Kitchen Flops: How To Indulge In Culinary Dumbassery

I have been spending time in the kitchen, as always, and have made quite a few intersting things. Except that they did not turn out quite the way I expected them too. We all have a few kitchen flops. Here, I share 2 of mine with you.

First, I baked chocolate cupcakes. I had been wondering what would happen if one added melted cooking chocolate to cake batter, so I decided to try it out for myself, using this Joy Of Baking recipe with some tweaks. I had some decent cooking chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, eggs etc etc, and I was ready to bake. I also recently acquired silicone cupcake moulds, and I was super-excited to use them. I thought: no more greasing! No more spraying! No more praying! (that my cake doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan.)

I made my batter and poured it in. My batter tasted great. (Yes, I do eat cookie dough and cake batter. Who doesn’t? Even the people who deny it and say ‘Ewww I would never do that, there could be raw eggs in there,’ yes, even they eat dough and batter. They are just afraid to come out. It’s ok. All in good time.)

Anyhow. I hoped my cupcakes would look like this:

Photo courtesy | biggirlssmallkitchen.com

Except I poured a bit too much batter into each individual mould. And I didn’t grease the mould either, because hey! silicone. So My cupcakes rose and formed mutant tops, as big as those cookies at Subway outlets, and even though I used silicone, MY BATTER STUCK. TO THE BOTTOM. AND MY CUPCAKES CAME CRUMBLING AND TUMBLING OUT WHEN I OVERTURNED THE TRAY.

(You didn’t actually think I would post a picture of that, did you? I’m being nice enough sharing my culinary dumbassery with you. That should suffice for now.)

Oh, so embarassing! And the saddest part? The cake tasted wonderful and moist and gooey and chocolatey. I could not let all that wonderful-tasting destroyed cake go to waste. So, I cut the mutant tops off my chocolatey cupcakes and put them in a separate tin, labelled them ‘brownie cookies’ and fed them to people.

The lovely chocolatey cupcake crumbs, I placed in empty little bottles of Heinz baby food, tied a little ribbon around them, called them ‘crumbly browniecake mini-dessert jars,” and fed them to people.

This proves that people will always eat food that tastes good.

I felt terribly sad for a day, and then I figured, nothing went to waste, so it is time to stop wallowing in cake-induced sadness and move on to what I do better: cooking!

Another thing I have often thought about is: why don’t people use more peas in their pasta? I mean, there’s broccoli and zucchini and asparagus and cherry tomatoes and mushrooms and spinach and all kinds of awesome stuff going on with pasta, but I haven’t seen or eaten too many pea-pastas. And I saw a picture of it on The Canal House Cooks Lunch.

Photo courtesy | lunch.thecanalhouse.com

Does that not look glorious? And simple? And inviting? I decided to make some for dinner last week, with spaghetti. I had freshly shelled peas, enough spaghetti, cream, basil and garlic. I sauteed some garlic in olive oil, then added some cream and fresh basil and salt and pepper. All I had to do was swirl it into the pea-pasta.

Right. The peas. About that…well, I have found that whenever I cook peas, they just never seem to cook through. I may boil them, stir fry them, boil-and-then-stir-fry them, but they still come out a little hard and bullet-like. So this time, I wanted to make sure I would have soft peas. I pressure cooked the peas with a little salt. I then drained them. I then set my spaghetti to cook in a large pot, and added the pressure cooked peas along with it. There was no way the peas would be bullet-like.

Except they were. Some were soft and fresh, others were like little green bullets. At least I tried.

And you know something else? While the pasta tasted nice, the peas didn’t really do it for me. Not just because some were undercooked…it’s just not a combo I’m swooning over. Pea-pasta is just ok.

And those were my two recent flops in the kitchen.

Perhaps, dear readers, you have some advice on how to make pea-pasta better? Or how to use silicone moulds the right way?

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11 thoughts on “Kitchen Flops: How To Indulge In Culinary Dumbassery

  1. oh dont wallow too much, all of us are victims of kitchen failures! i have gone through one too many & i dont care to remember any of those sad experiences… like ameena said, frozen peas is THE way to go, they always turn out right… i dont think it makes all that much of a difference nutrition wise. i always use cupcake liners even for my silicone moulds… they are the best baking invention as far as i am concerned!

  2. Okay my friend, I am going to share my only cooking secret with you: frozen peas. Sounds simple, right? But really, they are a lifesaver. Best thing in the frozen food section! I drop them in my rice cooker, along with rice and cumin seed and I swear people think I am a culinary genius. When really, I’m just as guilty (if not more) of dumbassery.

    PS: Love that word.

  3. Meen, you really into the texture of whole peas? If not, I’d cook them, puree them (thick but chunky if you like), fry them in butter with some pesto (or just fresh basil and garlic) and then serve them with the pasta. Since they’re thick and pretty bland, I’d add plenty of chives, basil and maybe roast some small vine-tomatoes on the side. (Plain tomatoes are pretty darn great too!)

    Also, if you really need to use them whole–shell them and freeze them for a couple of days. Really gets the water to settle into them and then when you steam them, they come out pretty soft.

    Loving your culinary escapades so far! XOXO

  4. I always grease my silicon moulds. Always.

    Pea + pasta tastes , like you said, only ‘OK”.

    I have been having my share of flops and it hasn’t ceased it seems. I have a bath of mixed nut and fruit mini loaves in the oven right now and I have a feeling that they aren’t going to be that good.

  5. Glad to know I’m not the only one who has such periods of cooking/baking—but good save with the cake! (Have you tried using frozen peas? I seldom have much luck with fresh ones, unless I’m picking them from my own garden and running directly inside to boil.)

    • Earlier I used to cook with frozen peas, but switched to fresh since frozen also seemed to produce bullets. I guess the only way it will work is like you said- from the garden and into boiling water!

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