A few years ago I was gifted a small mini chopper. I know, not the most exciting of presents, and not something I’d really ever thought I wanted. But, a gift is a gift, so I thanked them very nicely and plopped it in the cupboard. A few weeks later I remembered it was there, dug it out and gave it a go while I was making dinner.
I had been missing out on life!
A mini chopper quickly became my go-to kitchen essential tool. Honestly it’s a miracle how often this little baby comes out. I never hand chop an onion, I use it for breadcrumbs, I smash up tomatoes for soups and dressings and sauces… so many little jobs which are just quicker.
Sadly, I managed to drop the motor part out of the head-height cupboard to attempt to bounce it on the slate kitchen floor. Please note – they don’t bounce.
But clever old Russell Hobbs thought I might like to give the Aura Chop & Blend a go. Naturally I said yespleasethankyou quite quickly…
(what? I can’t be without a mini chopper. I just can’t.)
When it arrived my initial thought was that this is MUCH bigger than my Desire chopper. The motor unit is taller, and the bowls are deeper.
I was a little disappointed that the bowls are plastic and not the toughened glass of the Desire model – but you do get two of them, they’re a probably-more-useful 1200ml size, and the come with lids (that also act as non-slip bases for shiny worktops. Not a problem for my bamboo surfaces, but I should think for many it might be).
But the Aura Chop & Blend is still small enough to slot easily into a cupboard – or to stay on the surface without taking up too much room.
And it’s when I realised why it’s called what it is that the penny dropped. the chop AND blend.
It’s not just a chopper – this baby covers you for smoothies and soups and dips too. It’s not just for the chopping of the onions. Oh no.
The weird looped blade has no sharp points to stab yourself on when you unload the dishwasher (though still be careful – the side edges are as sharp as knife blades, obviously), and it does all the jobs in one; no need ofr blade swapping and annoying storage issues of the spare unused ones.
It’s so simple – simply place the blade in the bowl, bung in your ingredients, add the motor top (the right way round; that took some getting used to, the spout on the bowl has to be aligned correctly for the connection to work) and szzzuzzzz away. There are two go buttons – one dot for lower speeds (large amounts, whicker contents) and two dots for high speeds (liquids and small amounts).
You can’t do tiny amounts – I tried mixing up just two egg yolks when I was checking my Egg Nog recipe this week (yep – still tastes A.Ma.Zing…), and the blades simply span above the yolk mix. But it’s a teeny tiny thing to have on your counter for breakfast smoothies, making hummus is ridiculously easy (and way too addictive)…
and in keeping with the season it’s also rather handy on the cocktail front…
Strawberry gin fizz
1 tsp lemon juice
6 strawberries, stalks removed
Blend everything together at high speed till smooth
The instructions booklet has loads of great recipes in it, and you’ll soon start to wonder how you did without it.
Just one note though – the underneath of the motor unit gets totally messed up every time you blend anything wet.
Like, REALLY messy.
If you actually read the instructions you’ll note that the bit you’re looking at is actually a splash guard which easily pops off, and there is no need at all for you to spend many minutes wiping it carefully with a damp cloth, muttering about the stupid design that lets a non-washable part get so icky. *cough*
The Aura Chop & Blend is currently on offer at £34.99 (usual price £44.99) and can be bought direct form Russell Hobbs if you clickety click right here.