An interesting idea that works fairly well if you want to whip up a spontaneous cake mix, as you don't have to wait for fridge-cold butter to soften on the bench. Softening butter in the microwave can make it too hot if you aren't keeping an eye on it. The HeatSoft mixer softens it gently and saves you that extra step. However, there's still preparation involved, as the butter needs to be cut into small cubes first.
Hand mixers have been a staple kitchen appliance for decades, with little change to functionality until today. Sunbeam's iconic Mixmaster brand now includes new "HeatSoft Technology" hand mixers. Its beaters warm up to gently soften cold butter to room temperature. Sunbeam claims this results in "faster and fluffier" results. But is it a gimmick, or a kitchen essential?
- Mixer with 7 speeds
- Storage box for accessories (not in the JM7050 version)
- Dough hooks
The mixer heats the beaters up so that the butter and sugar softens during creaming, which worked fairly well when we tried it out. It blows hot air out of a vent which heats the butter (and probably the beaters as well).
- Cut butter into 2.5cm cubes and add sugar to the bowl.
- After pressing the HeatSoft button, start at the lowest speed setting until there are no more large chunks of butter.
- Increase to its higher speed until the butter and sugar are creamed (around one to one and a half minutes for half a cup of sugar; time varies depending the amount of sugar).
- Turn the HeatSoft function off when creaming is completed.
- Continue adding ingredients to your desired recipe.
HeatSoft technology aside, the Mixmaster JM7000 scored very well overall for a hand mixer when we put it through our test method.
Our home economist, Fiona Mair gave it an excellent score for whisking egg whites. Cake mix was very good too, but there was a small amount of unmixed material and we had to scrape the sides down a couple of times during mixing.
The unit stands steady on the bench and comes with a handy storage box for accessories.
It's possible to accidentally press the HeatSoft button when ejecting the beaters.
While the Sunbeam Mixmaster doesn't score as highly as some hand mixers we've previously tested, if you're really keen on the butter-softening feature then this hand mixer does the job.
Note: CHOICE received a production model from Sunbeam ahead of its release.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.