L’Aide de Cuisine

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

[The KitchenAid]

I have given in to the demon of temptation, and I can tell you this: it is poppy red, it weighs twenty-two pounds, and it comes with a dough hook, a flat beater, a wire whisk, and a stainless steel bowl (which conveniently doubles up as a kitchen mirror).

After so many years of lusting and wishing and yearning, resisting the urge because a stand mixer is not exactly cheap and counter space is a scarce commodity, I finally caved in and ordered one from a French online store. Just three days later, my shiny new friend showed up on my doorstep in its styrofoam jewel box, and I’ve been admiring it with the eyes of love ever since.

As one might guess, my recent brush with brioches is not entirely unrelated to this lavish purchase, and was certainly instrumental in getting Maxence’s blessing — he owns half of said counter space after all, so we make that kind of life-altering decision together. I chose red because everybody knows red cars drive faster, and my kitchen looks beside herself (yes, my kitchen is a she) with pleasure from this new accessory.

So, what have I used it for so far? Well, after carefully considering what recipe would be the most suitable for its inauguration, I decided on a simple pâte brisée to make the tartlets I was testing for a magazine article. The simplest ceremonies are often the most elegant, no?

Now I wish I could take it on the train with me to my parents’ mountain house for Easter so we could make hot cross buns with it, but that sounds like a stupid and back-breaking thing to do, so perhaps I won’t.


If you would like to know how and where such stand mixers are grown and harvested, you can read all about it in David and the KitchenAid Factory — perhaps Tim B. would like to buy the motion picture rights for that?

Pâte Brisée

(Very slightly adapted from my cooking class bible, La Cuisine de Référence: there is just 12.5g sugar in the original recipe.)

– 1 egg yolk
– 50 mL (3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) cold water
– 5g (1 teaspoon) salt
– 30g (2 tablespoons) sugar
– 250g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
– 125g (4.5 ounces, European-style) butter, diced

This makes enough for two 22 to 25-cm (9 to 10-inch) tarts, or twelve 10-cm (4-inch) tartlets.

In a medium mixing-bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, water, salt, and sugar. Set aside.

In the bowl of your favorite food processor, preferably red, combine the flour and butter, and process at low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stop the processor. Pour in the liquid ingredients all at once, and process just until the mixture comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide in two and shape each half into a flattened ball, without kneading. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes before using. (If you only use one of the balls, the other one can be frozen for up to a month.)

  • Swan

    Oh…I am SO jealous…CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    so maybe now that you have given the example….:-)

  • This is uncanny. I literally just ran a search on your website earlier today to see if you mention Kitchenaid stand mixers. If you check your site’s search history you should find the terms kitchen aid, kitchenaid and mixer.

    I’ve been searching through all my favorite blogs to get ideas on why I really need one. I also read about David Lebovitz’s visit to the factory.

    I don’t (yet) make bread. And none of my cookie doughs are so difficult to mix. So do I really need this toy? Besides the fact I love tools and bake a fair amount?

    I look forward to hearing how you like working with yours. Was the pâte brisée a success?

  • Torie

    I ‘lent’ my stand mixer to my mom when we moved to Paris, and she loves it so much she claims she is never giving it back!

    I miss it every day, and have to admit baking is not nearly as fun without it!


  • Greatest geeky food toy ever.

    We got the red Artisanal Mixer a couple of months ago and just love it.

    We are trying to decide which attachments to buy for it now.

  • Oh. And Kitchen Aid calls that ‘Empire’ Red.


  • One more thing…

    You can see our ‘Little Red Corvette” at http://allanthinks.typepad.com/allanthinks/2006/01/little_red_corv.html .

  • Erin

    I got the same one as a wedding present, and I love it. Enjoy!

  • Embla


    Ahh, I dream of someday owning one, too… :)

  • I love my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. I broke the bank to buy it years ago, and she’s still going strong! I got mine in Gray. Congratulations on your new purchase! You won’t regret spending the money for it.

