*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Nuffnang and IMK.
Our toaster is, without contest, the busiest appliance in our over-filled household. Daily I witness the kids climbing on our kitchen bench at least twice each, stuffing our existing four-slice, Italian masterpiece of a toaster with their fill of bready snacks. (More on that one in a minute.)
Believe it or not, there's often a queue for this appliance with 6 kids in the house (and a toast-obsessed husband), so you can well imagine I was more than willing to take on a toaster review here when the call came - because I'm yet to come across a 6 slice domestic toaster. (Which incidentally, would really cover our needs!)
IMK Pro Colour is a range new to Spotlight stores nationally and they've a great quality appliance selection which includes everything from toasters to kettles, blenders and stick mixers.
We were lucky enough to welcome a new, nifty and nice, two-slice toaster into our household which has boosted our toast-making capacity to a whopping 6 slices a-piece! Now there's no more queuing at our place at peak times!
Let me tell you now, I am an appliance snob of sorts. I like to buy the best I can afford when it comes to most things which is why our existing toaster cost us well over $200. (I feel faint just recalling that fact.)
She's quite a sexy appliance (the Italian toaster), but when it comes to toast, well, let's face it, the toaster warms bread just as well as any other toaster we've ever owned. Perhaps I would not have shelled-out such an exorbitant amount initially had I looked around and found something as funky and well-priced as the IMK Pro Colour label.
The IMK Pro Colour 2 Slice Toaster is a compact little stainless steel unit with a great sleek shape and though I have been sent an understated white to show you here, the range comes in a gorgeous funky set of colours too. Choose from White, Silver, Red, Purple, Black and Aqua to brighten up any kitchen counter and add a touch of class.
The entire range is funky - the mixers, kettles and blenders.
Like all good toasters, you can control your browning, reheat, defrost and enjoy a high-lift leaver to avoid burnt fingers. There's a slide-out crumb tray and an integrated bun warmer also ticking my boxes. The IMK Pro Colour 2 Slice Toaster comes with a pocket-friendly $44.99 price tag.
Pretty. Dang. Great.
Now testing a toaster well, means I need to make and consume toast and I am first to admit that I am not a big bread person - at all. In fact I am the only person in our household who is not regularly queuing for the toaster.
In order to endure bread, I like a high-quality topping and I quickly decided that the best for me, would be marmalade.
Make that homemade marmalade.
Even better, make that homemade marmalade with grog in it! (My kind of toasty treat indeed!)
So Cointreau Marmalade was on the cards because it's delicious and needs little justification and you will love it too if marmalade's your thing.
One 50ml bottle of Cointreau (or whiskey, rum or brandy).
4 oranges, sliced and seeds removed
1 cup of water
2.5 cups of castor sugar.
Around 4, 350ml preserving jars for your jam. (I use jars by Mad Millie.)
For Thermo appliances: Pop the sliced and seeded oranges and water into the mixing bowl and cook at 100 degrees for 10 minutes on speed one. Then add the Cointreau (or other liquor) and sugar and cook at 100 degrees on speed 2 for a further 45 minutes.
To make marmalade the traditional way: Place the sliced and seeded oranges and water in a heavy based saucepan (such as a Chasseur), cover and bring to the boil for 10 minutes to soften the peel before adding the sugar and alcohol.
Leave the saucepan uncovered and allow it to simmer away for between 1.5-2.5 hours, checking regularly to ensure that the jam has not lost too much water and is not sticking to the base of the saucepan. If you are at all concerned, pop the lid back on to simmer.
Test regularly for the setting point as your method's recommended cooking time comes around by allowing a small dollop of jam to cool on a spoon or saucer. Gently push it with your finger to see if it has a tacky, 'moulding' texture (ie: It crinkles). Towards the end of the cooking stage, rapidly boil the jam to encourage this setting point to occur if it doesn't seem to be happening.
Whichever method you choose to cook your marmalade, while it simmers, you will need to prepare your jars.
Preserving jars must be well-washed and sterilised to ensure your jam is protected with an air-tight seal and does not grow mould. To do this you will need to bake your jars and lids in your oven at 120 degrees C. for 20 minutes.
As soon as your jam is ready, pour the contents into your sterilised jars and seal with the lids immediately while the jam is still piping hot. The heat will seal the jars and make them airtight, ensuring your jam will keep safely for around 12 months or so.
The taste? Oh my! YUMMY!!
The toast came out of the IMK Pro Colour toaster evenly browned and crispy and the marmalade on top - just divine.
I think I may become a toast-eater yet!
Are you a fan of toast and marmalade?
Do you love appliance collecting like me?
What's your latest kitchen appliance you've treated yourself with?