We had been thinking about getting a decent sized food processor for quite some time now. As good as our Cuisinart Mini Prep is for smaller tasks (see our writeup here), it’s obviously impractical for the bigger jobs.
Having being blessed with the almighty Robot Coupe R301 Ultra in most of my previous commercial kitchens, I knew that I would not be easily satisfied. Budgetary requirements prevented us from spending upwards of $2000 on that piece of luxury – which meant that I had pretty much decided on the Sunbeam Cafe Series LC8900 food processor – which retails for a more modest $399AUD.
On the weekend, we ventured into David Jones to check out the sales with no intentions of purchasing one – and we didn’t. Not because we decided to behave, of course – it was due to a ridiculously good special they had on the Cuisinart MP-14NA.
This food processor extraordinaire retails for $699AUD. It was on sale for $349, a whopping 50% off. I did some quick research on my phone, and it turned out that this machine was the business. We snapped it up with no hesitation, and then had the task of carrying it home.
It’s one of the largest domestic food processors you can buy, with a 14 cup capacity. This is a dry ingredient capacity though – with good reason – add too much hot liquid and you will be in for a big bench, wall, floor, and clothes cleanup session (yes, I have done this before!).
Ritsy was first to put it through it’s paces – she made a sweet pastry for a lime tart using the chopping blade, which took about 25 seconds to bind. Apart from a small amount of flour sprayed back up the food chute, it was a success. This is how we were taught to make pastry (and pasta dough) in commercial kitchens – and I have sorely missed the simplicity of throwing all the ingredients into the bowl and hitting the start button!
We bought a 250g block of semi hard tasty cheese in order to test the grating disc out. It grated the whole block in about 2 seconds flat, with hardly any cheese stuck in the blade at the end of it. The end result was a big bowl full of nice long strands of cheese. I’ll give you a tip though – if you are doing large quantities of cheese, it’s best to empty the bowl out when it looks 3/4 full, otherwise you will cause the cheese to clump.
The slicing disc was also in need of some testing. We had to chiffonade a large quantity of Wombok (chinese cabbage) for some Gyoza we were making – 3 seconds later, it was all done! It made beautiful thin ribbons of wombok, and because the MP-14NA has an extra wide feed chute, we didn’t have to chop it up into tiny pieces.
One really nice thing about the MP-14NA, which really differentiates itself from the competition, is the “Dough” button and the accompanying dough blade. It sets the blade spinning at a constant speed, and forms perfect dough. I made a pizza dough with it – which involved adding yeast and sugar to water, putting flour in the bowl, and pouring the liquid into the feed shaft while the dough button did it’s magic. 45 seconds later, we had pizza dough ready for proving. The end result was great – certainly one of the best pizza dough’s I have made (we used the recipe in the accompanying recipe book Cuisinart provides), and definitely the easiest.
Cuisinart provides an outstanding 20 year warranty on the motor – which shows that they must have a great deal of confidence in what they are producing – it certainly provides us with great piece of mind that our money is very well spent. The only negative thing about the MP-14NA is that they don’t provide a holder for any of the attachments. We had a spare 5 liter flat plastic container though, which does the trick.
All in all, we are extremely happy with our MP-14NA – it’s already been a great helping hand in our kitchen, and we are very glad it will be by our side for years and years to come 🙂