I'm looking for some input from my fellow bakers. I have two Kitchen Aid Mixers - one Artisan and one 6 qt Professional and frankly don't care for either of them for making icing. I was looking into buying a Viking Mixer, but cannot seem to find any reviews. Same with the new Cuisinart. Would love to have some input.
I love my KA! Out of curiousity I have to ask, what dont you like about them?
I love my 5 quart artisan mixer, but it just isn't large enough. I use it for cookies, fillings and single size recipes for icing. The 6 qt - I do not like how I have to lower the bowl when adding, there are no wheels on the bottom to move it around and the motor just screams when I am whipping icing - it is so loud that I have to leave the room. Now that I think about it though, I do not believe the 6 qt is the Professional Model. If the artisan was bigger and had a bigger motor, I'd be thrilled.
I prefer tilt heads too! I currently have a 4.5qt KA and a 7qt Delongi/Kenwood, both tilt heads. Got the Kenwood at Williams-Sonoma at a bargain for $250 years ago when they discontinued it.
If I were in the market for a new mixer, I would get the 7qt Viking.
I have a 5 qt KA and I have a Bosch Universal. I bought the Bosch after I killed the KA (which I later resusitated). When I bought my Bosch I chose it mainly because I bake whole grain breads and they are just to much for the KA to knead (I grind my own flour and it makes for a very stiff dough especially if you're doing 6 loaves worth!)
I have decided to keep both machines because I like them both and I use them all the time. The Bosch has a very strong motor that works differently than the KA. While the KA's is an overhead gear driven motor the Bosch is belt driven. The Bosch is much shorter since the motor is next to where the bowl sits so it fits under your cabinet better.
Bosch's bowl is only a 6 qt but I can easily do a double batch of frosting in it. The lid is a two piece that has a ring around the outside and a center that can lift off. I dumped two pounds of powdered sugar in the bowl, put the lid on and let 'er rip with no worries about powdering my kitchen. (I love that part!) Like anything you will have to get used to the differences and then it's all about personal preference.
One cool thing about the Bosch is that you can whip a single egg white into meringue in a matter of seconds (in a plastic bowl no less!) Sadly, it's main color is white (I did see a limited edition red one recently but those are your only choices). The girlie girl in me really wished they had cool colors like the KA when I was shopping around! I got mine with a blender and can make smoothies in it all the time too. And don't worry about the plastic bowl melting if you're doing a meringue frosting; I pour boiling sugar mixtures into it all the time and it doesn't show a mark at all. I made Divinity at Christmas and it turned out perfectly. You can buy a stainless steel bowl if you want one though. They do have accessories for it as well).
When my 13 year old bakes anything she automatically chooses the Bosch and has told me she already knows what she wants for her wedding gift when she gets married.
They do get loud dont they!