Food: Good taste - Moulinex Opticlick 2 hand blender

These days, it seems, it's almost compulsory to serve your piece de resistance main course on a bed of pureed celeriac or mustard mash. While many purists balk at the thought of using anything other than a mouli or a masher, food processors have always been the obvious alternative for those more concerned with a quick end result. On first viewing, the new Opticlick 2 may look remarkably like any other hand blender, until you discover that it comes complete with easily clicked-in attachments for pureeing and whisking.

The two main advantages of hand blenders are that they take up about a quarter of the space of a food processor, and they are much easier to clean (which is a very real consideration after dinner for eight). Many last-minute culinary disasters can be rescued with a quick whizz from an immersible blender; you don't even have to take the food out of the pot. Lumpy zabaglione soon adopts a silky smooth consistency that even Albert Roux would not be ashamed to put his name to. In addition, the problem of Jackson Pollock-style kitchen walls have become a thing of the past; the Opticlick's new non-splash blender foot sends the liquid down into the pot rather than all over your brand new Gucci T-shirt. As Shirley Conran famously said: "Life is too short to stuff a mushroom." Surely the same maxim applies to the manual mashing of potatoes and whisking of egg whites.

The Moulinex Opticlick 2, pounds 40, is available from all good electrical retailers or telephone 0121 380 0590 for stockists.

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