Kitchen disasters

This is probably a subject people aren’t very keen on talking about. I mean food blogs, and blogs in general, don’t really thrive on pictures of souffles that didn’t rise or tales of cakes drier than the Sahara. But today I feel like sharing.

In the last two weeks I’ve had two significant kitchen disasters with bread-baking. I’ve been trying to bake almost all of the bread that we eat every week and it was going well. Until a Saturday two weeks ago when I was making a simple white loaf and I somehow forgot about the dough and left it to prove for about two extra hours. This was the first and only time I have ever over-prooved anything because I’m usually too impatient. Needless to say, the bread didn’t bake properly, it had extremely uneven rise and the crust didn’t brown. It went straight to the bin.

Then last weekend, I thought I’d bake a nice sourdough with my newly revived starter. I tried a new recipe and followed the quantities and timing exactly, haunted by my failure of the week before. Somehow, this bread was also a bad bake. This is not so surprising as starters are temperamental and can be quirky. I suspect that I either used my starter too long after I fed it or, that I should have let the dough to prove for longer as the kitchen was not particularly warm that day.

These failures are thankfully a small percentage of my bread baking. When it comes to baking macarons, I have a 100% failure rate. I’ve tried to bake simple vanilla macarons twice and both times things were bad.

The first time the baked macarons looked great but they tasted overwhelmingly almond-y and they lacked lightness. I figured that I must have used a few grams, literally grams, of ground almonds more than I should have because my kitchen scales are not electronic. The second attempt was way, way worse as I didn’t even get to bake that batch. It was all going peachy until I added some colouring to the beaten egg whites. It was almost magic how that last drop of colouring made my lovely, fluffy and glossy egg whites deflate and turned the mixture into a pale pink cream. I desperately kept on whisking for a while but it was pointless.

I haven’t attempted to make macarons again. I’m just scared that I’ll waste 6 perfectly good eggs. It’s definitely something that intimidates me. For now, I think I’ll keep them as a special treat that I purchase once in a while. Apart from this I’m happy to say that I’m quite confident in the kitchen and willing to try and learn new things. Failures will occur (hopefully not too often) but it’s not the end of the world. Plus, I’m usually alone in the kitchen when I’m baking, so no one has to know.

Have you had any kitchen disasters recently? Are there recipes that you are scared of trying again? It will make me feel better if you share!


13 thoughts on “Kitchen disasters

  1. readingwithtea says:

    Kitchen confessions: my success rate on new recipes is about 30%. And that 30% inevitably comes with personal injury (burnt hand, stubbed toe…) somehow pain makes the recipe work?

  2. lakesidemusing says:

    This is great… we should all share our failures from time to time! I frequently try new recipes and while some are really delicious, I’m lucky my family is so good-natured about the duds.

  3. Vasilly says:

    I agree. We should all share our kitchen disasters once in awhile. About two weeks ago, I make an orange pound cake from a recipe I found online. The problem was that I adapted the recipe and couldn’t find my copy! The cake was basically a brick that no one bothered to eat. My last disaster was just yesterday when my daughter and I tried to make apple turnovers. They looked beautiful out of the oven but were hard! *sigh* Macarons are something I’m scared to try.

  4. April @ The Steadfast Reader says:

    My kitchen disasters are too numerous to mention. ๐Ÿ™‚ For months it seemed like everything I made came out weird. I think I might have been eating out too much, things are starting to even out but I still can’t bake to save my life.

  5. Janel says:

    Not any recent kitchen disasters for me, but I did once bake the giblet bag in the Thanksgiving turkey. A “classic” rookie cook mistake!

  6. joyweesemoll says:

    I bake bread in a bread machine so I have to be pretty tolerant of imperfection. Lately, I’ve been working on a 100% whole wheat loaf and I’ve yet to get a rise that’s acceptable to even my low standard. I eat my failures though, usually. If nothing else, they make dense cubes for bread pudding. Unless I forget the yeast. I’ve done that a couple of times and it yields a completely unedible mess.

  7. Laurie C says:

    I’ve had terrible luck with recipes that call for beating and folding in egg whites in the past, and so try to avoid them when I can. Recently, I thought I was going to need to do that, so I re-washed a stainless steel bowl, dried it, and rubbed it down with lemon juice, and let THAT dry, so I would have the perfectly prepared bowl to beat the egg whites in, and then when I looked at the recipe again, I saw you didn’t even need to beat the egg whites separately.
    My most recent kitchen disaster was roasted vegetables in the slow cooker as a Thanksgiving side. I had tried it before and it worked, but my new slow cooker must have cooked faster and I shouldn’t have thrown the Brussels sprouts in, because those “roasted” veggies were so soft and overcooked, and smelled so disgusting, we had to throw them out!

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