- Good build quality
- Wide range of blades and discs
- Excellent storage
- Only one speed option
- Poor egg whisking performance
- Review Price: £180
- 1100W motor
- 2.8-litre and 1.2-litre bowls
- 2mm and 5mm slicing disc, 2mm and 5mm shredding disc, chopping blade, plastic dough blade, cheese grating disc, emulsifying disc, chip cutting disc
What is the Fearne by Swan Food Processor?
Fearne Cotton isn’t a name readily associated with cooking, but the TV presenter has released two recipe books, so it’s only logical that she now has her own range of cooking gadgets. The Fearne by Swan Food Processor is an all-rounder machine that can handle the basics – grating, chopping, blending – but for anything more, we’d look elsewhere.
Nevertheless, this is a decent food processor, but the high price is a little hard to swallow.
Fearne by Swan Food Processor – Design and features
The Fearne by Swan Food Processor is quite twee, with a 1950s-style that you’ll either love or hate. It’s available in a range of pastel colours – the model sent in for review is described as ‘peacock’, although it’s actually closer to pistachio – including Lily (lavender), Pale Honey (cream) and Truffle (off-white).
The quality of the build is impressive. It feels pleasingly sturdy and the base, jug and lid all fit together firmly. The food processor is fairly heavy, and I had very few issues with it shaking during use, but it isn’t so heavy that you’ll struggle to lift it.
It ships with four discs: multi-grater, slicer, fine grater and julienne (for fries). It includes two chopping blades for use with the large and small bowls, plus a dough beater and an emulsifying disc.
The attention to detail with regards to storage is exceptional. Plenty of machines offer no storage for all their accessories, but the Fearne by Swan Food Processor comes with a storage box that neatly houses all the blades and discs. The power cable can be tucked away in the back of the main unit when not in use. It really is very well thought out.
There’s no control over speed, it’s either on or off, which is a shame; but there is a pulse button. This didn’t generally prove a problem, but I’d have liked the option to use a lower setting when blending for a specific texture.
Fearne by Swan Food Processor – What’s it like to use?
Setup and changing attachments is easy, and all bits fit in place securely. With the most basic functions, the Fearne by Swan Food Processor had almost no troubles.
Slicing carrots with both the thick and thinner slicing blades yielded good results, and I was happy with the uniformity of the discs. Only a small amount of the top of the carrot was left on top of the blade.
Grating was also a smooth task. The fine grater produced an even pile of thinly shredded carrot, while the larger one gave a more rough chop. I also tried the larger grating disc to tackle an onion. Sometimes, using a grater to chop onions can result in a watery mush, but the Fearne by Swan Food Processor gave me chunkily chopped onion that would be ideal for a bolognese or similar.
When it came to using the French fry blade, I wound up with some pretty rough chips. The single speed setting means simply dropping the potato (halved) into the top and seeing what it can do. In this case, the food processor shook considerably, needing to be steadied. Barely a couple of seconds later I had chips; they were nowhere close to uniform, but were recognisably chips. Identical-looking chips are overrated, anyway.
The main blade made short work of turning chopped onion into a smooth puree. It required stopping the machine once to scrape the outliers back to the middle of the bowl, but I then got a good, even texture. Blending a Thai red curry paste was quick and simple and gave me the right fine, but not liquidised, texture.
I tested the strength of the blade by crushing ice. I used the small bowl, because it held plenty of cubes, and it turned the ice to snow in around 30 seconds. I did have to keep a hand on the machine to steady it initially. I noticed no scratches on the bowl afterwards.
Whipping is where the machine fell down. The machine uses an ‘emulsifying disc’ for whipping eggs or cream. The performance was, to be blunt, awful. The flat disc has two little paddles on the underside, which are meant to aerate. They don’t. I wound up with a mix of quite dense egg whites – they were about the texture of shaving foam – and liquid left in the bottom. It all had to go in the bin, and I started over with a hand whisk.
When chopping or blending anything particularly hard, I had to hold onto the machine to keep it stable. The same is true when making dough. For any tasks using soft ingredients, the suckers on its feet are enough to keep it steady.
Washing presented no real difficulties, although remnants of food did become stuck in the ridge around the edge of the lid. I found this came off easily as long as it was washed immediately after use.
Why buy the Fearne by Swan Food Processor?
If you’re looking for a reliable all-round machine (but don’t plan to whisk any egg whites) then I’d absolutely recommend the Fearne by Swan Food Processor for performance. The downside is the price, particularly when you can get the more accomplished KitchenAid Classic 2.1L Food Processor for less.
The design makes the Fearne by Swan Food Processor look a little like a child’s toy, but don’t let its exterior fool you – it’s a great all-rounder.