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Flat Beaters

What is a flat beater and for what can flat beaters be used? What materials are flat beaters made from and why are they useful in a kitchen area?

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Cooking can be a very relaxing hobby, with tasty results. Many of us bake and cook to de-stress and wind down from a stressful day. After all, there is nothing quite like the wonderful smell of baking cakes, pastries, bread and cookies - especially when you have had the pleasure of making them yourself.

Still, making these tasty treats by hand can often be a hard and laborious task, and can prove to be quite a stressful process. This is because combining an often thick mixture or creaming sugar and butter together can be an exhausting and time-extensive business.

However, cooking can once again be a relaxing way of de-stressing after a hard day if the right kitchen accessory is used to aid your wonderful cooking and bakes.

Stand mixers are an absolute necessity in your kitchen. They can be utilised for almost all of your cooking needs, depending on which accessory attachments you choose to purchase with your stand mixer. This is because a huge variety of kitchen accessories can be attached to a stand mixer. From a whole variety of whisks (including the commonly used balloon whisk attachment) to dough hooks and beaters, the list is almost endless.

However, perhaps the most versatile - and most used - attachment is the flat beater. If your recipe calls for your mixture to be creamed, mixed, beaten or even mashed, this adaptable attachment can be used. Flat beaters can help you make cakes, batters, dough and many other types of tasty food. Basically, with this attachment, you can more easily make whatever you crave that day!

What is a flat beater?

Known as either a flat beater or spade beater, this kitchen accessory is an absolute essential because of its versatility. With an odd cut-out shovel shape, the flat beater is useful for a whole variety of different mixtures, from normal to even heavy consistency. Examples of these mixtures include cake mixtures, brownie mix, cookie dough and even mashed potatoes!

Depending on the specific brand of the stand mixer that you choose to purchase, flat beaters can be changed from slow to medium and even fast mixing speeds, depending on the specific needs of your mixture and what your recipe requires. However, again, this depends on how your individually chosen stand mixer operates and what it is able to do. The speed to which you can change your flat beater can often be easily modified on the side of your chosen stand mixer.

Like many other attachments for stand mixers like dough hooks or balloon whisk attachments, the flat beater is an efficient and cost-effective kitchen accessory. This is because flat beaters can help to remove or decrease a whole multitude of cooking problems which often occur in kitchens - such as time, mess and exhaustion.

Providing a wide, flat surface area, the flat beater not only removes a lot of the time it takes to mix your food items but also results in a cleaner cooking process - as well as, often, a more aerated and lighter product!

What foods can be made with a flat beater?

The list is almost endless! As a result of their unique shape, flat beaters are such versatile kitchen accessories that they can be used in mixing a whole variety of different products. It really is up to what you want to cook and/or bake.

Some of the food items that you can mix with a flat beater include:

  • Almost all cake mixtures
  • Brownie mixtures
  • Cookie dough (including cookies with large ingredients such as chocolate or raisins)
  • Some types of bread dough (this depends on the thickness of your dough and what type of kneading process your bread requires)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pancake batter (and other batters for fish or any other food product)
  • Meatloaf
  • Scones
  • Icing sugars (including thick fondants as well as thinner royal icings)

There are many other examples, too!

This is because the flat beater’s main purpose is to mix ingredients together without a whipping action. Hence, it is designed to mix almost any food product without infusing as much air into your food product as a wire whip or balloon whisk attachment would. A whisk attachment is more specifically designed for highly aerated food items like meringues or whipped cream.

As a result, the flat beater can still aerate your food items, creating light textures as well as consistent textures, without whipping them to such an extent that they deflate when cooked or create a lighter texture that your chosen food item does not require.

How can I use my flat beater?

Flat beaters are very easy to use. Like their dough hook or whisk attachment counterparts, they simply slot into your chosen stand mixers and click into place. Depending on your chosen stand mixer, this process can vary slightly. Always check the instruction manual for that stand mixture to ensure you are connecting the flat beater correctly.

However, it is also essential that your chosen flat beater is compatible with your chosen stand mixer. This is because, firstly, the mixer and its flat beater attachment may not fit together, therefore making the flat beater a completely redundant attachment.

However, even if the two do attach at first, the stand mixer or the flat beater attachment could be damaged or broken if you use mismatching accessories that are not designed to be compatible with each other. Again, as suggested above, always check your instruction manual for further details regarding this.

Can I use a flat beater to cream, mix and slowly fold my chosen ingredients together?

You can use a flat beater throughout the process of mixing a food item, without the need to change the attachment head for different uses. This means that a flat beater is an essential and efficient kitchen accessory that can be used for a variety of needs during your cooking adventures. It also reduces the amount of washing up you will have to do later!

