Posts Tagged ‘egg whites’

My worst food disasters

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I had a recent one and it’s been haunting me and making me think of other kitchen disasters I have had.

I’ve tried making chocolate mousse a few times and can’t quite get it sorted. I don’t know whether I’m not whipping the egg whites enough or something but it seems fine when I make it. It’s the right texture and all that. Then I refrigerate it for a while and when I take it out, it’s just solid. It’s not light and fluffy, it’s heavy and un-airy. And it depresses me. It make ME feel heavy and un-airy. I don’t try to make chocolate mousse anymore.

I made some flapjacks a while ago. They were going to be a present for someone so I made sure I did a good job. When I took them out of the oven, they looked lovely. I left them to cool and went in the front room… Came back ten minutes later… They were black! I’d left them to cool on top of the oven, with the hob on! I NEVER leave the hob on. I’m really strict about turning things off with the oven and hobs. Lovely apricot flapjacks, cooked and finished and ready to eat… and ruined.

When I lived abroad, as opposed to one specific disaster, we just had an ongoing disaster concerning our diet, which was mainly that we were 18 and didn’t really know much about cooking. We mainly ate plates of rice with something added, eg rice with sweetcorn mixed in, rice with chopped onion mixed in, rice with butternut squash, rice with rice. We also made these dumpling-type things which were just flour and water with something added, eg, dumplings with sweetcorn, dumplings with onions…..

My latest one was a marmalade cake. The recipe said to use self raising flour AND baking powder. I thought it seemed wrong but I trusted it anyway. So I made the mixture, put it in the oven and checked on it twenty minutes later. Disaster! The mixture was bubbling like crazy and expanding at an alarming rate. It had overflowed out of the loaf tin and formed a little cake mountain on the bottom of the oven. I didn’t know what to do about it, I turned down the heat and watched it closely. When it eventually stopped exploding, it then sunk into the empty space that had been created from all the bubbles in the middle of the loaf. It looked awful! I felt like a failure. The next morning I woke up and tried it again, plain flour this time. It worked!

I had used the Great British Bake Off cookbook for it and later found out the recipe was one that a guy used then got eliminated! His had sunk too! And then they just put the recipe in the book without changing it! Madness. For anyone else wanting to make a sticky marmalade tea loaf from that cookbook, use plain flour!

P.S. 21 days till first exam. Today’s study topic – Theft. And I can’t find any of my Land Law notes! Oops!

M is for…

MARSHMALLOWS!

This was a very nerve-wracking experience for me so I thought I’d do another ‘What runs through my head when I’m…’ about it.

Ok, marshmallows! I’m going to make marshmallows! This will be amazing! Marshmallows. I can’t wait. Ok, the recipe. Nervous! Nervous! Ok, concentrate.

Sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat it to 216 degrees! What?! That’s so hot. Ok, jam thermometer, in it goes. In the meantime, whisk egg whites. I’d better do that now! Quickly before the sugar heats up! O goodness, it’s a race against time. Crack the eggs in, whip them up, ok, phew, done.

The. Sugar. Is. Taking. Ages. It’s been forever. The egg whites are settling a bit. Should’ve done them later. Why is it taking so long to heat up? O, wait a minute, the end of the thermometer has been touching the bottom of the pan, not the liquid! O no, I think I may have overheated it?! Quick quick! Get whisking the egg whites, pour in the sugar syrup. I think I burned it. Great. I think it’s burned. What do I do? I’ve just wasted all that sugar and those eggs now. Right, just keep going and see what happens.

It’s definitely burned.

Whisk, whisk, whisk. Dammit. Omygoodness, everything in the bowl just suddenly mixed together and swelled up and became one huge marshmallow! One huge bowl-shaped marshmallow. Amazing. I still think it’s burnt, I’ll just keep going and see if you can taste it after they’ve set.

Put half in a baking tray. Roll raspberries in icing sugar and cornflour and dot them over the marshmallow mixture. Other half of the marshmallow mix on top. O no, it’s sticking and the raspberries are going all over the place. Never mind. Just splodge it all on and hope it settles. Leave it for an hour and a half to set now.

Ok, hour and a half up. I’m definitely nervous again. Let me just turn it out of the tray. It’s stuck!! It’s stuck. I have the tray upside down and I am shaking it around like crazy. It’s stuck. Hmm. Calm down, calm down. Think. Spatula, slide round the edges, help it a little bit. Phew, it’s coming out, in one piece. A miracle! Loads and loads of icing sugar and cornflour and it’s sticking to me and to everything in sight.

Ok, breathe, calm. Cut into squares. Icing sugar. Cornflour. It doesn’t look burnt. I still think it might be. Taste one. O thank goodness! Not burnt. I knew it’d be fine. I knew all along. Phew. Need to get a second opinion. I wonder if any of my neighbours are in. Fill tupperware with marshmallows and find friends to get an opinion from.

That was fun. I think I’ll do some more soon.