My very own KitchenAid: Passion Fruit Cake for afternoon tea

My very own KitchenAid I have a confession to make: I’ve just bought myself a shiny, glossy red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer!

The workhorse of many American kitchens and beloved by cooks like Nigel and Nigella, I’ve been lusting after one of these babies for quite a while. I first fell in love with one I saw in the Cork branch of Meadows and Byrne a few years ago but, after peeking at the price tag, never thought there was going to be a chance that it would ever be sitting in my kitchen.

Then we got married. And one of the lovely things about having a celebration of your relationship is that people give you gifts. So, several of those gifts, in the handbag of a rather giddy girl, made their way to Brown Thomas a couple of weeks ago. Although my hopes were initially dashed as they had sold out of red mixers – and, having set my heart on a red one, who would want an almond-coloured machine instead? – the helpful staff ordered one in and gave me a call when it arrived. The poor Husband got the job of carrying the heavy box, all rapidly-getting-heavier 22lbs of it, home, having been promised future riches of cakes, cookies and breads, and it sat, in its box, in the hall of our Dublin flat – no space for mixers – until this weekend when I finally got to take it down to the cottage.

We barely got in the door before the KitchenAid, together with its shiny stainless steel bowl, dough hook, flat beater and a wire whisk, was taken out from its wrapping and I was finally able to admire it! Looking wasn’t all I did with it, and over the weekend I made a Passion Fruit Cake (perfect with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee on a rainy Irish summer’s afternoon), finally got the chance to try out the Husband’s family’s recipe for Chocolate Chippies, a loaf of bread – I just had to try out the dough hook – and some small bread rolls, which I baked in my Baker’s Edge for maximum crust.

It now sits proudly on the table in the baking corner of my cottage kitchen, below the flour cupboard and right next to the weighing scales. I’ve been revisiting my cookbooks with new eyes, no longer ignoring or skimming past recipes that involve creaming sugar and butter or whisking egg whites! Although it is also useful for kneading dough, if I’m making just a plain loaf of bread, I think I’ll stick to the very successful No-Knead Bread recipe – because of its slow rise, it’s got a lot more flavour than any normal homemade bread.

To read more from some fellow KitchenAid converts, check out David Lebovitz’s article on the KitchenAid factory, other bloggers’ joy at the arrival of their mixers, and some KitchenAid-friendly recipes.

Passion Fruit Cake

Passion Fruit Cake for Afternoon Tea
Vegetable oil – 2/3 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Eggs – 2
Plain flour – 2 cups
Baking powder – 2 teaspoons
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Milk – 1 cup
Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
Pulp of 2 passion fruit

Pulp of 2 passion fruit
Icing sugar – 4 tablespoons
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and flour a 10-inch circular pan.
Beat the oil, sugar, and eggs using an electric mixer – or your KitchenAid! – on medium speed for about three minutes, until light and thick.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla extract, beating after each addition, and fold in the passion fruit pulp.

Pour batter into the pan and cook in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cake is in the oven, combine the second quantity of passion fruit pulp with the icing sugar to make a runny icing. After the cake has been taken out of the pan and while it is still warm, pour the icing over.

Serve in thick slices with a cup of tea or coffee.



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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21 Responses

  1. Deborah says:

    I am SO jealous! I had to leave mine behind in America, anything with a motor won’t work here even with a powerful converter. I had the stainless steel professional version (also a wedding gift) and it was my lifeline in the kitchen! I miss it so much, but keep buying lottery tickets in the hopes of getting a 220V one here! 😉

  2. Sarah Bell says:

    I love, love, love my red kitchenaid!! I got mine on ebay for £120 otherwise I would never have been able to afford it, well without a large dent in my already overloaded credit card. I made a wedding cake recently and I think I would have lost the will to live without it.

  3. barbara says:

    Lucky you. I’ve always wanted one but first it was the price, then we might move to Australia, now this kitchen is to tiny.

  4. Suzy says:

    Drool…whine…whimper.Ok enough now.Congrats on the event which brought about purchase of said item!!

  5. Caroline says:

    Thanks ladies! I was telling my American Cousin about buying it and she nearly swooned at the price of them in Ireland, compared to what they cost in the States. I did look into importing one but that converter issue stumped me as well. I’m just not going to think about how much it cost – I’m just going to enjoy what I can do with it!

