Skip to main content

Meet the Ankarsrum Mixer

With the Ankarsrum Assistent Original’s reliable durability and elegant style, this splurge-worthy mixer has instant heirloom status. Its performance, design, and versatility are unbeatable. This mixer is a baker’s dream and the ultimate powerhouse to whip up dough, cakes, cookies, and creams with incredible ease. The Ankarsrum Assistent mixer has an 80-year history and is well-loved by bakers in Sweden and across the globe. Around 1937, the Assistent was meant for professional use and was far too large for the average household baker. Electrolux purchased the rights to the machine with the intention of creating a new version of the mixer that was suitable for the household. An engineer, Alvar Lenning, was tasked with redesigning and creating this new model. The machine was designed with Swedish culinary habits in mind. It needed to be strong enough to withstand heavy doughs but fast enough to whip up creams. Using alloy casting, a method of mixing different metals to create an item, Lenning created a mixer that was strong, durable, easy to clean, with a consistent, sleek look. A steel bowl, wooden roller, and wooden scraper were included in the purchase of an Assistent.

The Swedish market took such a liking to the mixer that when World War II came about, customers would send in a doctor’s note to expedite the shipping process. With global food and material rations, the Assistent had an estimated delivery time of three years, but if you could prove that the use of one would alleviate pain due to some weakness (arthritis or other similar disabilities), the company would move you to the top of the list. During this time, the Assistent included a no-waste cookbook with wartime recipes to make the most out of the food rations. The 1950s saw technological advances that protected the Assistent from overloading when making large, heavy batches of dough as well as switching from wooden attachments to plastic for durability. From then on, the Assistent went through only minor changes; the body of the mixer changed from a sleek look to a square base and then back to the soft-edged mixer from its original design which remains the same today. The bright colors of the Assistent became a staple of the brand. Today, there are 14 color options that change yearly. In 2001, the factory that built the Assistent was sold to AB Motors in Ankarsrum, Sweden, and the company changed the name to Ankarsrum Industries, which is how the mixer became named the Ankarsrum Assistent.

Like many Swedish designs, the Assistent is sleek and timeless but also extremely powerful. The Assistent contains a powerful motor with 1,500 watts in the European machine and 600 watts for the US version. Both versions are equally strong; the difference is merely how US voltage and current systems compare to those in European countries. Unlike “planetary” stand mixers that move attachments within the bowl like a planet rotating and revolving around the sun, the motor of the Assistent is enclosed in the base of the machine, allowing for an open bowl design where you can easily add ingredients straight into the bowl while the machine is running, and the heavy base ensures that the mixer won’t dance across the counter when working with heavy doughs. It’s also noticeably quieter compared to other leading mixers, even when mixing at high speeds. Each Assistent comes with a 7-quart stainless steel bowl, dough roller, dough scraper, spatula, and bowl lid as well as a 3.5-quart plastic beater bowl, balloon whisks, and cookie beaters. The Ankarsrum Assistent is built to last, with quality materials and few gears, but in the event that something does go wrong, each mixer has a seven-year warranty. And Ankarsrum even has a spare parts webpage where you can find replacement pieces if your warranty has expired.

As with any new appliance, the Ankarsrum Assistent has a bit of a learning curve. Other
stand mixers have numbers to signify the speed of the mixer, going up by increments
of 2. The Assistent does not have a number system on its dial; instead, it has a continuous dial for a smoother transition between speeds rather than, for example, having to choose
either speed 2 or 4 when really you need 3. However, since most recipes are written using phrases such as “low” or “medium-high,” the Assistant recommends to imagine its dial as
a 12-hour clock, with each “hour” equating to a different speed setting that maxes out at 8. Hours 1–3 correspond to low, 4–6 are medium, and 7–8 are high. When kneading bread dough, the lower speeds will be best, going no higher than 3. Plus, the mixer is integrated with motor feedback, meaning it self-regulates depending on the size of its load.

The Assistent comes with two attachment options for kneading dough. The dough hook or roller can be used interchangeably regardless of your dough type. The beauty of the Assistent’s design is the ability to move its arm as well as the open bowl, which makes adding ingredients mess-free. The knob at the base of the arm lets you choose how far from the edge of the bowl you’d like it to be, meaning you can choose the pressure applied
from the roller to your dough. The springloaded arm means you can slide the arm and
roller to the center of the bowl, and it will return to its original position. The Assistent also comes with a 12-minute timer built into the machine. When the timer is finished, the mixer will automatically turn off, allowing you to step away from it without worrying about overmixing.

The Assistent does not come with a paddle attachment like other stand mixers; however, the single-wire whisks, or cookie beaters, are comparable. The dough knife alleviates the need to stop the mixer to scrape down the bowl, and the dough roller mimics the gentle kneading of your hands. Both the balloon whisks and the cookie beaters move in a way that allows the Assistent to whip and mix very quickly: when whipping eggs or cream, they will be done in mere seconds.

The individual whisks spin while the entire beater attachment spins around the bowl, which allows the mixer to finish whisking very quickly. A stand mixer is an investment that can (and should!) last a lifetime, and the Ankarsrum Assistent is a timeless treasure meant to be passed down through your family from one generation of bakers to the next.

The post Meet the Ankarsrum Mixer first appeared on Bake from Scratch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.