PRODUCT REVIEWS-On test: Hand blenders.
Tefal Prepline blender
If you're the type of person who likes to make homemade soups, delicious ice-cream shakes and healthy smoothies, but never gets around to it, then the Tefal Prepline blender could be the ultimate solution for your gastronomic goals. The snazzy, easy-to-assemble, versatile and dishwasher-friendly blender has an ergonomically designed handle, two speed settings, and a large 800ml goblet, an 800ml mini-chopper with child-safety system and stainless steel multi-whisk.
What we liked: Not only can the blender be used to make an impressive array of dishes, snacks and drinks, but it offers fuss-free cleaning for those pressed for time. Part of Tefal's food processing range, the Tefal Prepline comes with a whole host of accessories, to enhance the variety of what you make and the speed at which it can be made - the perfect product for a budding master chef. As well as the versatility offered, the Prepline's Silence plus feature lives up to its promise of being quiet, which made the whole experience of using it much more enjoyable.
What we didn't like: If you don't have a dishwasher, this can be quite fiddly to clean as any other hand-held blender.
To buy: Dhs269, available at Spinneys and other leading supermarkets.
Choose the speed settings carefully, as you cannot stop and reverse in between.
Moulinex slim force DD855
A stylish hand-blender that is easy to use for multiple purposes is just what every kitchen needs! Luckily, the Moulinex slim force - which uses an Active flow technology and has four blades - is not only appealing to look at, but also fulfils the requirements of multi-tasking, with its special features and extra tools, including a 450ml chopper, metal whisk, 800ml goblet, and potato masher.
What we liked: The great thing about hand blenders, especially for making soups, is that you can simply simmer ingredients on the stove for a few seconds and then allow the hand blender to work its magic with the click of a button. The speed includes '+1' and 'turbo' options, with the turbo being extremely quick - thinning the soup in just less than two minutes, and the '+1' option being good for anything that needs a bit more time to be blended. The hand blender is quite sturdy, even when the chopper is being used. The potato masher enabled my mashed potatoes to be creamy and fluffy - and the box even had a simple recipe to follow. Easy to assemble, and us, it's the sort of product that even kids can use - under supervision of course.
What we didn't like: The cable for the hand blender was not very long - this can be quite tricky for people who don't have an electric outlet in a convenient location on the kitchen counter.
To buy: Dhs346, at all leading hypermarkets and electronic stores.
It's quite a powerful blender, so can be used for blitzing fruit and veg direct from the freezer.
Bamix hand blender (Swissline-Superbox model)
The reliable hand blender is very versatile and easy to use, providing consistent results at all times. Manufactured in Switzerland, the blender features a range of accessories including a grater, mince beater, whisk, beater and processor, to suit all kinds of cooking needs. The minimalist design of the blender stand makes it look good on any countertop.
What we liked: The hand blender is an efficient alternative to a regular blender, in terms of performance, but is more convenient to use. Even when it comes down to washing, it only takes a few seconds, as opposed to a bigger blender that needs a thorough wash. Although the blades are not that sharp, when combined with the power of the heavy-duty motor, it blends fruits and vegetables completely in a just a few minutes - ideal for quick, healthy smoothies for weekday mornings. It's also very quiet when in use, which is great, especially if you want to get ahead in the kitchen while the kids are asleep. This all-in-one kitchen tool also comes in handy for crushing ice for cocktails. Although it is quite big, with multiple attachments, it is designed to not occupy too much space, making it ideal for small apartment kitchens.
User tip Don't ever try to change the blades while the blender is plugged in
What we didn't like: It isn't convenient for blending anything in bulk as the jar as the jar is quite small, so we had to blend things in batches for family-sized requirements.
To buy: Dhs1,490, at Tavola.
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