EVERYBODY – well, almost every woman dreams of a man cooking for her in the kitchen. OK, it may sound a bit cliché here but be honest, I am sure that this thought has crossed your mind more than once. You come back home and, oh surprise, dinner is waiting for you with a bottle of wine and candles on the table. Nice dream, isn’t it?
Well, let me reassure you, even being a new married woman doesn’t give me that chance. However, I was given the opportunity to host a culinary companion, also known as the Kenwood Cooking Chef, for two weeks to test how it would make my life much easier and be the perfect cook (should I dare say “the one naked under the apron”, hum…)
First of all, although it is well known that women tend to use a lot of space in a flat with their clothes, beauty stuff, shoes, etc. the Cooking Chef has definitely taken over that status. You almost need to rent an extra room to store the box. However, it comes with a very good explanation: it has all the attributes you’d expect from a chef (except for the hat).
Flexi beater, K Beater, Power Whisk, Stirring tool, food processor, blender: the Cooking Chef seems to have been built to fight any culinary war. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that its ancestors had suffered from inferiority complexes in the past.
The key selling point of the Kenwood Cooking Chef is that…it cooks. It doesn’t just do the basic job: chopping, slicing, etc, it also cooks up to 140C. With such a man at home, it’s getting hot in the kitchen.
Now that the beast has been introduced, time to see what it is really capable of. And as I am a challenge-kind person, I decided to get my hands on Naan for the first time. Flour, water, yoghurt, everything in the bowl, stirring and then raising. A few minutes in the oven and my first naan were ready. Despite being a bit dry and too thick (we will blame the human hand for that), they tasted good. Of course, it wasn’t as perfect as the ones you find in Indian restaurants but I was pretty pleased for a first time effort.
Then followed a ratatouille recipe for which the Cooking Chef handled the chopping and the cooking. The vegetables were well-cooked and tender but the flavours didn’t really come out as the recipe in the book stayed really basic and straight-forward.
Our relationship improving day after day, I decided to step back from the recipe book and let the improvisation lead the way. I made a chicken curry with paste I had in my cupboard. Once again, it was very easy to make. My dear culinary fellow first cooked the onions, then I added the paste and some yoghurt followed by the chicken which cooked for 15 min. The meat was tender, well-cooked with good and spicy flavours.
I also made some breads and I tested the beast to see how it would handle a chocolate mousse. It was deliciously and strongly chocolaty as @bribedwithfood will testify. However, I wouldn’t call it a “mousse” as the lightness of the famous French dessert was definitely missing, due to no fluffy egg-whites.
The great thing about the cooking chef is that your kitchen doesn’t end up getting messy with pans, pots and chopping boards everywhere. This multifunction cooker does everything for you but it takes a while to really get your hands-on and figure out every single detail of it. As a foodie, I really enjoyed playing with it but I am not ready to invest almost a £1,000 in it (unless it gets into my wedding list)
The recipe book that comes with it gives some good ideas but it stays very simple and you need to take an “advanced class” to start playing with the spices and the flavours.
I didn’t have the opportunity to try the Thermomix that everybody is talking about which seems to convince a lot of people especially for sauces and creams but I am more a plain dish person, there are not really the kind of things I cook. But in the name of research, I guess that’s the next thing to do.