  • Hi Clotilde, I can imagine how excited you are, I was too when I got it as a Christmas present :) Gorgeous shot of the red beauty!

  • iamchanelle

    i never knew how quick and easy my time in the kitchen could be until i received my white and chrome kitchenaid. i use it almost every day! i would make my cereal in it if i could…

  • I see Allan has been here to tell you that we have the same mixer. I’m gearing up to make some rosemary-olive bread in it.

    Great photo, by the way!

  • I received mine as an Xmas gift. I nearly slept with it under my pillow (ow!) I was so thrilled. I couldn’t WAIT to use it (I think the pancakes in the included recipe book were my first choice). I went on to use it every night for the next week and a half to make treats to bring into work (cookies, brownies, cakes, etc…). Sigh. Good times, good times.
    So congratulations and I’m sure this is just the beginning of a beautiful relationship.


  • you lucky, lucky lady! i am pining for the pink kitchenaid stand mixer ever since i saw that it actually comes in pink. :)

  • Tea

    Good for you! I too lust after a red KitchenAid but haven’t yet taken the plunge. I blogged about this last Valentine’s Day and from the comments I received it seems there are many of us with feelings of love or lust for the KitchenAid Mixer. I am sure the two of you will be very happy together for years to come:-)

    This is my first time commenting and I must say that your blog is delightful. Thank you!

  • ACK! I’m still saving up for mine. I’m planning to get the 5-QT heavy-duty version, which comes only in white, if i’m not mistaken, at least, this side of the world. I’d have preferred red, but practicality over beauty.

  • congratulations! i now you two will be very happy together. yet, i’m curious why your got red and not pink to match your ipod mini?

  • Karen

    If you ever intend to make bread in it, do try it out on bread dough before the returns period is over — I bought the 6 quart professional model at Christmas and returned it because it sent up smoke the first time I used it to knead bread dough. This after 10 years of lusting after it. I’ve since bought a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine, which is everything I’d hoped the KitchenAid would be.

  • Matilda

    Congratulations! I received mine (same great colour!) as an Xmas gift after I made very delicious Parisian Gnocci (made from a pate choux, recipe from T.Keller’s Bouchon) that nearly gave me tendonitis. I had to ice my arm all night from the exertion!

  • Clotilde,

    Congrats! Pretty soon you will wonder how you ever lived without it – just like me!

  • Christy

    Congrats!!! The KA is perhaps the most lust-inspiring kitchen utensil in the over $20 niche. Mine is six months old and making funny noises but I think I’ve mixed too much marshmallow fondant in it. Surprisingly, I like mine best for mixing stuffings that are meat based (ground beef/pork for stuffed veggies, for example). I’m very happy to keep my hands out of that bacteria hotspot!

  • Envy! Envy! Envy! I’ve been quietly reading your blog everyday since I first stumbled across it a few months’ back; haven’t left a word until now. But, yes, I covet your KitchenAid like a dog possess’d, but – on a more kindly note – if anyone deserves one of these fine machines, it’s you. Did I tell you that the red one’s always been my favourite? :-)

  • My girlfriends and I would joke that we couldn’t wait to get married so that we would be given a Kitchen Aid stand mixer– I went from present to present on my wedding day trying to find a box that looked just the “right size” to no avail. Two of my other girlfriends were blessed and neither of them use their mixers except for the occasional brownie mix- FROM A BOX! Oh the horrors!

  • I currently use a Viking stand mixer, but I’m not wild about it. The bowl is a pain to get in place and the way you try to insert the hooks/paddles sucks. I was looking at both the Pro600 and Artisan — the Artisan head tilts up and out of the way — great for adding ingredients. Plus, it’s not as tall as the Pro600 so it will slide under my counters. I think I’m sold! Anybody want a Viking?

