Category Archives: kitchen mistakes

Macaron fail (a.k.a. delicious cookies that aren’t what they’re supposed to be)

I attempted to make chocolate macarons with a nutella mousse filling. However, I shouldn’t have attempted to use this recipe. It’s a fine recipe, but I do not have a kitchen scale. And I do not feel like purchasing one for the sole purpose of making these cookies. While my mousse turned out fine, the cookies were more like… very thin chocolate cookies with a crisp outside, chewy inside, and a brownie-like taste. Still delicious, but not-so-macron-y. The nutella mousse turned out lovely though.

This can be attributed to many things. As mentioned above, I have no kitchen scale, which most likely led to me combining the wrong amount of ingredients. I also failed to make a sturdy meringue, which probably is what led to me not being able to create the cookie texture I desired. This may have been due to the non-weighing-cup-conversion-in-my-head based approach I took to the ingredient amounts, or a tiny bit of yolk in my egg whites because I’m not practiced in separating them. But, if you’d like to knowhow to create what I’d like to call crisp brownie cookies, read on!

Ingredients for cookies:

1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 T. cocoa powder
3 egg whites (from large eggs)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Recipe:

1. (Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.) Sift your almond flour and combine with your powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

powdered sugar and cocoa powder

combined

added to almond flour

total combination

2. Beat egg whites in another bowl until foamy.

foamy

3. Add granulated sugar and whisk until meringue-y. In my case, this never happened. (It was goopy and would not form peaks, but that’s ok if you’re not making macarons!)

sugar added

won't form peaks

4. Add the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula.

nom nom

chocolate-y

5. Add contents of bowl to pastry piping bag (or non-fancy plastic Ziploc bag that you will cut the corner off of) and pipe even circles onto your wax paper or Silpat.

or not so even

As you can see, mine are *not so even* but this turned out to be fine. I also have an odd number, so I could eat one outside of a cookie-sandwich situation. Let these sit out for about 1 hour.

6. Bake for about 15 minutes, then check. Mine took a long time, essentially 45 minutes to bake, but as they were uneven, some were done before others, so check frequently. Leave on a wire rack to cool. These are not the prettiest cookies.

cookies wooooo

7. Done! Now make your mousse.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
3 T. nutella

Recipe:

1. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream on medium low until simmering.

creamy

2. Spoon out your nutella into a bowl and top with the broken-up chocolate.

nutella

 

chocolate pile

 

3. Pour your heavy cream over the nutella & chocolate. Leave for 20 seconds, then whisk until smooth.

stir it up

 

4. Place in fridge for 30-45 minutes (I had to leave mine for an hour) until still pourable/mixable but hardened overall. Remove and whisk until lightened in color.

looks like this then

 

whisked it

 

5. Scoop (or pipe) a dollop of this mousse onto the flat side of a cookie, and sandwich it with another cookie.

cookie pile

 

cookies!

 

all ready to eat!

 

Enjoy your cookie sandwiches! I think this would also be a good type of cookie to put ice cream inside of, in order to make ice cream sandwiches!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa

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Caramel flan

Flan has been on my mind for awhile now and so have macaroons. I attempted to make flan before, but was not careful enough when putting it in the hot water bath and the mixture was flooded with water. Luckily flan is cheap to make and I was able to spend less than 7 dollars to get the ingredients.
My oven is fixed and I found it doesn’t cook evenly, so my flan got a little lumpy. It was still delicious though. One part was also slightly undercooked, so I cut it out. I will be trying this again in the future so I don’t have to order it for 5 dollars when I’m eating out.I used a recipe from tablespoon.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
4 eggs
1 can of evaporated milk
half a can of condensed milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Before you do anything make sure you have something a pie pan can go in that is oven safe. Make sure water can go half way up the sides of the pie pan. I found two pie pans stacked worked well.
Recipe:
Step 1.
Put sugar and lemon juice in water and bring to slow boil. Put on medium heat until it boils and let it just sit there until it turns into caramel. Don’t touch it! Preheat oven to 325 degrees with water in a pan that goes half way up a pie pan.


Step 2. After it has turned a deep brown, pour it into a pie pan and let cool.

Step 3. Meanwhile put the milk products and the extract in a large bowl with the eggs and start whisking like crazy. Spoon out any chunky parts you can and keep beating for at least 10 minutes.

Step 4. Pour mixture on top of cooled caramel.

Step 5. It get’s tricky here. Put the mixture pie pan in the water bath in your oven, be careful not to spill or hurt yourself. Put foil with holes over the mixture to let steam out. As I said this is cheap enough to make so do not get discouraged. Bake for a hour and pull out of the oven and let rest for 2 hours.

Step 6. Put in fridge and let sit another 2 hours before serving. You will not see the bottom so do not worry about how it looks. You will have to flip the flan upside down to get it onto another plate.

As I said the oven bakes unevenly making strange lumps in the flan. It tasted great though and I am going to try this again many times until I can get it done how I want it. This was one of the harder things I have tried baking by myself.

Post by: Colin
Photos by: Colin


Broiled cheesy, creamy chicken enchiladas

It has been awhile since I made enchiladas. My friend told me about putting sour cream in them to make the meat really tender. I thought to add this too, but to make it into a mixture so the ingredients would be the same throughout. They turned out delicious and I know they will only get better as they sit in the fridge. At all points during this I couldn’t stop testing the food, it was delicious.

I also moved into a new kitchen and the oven has some problems, for instance it only can broil which I discovered during this process.

Ingredients:
1 pound of chicken
Red Cayenne Pepper
Ground coriander
2 cans enchilada sauce
2 cups of sour cream
1 can refried black beans
Shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend)
Tortillas to fill
Vegetable oil

Recipe:
Step 1.
Add the spices and some lemon juice to marinade the chicken for at least 2 hours and then begin cooking.

Step 2. Cook chicken and add pepper and cook until done.

Step 3. Chop or shred chicken. The smaller the better so it will blend with the rest of the filling.

Step 4. Put the filling (cheese, beans, chicken and sour cream) together in a bowl and stir.

Step 5. Heat enchilada sauce in a pan that can fit the tortillas in it and heat oil in another pan of the same size. When heated put a tortilla in the oil until it bends then put in the sauce and flip on both sides until drenched in the sauce.

Step 6. Put the tortilla on a baking sheet and put 2 or 3 spoons of the filling on one side of the tortilla.

Step 7.  Repeat with the rest of the filling and then use extra sauce by pouring over the top. Then add more cheese on top.

Step 8.  This is where my kitchen threw me a curveball that turned out to be for the better. I wanted to bake these for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, but instead my oven only has the broil setting working. So I noticed that I had broiled it and as a result it created a nice crunchy cheesy top.

My new kitchen, which I will get fixed so I can make a lot more dishes! It is smaller than my last place, but it feels nice and homey now that I am used to it.

Photos by Colin
Post by Colin