I was chatting to a friend while cooking dinner recently when she said: you make everything look so easy… The truth is that while it may look easy, and most of the time it is, I’m only human and humans make mistakes. Despite my best intentions, there are some things I make that simply don’t make it.
Being April Fool’s Day, I thought today would be the perfect day to poke a little fun at myself. Here are some of my documented and true food failure stories from sagging souffles, through horrid taste combinations to gloopy mash. Nobody’s perfect, right?
Enjoy the read and if you’re game, share your own worst kitchen failures by leaving a comment.
#1. It takes three to mango and one to fail
All of my recipes are taste and kitchen tested, and it’s often during the testing stage that I come across obstacles, such as mangoes.
Apparently, different varieties have different amounts of sugar and acidity in them, which is one of the reasons why my first souffle was perfect, while the second, third and fourth attempts failed. The sorbet and fool were great, but since I was unable to master the art, you’ll have to find a mango souffle recipe elsewhere for now.
#2. Fusion gone wrong
Some marriages involving international cuisines are destined for a long and prosperous future. Japanese and Cypriot is not. I mean, what was I thinking? Wasabi crab with a cucumber and avocado salad and haloumi??
The wasabi crab and the cucumber and avocado salad on their own were great, but it was the moment I bit into the cheese I knew I wouldn’t finish it. I love cheese, haloumi amongst my favourites, but the entire combination was just wrong from the beginning. Mr Chipconnoisseur, however, put on a brave face and ate the whole thing. The poor thing, he even said he liked it.
#3. Gluen free shortbread
While looking for the perfect gluten and dairy free shortbread recipe, I made these little cookies.
The problem with baking is, of course, the fact that you can never be 100% sure how something will turn out until it’s out of the oven and you can taste it. If you’re after a recipe for cute little rounds of quick-set concrete, feel free to email me, I’ve found it!
#4. Mash potato, mash potato
If you are trying to mash potato without a ricer do not, and I repeat, do not use a food procesor or stickblender chopping attachment.
Unless of course you need some glue for craft. The starch, just like gluten in flour, will start to activate and work itself and the spuds into a gloopy mess. Hard to get rid of and a waste of good ingredients.
#5. Cubism in the kitchen
I like to eat out and often try to recreate dishes I have tasted out for home use, which you can find in the Restaurant inspired section.
Every so often I will cook something that is as remote from the original tasted, as are Picasso’s [cubist] paintings a reflection of reality. My pumpkin and ricotta lasagna with amaretti biscuit crumbs is one of the better examples of cubism in the kitchen. The general idea, and shape and maybe even flavour is there, but to look at it and to say it’s a Man with the mandolin, is impossible unless you know that’s what it’s meant to be.
Now it’s your turn…
What are some of your own “favourite” kitchen failures? Have you made the same mistake twice? I’d be keen to hear about them.
And remember, if you tell before midday, we might just think you’re telling fibs, so you’ll have nothing to be embarrassed about.