  • What a perfect inauguration recipe! I’ve been using your pate brisee recipe for all of my tarts. I’m sure it comes out great in your Kitchen aid. Congrats!

    Visit my new food blog at:

  • Alisa


    (apparently Kitchen Aid brings out the surfer lingo in me. who knew)

  • Patti

    Gorgeous red! My biggest frustration with Kitchenaid is all the beautiful colors. I have a gorgeous cobalt blue I bought years ago with my little boy so we could make his birthday cake together. This weekend I saw orange, green, and pink ones at the store – I want them all!

  • Kim

    I just got one for my bday in March from my boyfriend. I immediately expressed my gratitude to him with cookies! I joked once with him that KA’s are the “cadillac of mixers” and now it is aptly nicknamed “The caddy”.

  • Maureen

    Congratulations! I grew up baking with a kitchenaid. My mother bought her first one in the 50s and it is still put to use. This was the first appliance I bought when I moved out on my own in the 70s. I gave my niece her red one as a wedding present this past year. I use mine for everything including making soap (bought a separate bowl and mixing attachment for that). I find that I don’t use the extra accessories but an extra bowl is a must – one for the batter and one for whipping egg whites. Enjoy yours. It makes baking so much fun.

  • Oh how exciting! I don’t have anything at the moment, but I think I prefer the Kenwood design because the bowl is held on the base, down against the counter, not mid-air, so when heavier doughs are churning away, the whole mixer isn’t rocking from side to side. Anyone else committed to Kenwoods?

  • Mine’s red too!

    It’s a work of art; it’s a work horse. It’s my mixer, and she kicks ass.

  • I too have the red Artisan, and I love it for making large batches of royal icing for holiday cookies. Buy an extra work bowl, and also get a little 3-quart bowl. I use mine all the time. Enjoy!

  • kml

    The best piece of kitchen equipment I have ever purchased. It not so much about what you make now… it’s what you’ll consider trying once you have the mixer to do the heavy lifting ;-)

  • Charlotte

    I use my mother’s old KitchenAid — which is now …(pause while I subtract from my age) … 34 years old! It works absolutely perfectly — I did replace the paddle and the dough hook last year because I wanted the plastic-coated ones. The originals were uncoated aluminum, and they’d gotten somewhat pitted over the decades. I can’t tell you how I love that machine — it’s like an outboard boat motor for cooking …

  • Brady

    My kitchen aid is the best gift I ever received! Now I have the ice cream making attachment and I use it all the time. There’s nothing like making home made cake and ice cream for my kids’ birthdays.

  • TJ

    We bought one for $25 at a yard sale back in the early 90s, and it’s still going strong. A steal at twice the price! Although I’ve pined after the colorful ones I’ve seen in the stores in years hence, the white one we got has been just right for our kitchen decor. And speaking of kitchens, when we had a dispute about upper cabinet installation height last year, the KitchenAid was my reference point. “If these cabinets are at the right height, then the ones we took down were non standard, because this fit before!”

  • my mother bought the exact same model several years ago. I didn’t know anything about it, but I could tell it was great after the first time I used it. I’m hoping to take it with me the next time I go home…..

  • Sigh. I wish I had one. Just yesterday I mixed up cake batter and, as I don’t even have a electric hand mixer, I tried my immersible blender which only led to a long clean up period trying to get thick batter removed from said blender. I ended up beating it all by hand, the old fashioned way. I will have to put this on my wish list.

  • I hope that you will enjoy your wonderful machine in good health and share many adventures with us. My Kitchenaid is 20 years old and practically perfect in every way. That they didn’t make them in red back then is my only regret.

  • I love my purple (actually “grape”) Kitchen aid! I have it for a few years now. I am about to put it to use making a chocolate torte and some macaroons for Passover. I was reading about David Lebovitz’ tour of the factory last weekend and wish I could go, it looked fabulous! Am thinking of getting my Mom a new one as her old stand mixer (not a kitchen aid) is dying and she’s working on a cookbook, too! But so many color choices! Hard to decide which one! Now I want all of the incredible attachments….

