The Russell Hobbs Silhouette is a Rolls Royce panini press and like the Rolls Royce Phantom and Silver Ghost cars, the Silhouette is far from ephemeral.
The Silhouette is large and heavy so best suited to a permanent place in the kitchen. There are two temperature indicator lights – on and ready. Toast the panini, cool down and wipe the non-stick flat plates clean.
The Silhouette, like many previously basic domestic appliances, is presented within a sophisticated art form with its stylish toughened glass and stainless steel finish.
According to the brochure, panini was created in Venice in the 50’s to be: ‘served with an aperitif late in the afternoon or evening and soon became extremely popular.’ We like that bit.
The panini press toasts everything from ciabatta, focaccia, crepes, tortillas, pita, naan, baguette, or even sliced bread. The floating hinge easily adjusts to various thicknesses.
Half of the instruction booklet is printed upside down but this is not the most distinctive feature. Possibly, not in the history of instructions, has so many don’ts been included for so few functions. One don’t involves using the power cable as a handle where it is ideally positioned for that purpose. A little more thought in design would have removed that problem.
Another don’t is using low fat spreads because they may burn and damage the non-stick surface. This did not happen in our test. The stainless steel panel does get hot so keep it clear of young fingers.
Despite these quibbles it makes delicious toasted breads, is quick and easy to use. With winter approaching this is an irresistible must-have kitchen appliance.