Now, I’m not the one to take pictures of my failed disasters in the kitchen. I’m sure that isn’t too difficult to understand. I mean, why would I want to ‘document’ that, and worse, post it online for it to be seen for eternity?
But after starting this blog, I’ve started to see things differently. When you look back at those times that were ‘embarrassing’ at first, you realize how ridiculous they really are. (Of course, I haven’t had the chance to take a picture of a fail yet, so these 2 pictures are not mine.
Don’t sue me.)
For example, I mentioned previously that I made caramel sauce and toffee for some cheesecakes bars. I knew beforehand that caramel in general was a bit tricky to get the hang of. You might make a perfect sauce the first time, and the next it might be just slightly overcooked.
The first time I made my caramel sauce, I was overly excited that it turned out totally smooth. When I added in the heavy cream to the caramelized sugar it didn’t totally seize up and stick to the whisk or anything. Score! That wasn’t so bad, right?
Then, later on I went to make the toffee. The toffee seemed easy enough. You didn’t need to melt the sugar or anything, just had to add the butter, sugar, and water to the pan and heat it up. The recipe said to cook it until it hit a nice amber color. It also gave the specifics for the temperature it should be at. Me being an idiot, I trusted my
custom made Stater Bros. candy thermometer, which told me that the temperature wasn’t quite where it should be.
So I waited. And waited. When I realized “OK, the toffee is totally darker then it should be,” I took it off the heat and poured it out onto the lined and greased baking sheet. And at this point, it didn’t look that bad but as it cooled, well, let’s just say.
I broke up the toffee into little bits and tried one. Burnt. As. Heck. The color changed a lot too. Yay.
And if there’s one thing I really hate, it’s wasting ingredients/ food. I mean I hate a lot of things (sadly). But that one really kills me. Like when I go out to eat at a restaurant and there’s some kid who orders like a ca-gillion things and only ends up taking a bit of his/her burger and then leaves a big fat mess at the table. Yeah. And I know, I know, there just kids. But seriously, what kid doesn’t like burgers?
So, I had to make a batch of toffee again, and this time I trusted my eyeballs and not the crappy thermometer that takes forever to register heat changes (I still love you Stater Bros.) and it turned out good! I wasn’t that excited. I was more frustrated, like, why couldn’t it have just turned out the first time around?
I know that ‘You learn from your mistakes’ and all those quotes are cliche, but they’re true. I mean, if I didn’t burn the toffee the first time, I would’ve never learned that I needed a new candy thermometer
that doesn’t lie. Someone get me the laser one Alton Brown has.
And if you were interested in the recipes for the caramel sauce and toffee bits, they will be posted soon!