    Enjoy your red one! It will be put to good use I know!!!

  • ohh I bet it looks gorgeous! red is my favorite color! Once I start buying my own appliances for my apartment I definetely will buy one!

  • Welcome to the world of culinary ease! I have been a proud owner of an “aide de cuisine” for years, and couldn’t go back.
    And hot cross buns are a MUST for Easter this year.

  • You’re going to love your new mixer! And you have one in racy red (I’m a classic ‘white’ kinda guy) you wild gal of Montmarte. You’ll have some much fun with it…I can’t imagine life without mine.

    (And to Christy: You can call the 800 number for KitchenAid and ask to speak to someone in Customer Service at the factory in Greenville, and they’ll diagnose your mixer sound over the phone!)

  • Lisa

    Congratulations! I got mine last November — Pistachio Green, and it’s beautiful. I love it so much — I know you’ll love yours too.

  • J. Bo

    Your only regret will be not having bought one sooner. I grew up with a white 5-quart model which I inherited when my folks bought a new one. It was still going strong after 25 years when it disappeared in a moving mishap. I got my own blue model (just like Julia Child’s!) shortly thereafter, and IT’S been going strong for 15 years. NOW I’m lusting after the 6-quart professional model…

  • Charlotte

    I got one for Christmas–after giving up all hope of ever owning one myself. The first thing my sister-in-law said was..so..whats with the red. Do they work better or something, cuz THEY SURE ARE HARD TO FIND!!!!


  • Meg

    Congratulations, Clotilde, and welcome to the club! I too recently received a red KitchenAid from my very generous spouse – a red Artisan. Which model is yours? Can’t wait to read about your experiences with it because I’m still experimenting myself.

    David, it does a GREAT job on your Gingersnaps recipe from Room for Dessert!

    I wrote about mine here:


    Happy mixing everyone! ; )

  • sylvie

    I have been the happy owner of a Kenwood Chef for the past 23 years, and made everything with it, from simple beaten egg whites to bread dough. It’s so heavy it wont’ move on the countertop, even when running at full speed or making bread dough. Its original orange color faded a bit over time, but it’s still running great, though a bit noisily now ! Loe the variety of colors on the Kitchen aid though ! But I guess I’ll still keep my good old workhorse !

  • You will never regret it. And never stop using it! I have owned my sturdy, navy-blue KitchenAid for at least twelve years now, and it’s still running strong. Ah, everyone should have one!

  • Kerrie

    I love your blog & I too have been experimenting with breadmaking. I made pain a l’ancienne by hand (very messy!) as I can’t afford a kitchenaid/mixer – I am so very jealous of you! I have to drive 3 hrs to my mum’s house to use her mixer instead. Your kitchenaid will revolutionise your breadmaking & open up so many possibilities.

    Don’t ever stop writing this blog – I love your photos & recipes, and I think it’s great that you have disasters in the kitchen like the rest of us!

  • You know Clothilde… the problem with KAs is that the lusting never goes away… even when you finally get your very own! Next you’ll be eyeing the larger, more powerful versions… (much as I love my little white artisan, the 6qt/575hp in Cinnamon keeps calling to me!)

    Congratulations and enjoy! Cooking will never be the same!

  • Congratulations. I too have a poppy-red one (though, to be honest, I’ve always thought of it as fire engine red). And it is the thing I miss the most since I moved to Spain, leaving that beautiful machine behind on a lonely counter in northern Ohio. Your post convinced me it might be time to cough up for a European counterpart.