Here is an example of how a flat beater can be used for a range of purposes while making the same food item: a simple recipe for a classic Madeira sponge cake...

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams of self-raising flour
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 100 grams of caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Milk

Method:

  1. Attach your flat beater to your stand mixer. The attachment will click easily into place if it is a compatible attachment for your chosen stand mixer (as detailed above).
  2. Place 100 grams of butter in your stand mixer’s bowl and cream the butter. You can do this by keeping your flat beater on a relatively slow speed and slowly increasing this speed as the two ingredients are increasingly combined.
  3. Slowly add the sugar in small increments of approximately 20 grams at a time and ensure that both ingredients are mixed well and consistently. Continue mixing with your flat beater until the butter and sugar mixture becomes a light cream colour when finished.
  4. Keeping your flat beater at a slow and steady pace, slowly add each egg to your creamed butter and sugar mixture until it is fully integrated with the butter.
  5. Sift the flour and add increments of 50 grams into your mixture. When all of the flour has been added to this mixture, you can increase the speed of your flat beater until your cake mixture is, once again, a creamy texture. This will ensure that your cake is light and airy. Additional tablespoons of milk can be added if you feel like your cake mixture is a little too thick for what you require.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or gas mark 4 until the cake is fully risen and golden.
  7. Enjoy your light and stress-free cake!

After using this recipe to make a classic Madeira sponge cake with a flat beater, the sponge will be light and airy and have a wonderfully consistent texture as a result of the constant mixing process.

This process will also have reduced the amount of mess you would usually otherwise have if a cake like this one was made by hand, as well as the physical exhaustion that often occurs from creaming the mixture together.

Why are flat beaters useful for my cooking?

  • Flat beaters are versatile

Flat beaters are such a versatile kitchen accessory that they can be used throughout almost any mixing process (as suggested above) - and, therefore, multiple accessories are not necessarily needed.

In comparison to when you hand-mix food, only one flat beater is needed to mix all of the ingredients for your recipe. For example, to cream butter and sugar, you would need a mixing bowl and wooden spoon, as well as another bowl and a whisk for the eggs - and, perhaps, even another wooden spoon for the flour.

If you utilise the adaptable qualities of the flat beaters, cleaning up after cooking your tasty treats can be so much easier!

  • Flat beaters reduce mess

Flat beaters not only reduce the number of utensils used to cook and prepare your food items but also reduce accidental spillages. As the flat beater is usually accompanied by a deep mixing bowl attached to a sturdy and heavy stand mixer, the likelihood of you dropping or spilling your mixtures while vigorously beating, creaming or mixing the ingredients is lowered dramatically.

This means that you can enjoy the wonderful food you create, without the hassle of cleaning up work surfaces as well as a broad variety of utensils.

  • Flat beaters are time-efficient

Mixing ingredients by hand can not only be physically exhausting but also a very long and laborious process. However, by using a flat beater, you can quite literally cut in half the time it takes for you to mix products together. Furthermore, while the flat beater is creaming or mixing your ingredients together, you can be hard at work on another, separate kitchen duty.

  • Flat beaters produce better food

We are all human and we all get tired; however, machines do not. Flat beaters not only provide a more efficient mixing process for your ingredients but are also more consistent in this process. This means that flat beaters can mix your food much better than you ever could - and, thus, create a more consistent texture for all of your food products and a better texture overall, too.

What materials can flat beaters be made from?

Flat beaters, like their dough hook counterparts, can be made from stainless steel or aluminium - or either of these two materials with a nylon coating.

All of these materials have very useful properties for kitchen work. They are, to list a few examples:

  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Scratch-resistant

They are also able to withstand a variety of bashes which will definitely occur with this particular attachment. All of these materials are particularly suited to kitchen work as a result of their strength, durability and ability to mould into a range of odd shapes - especially the spade-like shape of flat beaters.

Are flat beaters easy to clean?

You can take heart that, yes, flat beaters are very easy to clean!

The significant ease of cleaning flat beaters can be attributed to their use of durable materials. Flat beaters made from all of the materials listed above are dishwasher safe, which means that they can be placed into a dishwasher for a vigorous cleaning.

If you do not own a dishwasher or just prefer to hand-wash your kitchen utensils and accessories, the flat beater can be cleaned with a soft sponge and hot, soapy water. However, as a result of their unique, cut-out spade shape, it can prove quite difficult to clean these accessories fully.

To ensure a thorough clean, you can soak the flat beater in some warm water to aid the removal of any leftover food mixture that may be stuck in the narrow edges of the attachment.

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