Cooking fails

The ida for this thread just came to me as I am contemplating the mess my waffle maker just gave me.  We are having a breakfast potluck tomorrow for some of our student workers.  I volunteered to make waffles. I had this grand plan of making pumpkin, chocolate chip and plain ones.  My waffle maker had other ideas, apparently, and my first attempt at pumpkin refused to release from the maker!  I had to sit there for 20 minutes scraping it off.  It was cooked perfectly, but just wouldn't come off!  After a horrifying thought of having to go by Eggo's I decided to turn the batter into pancakes.  Having rum now to calm down.  

Anyone else have any good cooking fails they care to share?  
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  • when I was working on my cookbook I tried an eggplant dip....

    it was more like a warm wallpaper paste... <shudder>
  • Made chocolate scones that called for drinking chocolate and I used cocoa powder. When they are ready to go in the oven I realized they had no sugar in them. Heavy sigh.
  • when I was working on my cookbook I tried an eggplant dip....

    it was more like a warm wallpaper paste... <shudder>
    Bwhaaaaaaaaaaa

    image
  • when I was a kid and my Mom was away, I made a chocolate cake ( from scratch).  It turned out well

    I didnt know what confectioners sugar was so I made the frosting using granulated sugar

    my brothers and sisters called it "True Grit"
  • Have you seen the cookie bowls? You're supposed to cook the dough on an upside down muffin tin.

    That shit slid off and coated the bottom of my oven.
  • I have literally thrown a cake out my back door, off the deck and into the back yard because it didn't rise.
  • This topic and all it's posts made me belly laugh. 
    Dinner for guests as a new bride. I made lemon chicken that actually should have been called lemon meringue chicken. Slimy and runny AND sweet. We ended up sending out for pizza.
  • I was thrilled to make a peanut butter and jelly cake...only to use baking soda instead of baking powder.  It came out the consistency of a moist brick.  
  • My first attempt at a souffle in cooking school. Ovewhipped the egg whites, folded them into the mixture too aggressively...I was in tears when I had to present it to the chef instructor. He was an old school Swiss chef who'd worked in Michelin star restaurants and his expression was pretty much Miranda Priestly's when he laid eyes on my abomination of a dish.  
  • Have you seen the cookie bowls? You're supposed to cook the dough on an upside down muffin tin. That shit slid off and coated the bottom of my oven.
    Based on the number of pinstrosity fails I have seen of that recipe, I think it worked for one person, one time.
  • My first attempt at cooking the Thanksgiving turkey.
    Turkey dressed & in the oven.
    House clean.
    Table set.
    Music on.
    Guests arrive.
    Drinks served.
    Warm and friendly banter......

    Guests getting hungry.... I keep checking the thermometer and it's apparently broken because the bird is not cooking.
    I ask for help from a more experienced cook ....

    I never turned the oven on.
    Raw turkey sitting in the oven for 3 hours.
    Rookie mistake.
  • edited February 2015
    This thread is AMAZING.

    The time I threw my then-boyfriend, now husband, a surprise birthday party and I thought I was so slick cooking all the food.

    I had no idea how much braising liquid is required to braise short ribs. I couldn't understand why it wasn't reducing down to a nice sauce. Well, when you completely submerge the ribs in liquid instead of just having the liquid come halfway up...and you're using a GIANT pot...what you have is short rib soup.

    For the same party, I also tried to make tiramisu. I didn't believe the recipe when it said to soak the ladyfingers for like 2 seconds each. They don't soak all the way through in only 2 seconds! How can that be right? I soaked for more like 10 seconds each, and had to make more coffee since I ran through the amount in the recipe rather quickly.

    Well, as it turns out, if you over-soak the ladyfingers, what you get is not tiramisu but a mushy, sad mess. My husband claims it tasted good (I wouldn't know, I don't like coffee). But it was probably more like coffee with a little soaked cake in it than tiramisu.

    Now that I think about it, the theme of that party seems to have been "too much liquid."
  • I have literally thrown a cake out my back door, off the deck and into the back yard because it didn't rise.

    Bahaha!! I've done that with yeast rolls.
  • Back in college, a friend and I tried to make bruschetta in the oven. I guess we put the rack too close to the broiler because next thing we knew the bread was on fire. 

    Recently, I made a huge pot of chili for a big group, and accidentally used habanero pepper powder in place of chili powder. Everyone had one bite and spent the rest of the evening glaring at me through their sweat and tears.
  • For my son's first birthday party I tried making a layered white cake with meringue icing.  Not realising how slippery that icing is, and that it wasn't the best for putting between layers.  Literally on the way to the park for the party, it starting sliding apart (almost all over my dress!).  Cue first birthday cake chucked in bin, and a quick pit stop at the bakery on the way.  he really enjoyed the chocolate mud he got instead :P
  • edited February 2015
    I have two that are legendary among my friends:

    In college, as my first attempt at "real" grownup food, I invited friends over for homemade lasagna and bruschetta. About halfway through making the bruschetta, with the lasagna in the oven, I discovered my mistake: a clove of garlic is not the same as a head of garlic. The exact count is unclear, but I'm pretty sure I put at least three heads of garlic in the lasagna, and about the same in the bruschetta. The whole apartment building smelled of garlic for weeks.

