually brings me to the part on the containers / jug in this whole package :
I love for the fact that the blender jug given is actually tall enough which allows ample room for your food to blend nicely without spilling out. And there's more!
Check out the suctions at the bottom of these containers for the Universal cutter "L" and "XL". These suctions will most definitely help hold the container when it blends...cool! And yes, it comes with its own lid for easy storage too. That is definitely a plus!

Note that there is a blade each in these left two containers. So when we attach the base unit to these containers, they operated just like a blender which can crush ice (wow!), cut meat, hard cheese, onions, herbs, garlic, fruits, vegetables, nuts and almonds. Did you say Almonds? I was stoked when I saw the word Almond! What better way to get "acquainted" to your new tool then to actually try it out and put it to the test eh? Almond butter it is! 

I immediately roast 300g of raw almonds! (yes I am constantly stocked up with nuts haha!)
Once the almonds are nicely roasted, let them cool down before using them. 
Place the cooled roasted almonds into Universal Container XL and sprinkled a good pinch of flaked sea salt inside....or any salt will do too. Cover up, attach the base unit and give it a whirl!
After a good 2-3 minutes, you would get something like this below:

Continue to blend! After a few more minutes, you will start to feel like when will it ever gonna get creamy? No worries...it will come, just continue to blend. And then after another 3 to 4 minutes, magic happens..... 
See how it has become creamier? At this point, you will feel that the base unit of the MaxoMixx is slightly warm to the touch. I suggest giving a 30 secs to a minute "break time" for the blender before continuing. At least that was what I did...you don't want to heat up the blender too much. In fact its never a good idea to over heat any of your home appliance!

So there you have it...creamy almond butter! At this point, IF you wanna make the butter even smoother and don't mind the additional of small amount of oil, you can add 2 tsp of sunflower seed oil or peanut oil to the mixture and blend another 10 seconds. These 2 tsp of oil will make the butter really smooth! And if you like it slightly sweetened, add 2 tsp of honey to make Honey Almond Butter....yum! I added wild Clover honey which I lugged back from California a couple months back, heehee!
Blend another 15-20 seconds and you are done! Feel free to substitute with other form of sweetener, powder sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup. 
Scoop the almond butter into a clean container and you can store this delicious spread up to 2-3 weeks at room temperature. (if it even last that long heehee)

I suggest doing small batches of 300g, maximum 350g each time for making nut butters. So that the MaxoMixx blender doesn't over work or get heated up too much. Make sure to give the blender a 1 minute break between each 3 to 4 minutes blending. Yes, love your appliances and it will last longer.

Well, thanks to MaxoMixx, this almond butter making process does seems a whole lot easier! And I am glad that MaxoMixx was so easy to use too. Plus cleaning up was a swift. I only had to wash the Universal Cutter XL container and blade. Plus my first ever homemade Honey Almond butter tasted so creamy and delicious! Never will I buy another off the shelf bottle of almond butter ever again! Yay!
With the Honey Almond Butter I made, I also whipped up some Honey Almond Butter Milkshake! So simple and yet so healthy and satisfying. Here is the recipe, try it!

Ingredients for Honey Almond Butter Milkshake (For 1 pax)
3 Tbsp honey almond butter 
1 tsp chia seed
1 tsp honey
3 Tbsp honey Greek yoghurt (or any plain yoghurt)
250 ml fat free milk (can be less or more, adjust to your liking)

Place everything in the blender jug, then insert the MaxoMixx Base unit attached to the four-winged Quattro blade stainless steel foot...and blend! When smooth and creamy, its ready! Drink up!

Keen? Do try out these recipes, especially they are so simple. Or perhaps a MaxoMixx blender too to help your almond butter making easier? Haha!

I am already looking forward to trying out more recipes using MaxoMixx blender. Stay tune guys!
In the meantime, have a good day ahead guys!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Brown Butter Wholewheat Pecan Banana cake

Thanks to Bosch, I recently received a new kitchen gadget from them! Fresh in the market, their brand new MaxoMixx handheld blender device. But before that, let me show you what I came up with using this new tool haha!
Not too shabby right? I can definitely go for a slice of this right now. But first, lets talk about this new exciting gadget I received!

This handy dandy new equipment is not your usual blend the chunky soup or pulverized the fruits function only tool. It comes with several different attachments which not only blends, whips, chops, grinds and even slice and julienne! Talk about multi-functionalities! 
Looks slick doesn't it? I love that metallic shine! Plus I am such a knuckle head when it comes to using new kitchen equipments, luckily it was really easy to use!

I was pretty much ready to try out all the different attachments but somehow that whisk feature seems to be calling out to me the most! Must be that baker mode in me I guess. :) Plus I was a little skeptical about the thin metal whisk...whether it is powerful enough to mix thick batters. So with that in mind, I finally settled on doing a simple cake. And since I wanted a recipe that anyone can relate with, I opted for a banana loaf cake: Brown Butter Wholewheat Banana Pecan Cake. Yup, anything with brown butter is a sure win!

Recipe for Brown Butter Wholewheat Banana Pecan Cake (makes a 9x5" loaf)
Ingredients:
90g unsalted butter
180g cake flour
80g wholewheat flour
150g soft brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
65ml buttermilk (if you can't find, substitute with 50g plain yogurt and 15ml fresh milk)
2 large or 3 medium really ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans and 6 -12 whole ones to decorate
Dark Chocolate chunks about 80-100g (Optional)
  • In a heavy saucepan, add the butter in and cook at medium low fire till it starts to foam. It might splatter a bit so be careful. Once it turns into an amber brown colour and release that nutty flavor, remove from fire and set aside.
  • Grease and line with parchment paper a loaf pan. I used my William Sonoma Goldtouch mini loaf pans...so no parchment paper needed, yay! Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk to mashed banana and combine well. Of course use MaxoMixx to do the job for me! There are two modes (Normal & High) MaxoMixx, be sure to try it out without the batter to check on the speed! Attach that whisk and press on!
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  • After that, add in vanilla extract, sugar and then the cooled brown butter. Again use MaxoMixx to incorporate everything properly using the normal speed whisking action.

  • In a separate bowl, sift in the cake flour, salt and baking soda. Then add in wholewheat flour and stir well.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk with the MaxoMixx till no visible lumps and smooth batter. Check out that whisk. ;) The regular speed was already "strong" enough to combine my thick cake batter nicely!
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  • At this point, add in chopped pecans and combine.
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  •  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tins and then proceed to add your toppings or extra chocolate chunks if desired.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to an hour till golden brown or when the cake tester comes out clean, If you are using a smaller loaf tin like myself, bake for 35-38 minutes.
  • Serve it when still slightly warm or it can be kept in the fridge for a good one week. Else freeze up to two -three weeks with proper wrapping.
Baking made easy with this new Bosch MaxoMixx! The cakes turned out beautifully tall plus a nice golden crusty exterior yet soft on the inside.

What I love most about this cake is the nutty buttery flavor from that brown butter. Yes, taking that extra step to cook the butter definitely pays off! The cake stays moist and soft because of the banana and buttermilk, so even with the addition of wholewheat, no one can really tell. And that added crunchy texture from the pecans and huge chocolate chunks are really delicious bonuses! Yay to success in first recipe trying out a new equipment!
Yes, one more close up of the delicious cake before I sign off...tempting tempting tempting. :))
Will be trying out more new recipes using the MaxoMixx, so do stay tune! Have a great day folks!