Thursday, January 31, 2013

Food Failures to Food Successes

I wondered if I could make a jar of DIY Nutella and had a look at the label ingredients.   I wanted to attempt to make it without measurements of course and I tried to do some better substitutions like using Coconut Oil instead of Palm Oil and some other stuff they put in it.   I had a lot of hazelnuts and I had cocoa and lots of coconut oil so I tried to see what would happen if I tried to combine them.

Well first I put the nuts into a blender and used the ice crush button to grind them.  Then I added the oil and cocoa, sugar and some milk and tried to blend it smooth.   It didn't quite work the way I wanted it to.  It didn't taste anything like Nutella and it didn't look as smooth either.   It was a bit gritty because the nuts didn't process into a paste.   It wasn't exactly what I was looking for and didn't spread well on bread or whatever.   The oils separated from the rest of the mixture so it was oily on the sides,  kind of like when you get natural peanut butter but it didn't mix back together smoothly.   It was kind of a food experiment failure.  Although there wasn't anything totally wrong with the mixture it wasn't what I was aiming for.

 Then I wondered what I could do with it to turn it into something better.  I decided to turn it into a muffin, cupcake or brownie type of thing.

I started by putting the mixture into a pot and added a bit of butter to loosen it up and melt it to make it easier to mix.  I then added 2 beaten eggs and vanilla and some cinnamon and some added sugar.  I mixed it and then added flour and baking powder to blend it all together.   I didn't measure any of the ingredients so I can't tell you exactly how much I put into to it of each ingredient.   I was just trying to blend a mixture that I could put into a muffin tin to try and bake.

I lined the muffin tin with the liners and then scooped the mixture into the cups.  I put it into a 350 degree oven and just baked it until it looked like it formed a crust on top.  I took a toothpick and stuck it in to check to see if any came out.  It was dry so I took them out.   It took about 18 minutes I think to bake them.

They didn't turn out like muffins or cupcakes but they kind of turned out more brownie like.   I made one huge brownie in a bread baking tin and then 6 in the muffin tins.

I have to say it turned out much better baked and it tasted like hazelnut nutty chocolate brownies.  A lot better than grainy spread.

Don't be afraid to take your failed food experiments and turn them into successful thinking outside of the box experiments.   This one wasn't way out of the box but it did save my failed Nutella spread attempt.

The great thing about failing in food is that it isn't life or death or the end of the world.  If it's flour and sugar that you fail with you can always start again or in a lot of cases make something else with it.

Some of the best foods invented were actually food failures.   French Dip was invented when the chef dropped a bun into a roasting pan by accident.  Voila...the French Dip.

This is the only thing in life where you can fail and it's still ok and can be better even.

Go into your kitchen and try some experiments.. You never know what you will end up with.

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