Domu sent me a stand mixer to put through its paces. The VonShef stand mixer has a 1260w motor and comes with a dough hook, whisk and paddle. It has a similar styling to the KitchenAid with its curved body and stainless steel bowl.
I was interested to see how it would perform against my KitchenAid. I use my KitchenAid mixer daily, mixing bread doughs for the family, making cakes and occasionally I use it for students at my bread courses who want to learn how to mix their doughs in their stand mixers.
The Vonshef is a fraction of the price of the KitchenAid, but then it doesn’t have the sturdy workmanship that you expect of a stand mixer in the KitchenAid price range. The VonShef is made of plastic and so does not have the heavy, sturdy feel of the KitchenAid, but the benefit of this is its portability – the VonShef can easily be lifted in and out of cupboard if you don’t have the workspace to store your stand mixer on the worktop. The VonShef’s plastic is slightly more lightweight than the cheaper Kenwood Mixers on the market, but the VonShef is also cheaper than the cheapest Kenwood.
I have been thoroughly testing the VonShef over the past couple of weeks. It has made cakes and mixed the enriched doughs and pizza dough ahead of a bread class. I have been impressed with its performance.
It managed to mix five doughs consecutively (1 white pizza dough and 4 enriched doughs), using the mix and rest method, without any difficulty. The mix and rest method replicates the stretch and fold in the bowl by hand method that I use during the bread classes. Both take advantage of allowing the gluten proteins time to develop (as soon as you add liquid to flour the two proteins that make up gluten, (glutenin and gliadin), start to form chains) and then giving them a helping hand by mixing (machine) or folding (hand), allowing to rest and then another mix or fold. Both methods prove equally effective to a long knead by hand or running the mixer for 5-10 minutes. The instructions for the VonShef mixer advises that you don’t run the mixer for longer than 5 minutes to avoid overheating the motor and the mix and rest method avoids this. Although, I think a five-minute knead at speed 2 is more than sufficient to develop the gluten of most doughs.
The VonShef has a few features that really stand out. The splash guard fits well and makes adding ingredients mid-mix easy. The pulse action is very quick and is great when you have added eggs to a cake mixture. They are mixed evenly and efficiently. When I was making the cake, I found that I had to scrape down the bowl after each addition of a new ingredient, but I have to scrape down my KitchenAid too. The mixer worked perfectly well at mixing a light airy sponge.
It wasn’t just any cake either, but my eldest’s thirteenth birthday cake. A very important cake indeed.
So how do I rate the VonShef stand mixer? Well, it is noisier than my KitchenAid and nowhere near as sturdy or, let’s admit it, as beautiful, but for a mixer in the price range that it is in it is a great piece of equipment that makes great cakes and works perfectly well for mixing bread doughs. If you are looking for a budget mixer rather than a once-in-a-lifetime purchase then I can recommend the VonShef.
Disclaimer: I was sent a VonShef mixer free for the purposes of this review. The opinions expressed are my own and honest after thoroughly testing the mixer.