  6. Laura says:

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

  7. Daniela says:

    Hi Caroline,Congrats on your purchase (and of course on your wedding!!!)My friends can’t understand that I get more excited about kitchen gadgets than shoes and handbags! But at least now I know I am not the only one.Haven’t been to your site in a long time. I must make sure I put in in my favourites.Daniela

  8. Caroline says:

    Thanks Laura and Daniela. I must admit a sneaking like for shoes, especially during summer sale time, but always find it easier to justify spending money on kitchen equipment! If you’re looking to exercise that credit card, is a great place to browse. A friend recently bought me a wedding present of the large Le Creuset Bean Pot from Quirky Kitchen and was really impressed with the service and speed. I’m all ready for wintertime bean cooking now…

  9. WOW! it’s sooo pretty! 🙂 We have a kenwood but it doesn’t look half as fancy!

  10. Marian says:

    Just found your blog today. Very interesting.Am going to try the Bittman bread tonight!Have you noticed the recipe for Avoca scones ala the Indo on Sat last. The baking powder got left out but with the addition of a teaspoon of said item the receipe make great light scones

  11. Caroline says:

    I took a look at the new red Kenwood stand mixers and they’re really lovely – but I’d my heart set on the KitchenAid!Will take a look for those Avoca scones, Marian. I’m a big fan of the mixed berry and cinnamon ones, especially if I arrive in the shop while they’re still hot from the oven! If you’re going to make the No-Knead Bread, I’ve found the timings work well if I mix the ingredients on Friday night after I arrive at the cottage, around 10pm, and leave it sit until 4pm the following day. Then, after a couple of hour’s rising and an hour in the oven, it’s normally ready on time for late supper on Saturday. It’s good not to have to rush!

  12. Maz says:

    I am so jealous, I soooo want one. I refuse to buy any other mixer I’m going to suffer on until I can afford one! Enjoy it and well wear!!

  13. Deborah Dowd says:

    Congratulations for joining the KA sorority! Mine is cobalt blue, but I love your red version! Enjoy!

  14. Caroline says:

    Cobalt blue sounds good, Deborah. I must admit, though, I fell for the red one as it matches the cottage windows!Thanks Maz – it is definitely getting a good workout over the weekends we spend at the cottage.

  15. Tiptoe Shortbread says:

    Am SO SO SO jealous, my sister in law has one and have considered stealing it while minding her cats and telling her there was a break in!!!

  16. hockeysticks says:

    have just priced these on the john lewis site in sterling … and as the sterling is so weak against the euro right now they are coming in about €375 less than in Brown Thomas !! (€799 for the Artisan one last week in BT)I think perhaps a trip to belfast to take in IKEA and Kitchenaid-ing might be in order 🙂

  17. shoe girl says:

    I too have a red kitchen aid which my parents very very kindly bought me for christmas and my birthday. I use it a lot for lemon cakes and i adore it. next stop the blender.

  18. SJ says:

    Hi thereDo you still love your kitchenaid and would you reccommend buying one ? Or do you think maybe a Kenwood with higher power might be better ? I won’t be baking industrially (apart from the run up to Xmas!!) and I do love the retro design but its such a big investment I’d love to hear your thoughts …CheersSJ

  19. old Doug on Vancouver Island BC Canada says:

    Well, Congratulations! I bought Marie a KitchenAid over 20 years ago after she donated a part of her anatomy to breast cancer. Thankfully, both are still with me! And after over 60 years, still in love! So now you have something to shoot for!We both use the KA, I do all the cooking, Marie does all the baking, and between us we manage to stay alive!Anyway, we do hope you enjoy your new toy, I grind all our mince, from either pork or beef, and so can control the fat content. Besides, it tastes better. Marie bakes all our bread, which also tastes better than bought stuff. Have fun with it!Cheers, Doug & Marie in BC Canada

  20. Caroline says:

    That’s lovely to hear, Doug – both about your devotion to the mixer and to Marie! It sounds as if you get good use out of the mincer attachment. I’ve been very tempted by the grain mill but am resisting. There’s only so much stuff a little cottage kitchen can cope with.

    To answer your question, SJ, I have gotten a lot of use out of my KitchenAid – when Little Missy lets me do some baking! It’s great for bread kneading and beating eggs for meringues or sponge cakes. Having said that, I have aunts who swear by their Kenwoods and we did use them in Ballymaloe. There’s a lot to be said to a mixer that can stand up to being worked over by generations of cookery school students! And it’s much better on price here in Ireland. For me, when deciding what to buy, I had wedding present vouchers to use so decided to go for the KitchenAid.

    That said, I’m having a problem with the motor of my machine since earlier this year. I know that it’s under five-year-warranty but I’m having problems in tracking down the number to call about any problems. When I do, hopefully they can sort out the issue without too much fuss. I love using it and really want to get back to baking with a stand mixer again!

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      I have to add here that I went back to Brown Thomas last year about the problems with my KitchenAid and they sorted it out without any problems, as it was still under warranty. Good to know that it is fixable!

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