  • Sandy

    Hello! I can certainly identify with your passion for the mixer! I had a smaller one first, and LOVED IT!!! So, one day on a whim I order the “Big Guy”!! I have the Pro 6 now in White. It is the lift bowl kind.,..14 cups of “flour power”! I have 6 kids so this was a much needed upgrade (as I keep telling myself) ;-) I use it for everything. Used to use a Cuisinart for bread in the early days (80’s) and then my awesome brother gave me the mixer. It has been my best kitchen helper ever since. I still have a Cuisinart, had to get a new one of them too because the plastic bowl and lid were falling apart and replacing the whole thing was about the same price as just buying a new work bowl and lid. EBAY! That is where I got both the new mixer and new Cuisinart. Great price on each!
    Love your Hot Cross Buns! I was going to make some but got busy. This week I will give them a try. I will send you my favorite bread recipe if you like. My husbands Grandfather was a baker. I have only one of his recipes and I use it for bread all the time. It has a softer crust, almost like a “roll” that you slice.

  • Swan

    I got it, I got it,I got it…..YEY!!!Since an hour I am the proud owner of a bright red Artisan 5 quart Kitchen Aid and I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy with it!!

    Thank you, Clothilde, for setting the example :-)

  • I bought one yesterday, so I know exactly how you feel. Yellow. There’s a photo on my blog. Perhaps Majestic Yellow (Connie we’re thinking her name is) and your Shiny New Friend will become blogging pals. I look forward to your recipes :) It’s hard to know what her first task should be… cakes, bread, biscuits, souffle… it’s nerve racking.

  • Superbe!
    Je viens de reçevoir le mien, il est blanc, sublime…
    C’est vraiment hyper pratique et très bien pensé ces Kitchenaid!

  • Jon

    Congratulations on your stand mixer! It is definitely my favorite thing in the kitchen. I fussed and fussed over what color I wanted, and finally settled on pistachio. I’ll also be getting my brother and soon-to-be sister in law one for their wedding gift. Such an excellent machine! :)

  • Charlotte

    I got one for Christmas and I’m so excited I’m back to share where I first got so excited about the possibilities. My fiance got me a black Artisan, it reminds me of the first sports car I ever drove. I made waffles with it, just because I could, but your pate brisee will be the first ‘real’ recipe for the new little guy.

  • michael

    my dad ordered one for my bday and im just 14 .i’ll be getting it in 2 days . i just love to bake

  • Anne Bourget

    I bought my first KitchenAid in 1970 having received my first credit card. That mixer served me well over the years. When I found that the motor was becoming heated I replaced it with another white K5 but with more power and a reset button purchased from Fred Bridge of Bridge Kitchenware in New York.

    While tempted by the K6 with its larger bowl, I am sticking with my K5 because over the years I have invested in additional bowls and a copper bowl made in France. The copper bowl is fabulous–looks just like a K5 bowl with handle but it is solid copper and very heavy. It may be an extravagance, but for me it is worth driving an old Volvo in order to splurge on good cooking and baking equipment.

    While one can very easily get by with one stainless steel bowl, having additional bowls makes the going so much more easy. As an example, I made a chocolate charlotte this week. This involved lining a spring form pan with ladyfingers (yes, it works better than my charlotte mold). Bowl #1 (stainless): beating egg yolks and sugar and then adding melted chocolate and rich coffee; Bowl #2 (stainless): whip heavy cream; Bowl #3 (copper): whip egg whites.

    Lighten the chocolate mixture with about 25% of the whipped egg whites and mix to lighten, then add the remaining egg whites to the chocolate (remember, always add light to heavy when folding) and fold. Then fold in the whipped cream. Turn into spring form pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze if not serving that day. Remove from freezer and let rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Remove from spring form pan and transfer to pretty serving plate. Cover the top with whipped cream and chocolate curls. I sometimes put raspberries on the whipped cream and dust with chocolate shavings.

    The point is, the KitchenAid and multiple bowls make desserts like this a snap. I recently purchased two extra paddles: a Beater Blade and a SideSwipe. They are each made by different manufactuers and serve to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl much better than KitchenAid’s paddle. They both work very well.

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