    I also once was attempting to make baked macaroni and cheese and accidentally put in sweetened condensed milk instead of just condensed milk. It was like dessert mac and cheese, and it was horrific.

    I've since learned to cook much better, and to pay more attention to the cans I grab off the shelf :)
  • I enjoy baking and about a year ago I thought I would try my hand at making vanilla fudge. I've never melted sugar before and I completely messed up.

    This is the result:

    image

    That's not chili or sloppy joes. It's four cups of powdered sugar. It took forever to clean that pan (the abomination started to harden the moment the pan left the heat) and my apartment smelled like horror for several days. 

    I have not attempted fudge since. 
  • I also once was attempting to make baked macaroni and cheese and accidentally put in sweetened condensed milk instead of just condensed milk. It was like dessert mac and cheese, and it was

    My mom, who is an amazing cook, has put cinnamon on deviled eggs instead of paprika on more than one occasion.
  • maschultz said:
    I have literally thrown a cake out my back door, off the deck and into the back yard because it didn't rise.

    Bahaha!! I've done that with yeast rolls.

    People just don't understand how cathartic it is to throw one's failures.
  • My mom really encouraged me to bake a lot when I was little, but clearly I was way dizzier than she realized...

    At age 9, I made muffins. The timer went off. I asked my mom, "I just take them out?" So I reached in and grabbed the pan with bare hands. Yikes!

    A couple years later, I tried to make hot chocolate. I misread 3/4 tsp as 3/4 cups of vanilla. My mom still allowed me to drink it all.

    And finally, my mom wanted me to make a cake in order to use some leftover egg whites. I accidentally added lemon juice that was in a container in the fridge instead of the egg whites. Somehow, the cake was already half gone before my mom realized that the egg whites were still in the fridge.
  • @Twigg Oh no, fudge is hard to make!  I attempted chocolate fudge once and it never hardened.  I used the recipe on the back of the marshmallow cream jar thinking it would be easy enough.  Not sure what went wrong so I put it in the freezer thinking that would help but nope.  I sliced it and it melted instantly.
  • Have you seen the cookie bowls? You're supposed to cook the dough on an upside down muffin tin. That shit slid off and coated the bottom of my oven.
    I bought a tin at Joann's whose sole purpose is to make cookie bowls.  I didn't use one of the suggested recipes that came with it and decided to just use store bought Nestle dough for my first attempt.  They didn't slide to the bottom of the oven, but they certainly made a mess of the pan.  I'm comforted to find out I'm not a total idiot!

    In terms of my own failures, I've had many, but the worst has been caramelizing sugar in order to make flan.  The recipes I had tried all called for the sugar to have water mixed in it, but instead of caramelizing, it would crystallize into a hard white block!  I tried it in a couple different kinds of pans and failed every time.  Finally I had a friend show me that she did it without any water, just the sugar on low heat, and it worked like a charm.  I still haven't mustered up the courage to attempt flan again though.  
  •  "The whole apartment building smelled of garlic for weeks."

    But... it was Vampire-free for months.
  • DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME:  A  couple of years ago a coworker brought a box of mac and cheese to have for lunch at work.  She microwaved it as per the package directions but forgot to add any liquid.  You have no idea (unless you've done that) how horrible it smells (especially what with the totally melted plastic and all)  and how long that smell lingered.

  • @Trillium0128 Ugh, melted plastic is the worst!  I haven't done what your coworker did, but I have accidentally turned on the wrong burner that had tupperware resting on it.  *facepalm*
  • I decided one year to do this elaborate Jello mold as part of Christmas dinner. It's fish shaped so I make scales and fins out of fruit and use a model to create a skeleton suspended inside the red jello of the fish. It's glorious. The internet has informed me that the best way to get it to release from the mold is a quick dip in hot water. Apparently I wasn't quick enough because when I dumped it out on the platter there was a big splash of liquid and fruit flew everywhere. The remaining jello looked like an alien fetus with no features and bits of exposed bone. At least it tasted good...
  • "That's not chili or sloppy joes. It's four cups of powdered sugar. It took forever to clean that pan (the abomination started to harden the moment the pan left the heat) and my apartment smelled like horror for several days. 

    I have not attempted fudge since." 

    @Twigg, I seriously thought that was baked beans. Tears are rolling...
  • That's not chili or sloppy joes. It's four cups of powdered sugar. It took forever to clean that pan (the abomination started to harden the moment the pan left the heat) and my apartment smelled like horror for several days. 
    @Twigg.  I saw the picture before I read the post.  I thought it looked like really good chili :)
  • edited February 2015
    I very nearly had a fail today. I was trying to make Michelle Obamas mac and cheese, which is cauliflower puree instead of a roux. I steamed the cauiliflower, then put it into the blender to puree. I think it needed a bit longer to steam.

    The puree was not puree-ing, it went more like cauliflower rice that time I made it which was a major fail and I ended up with cauliflower in places I never thought it could go and do you have any idea how hard that is to clean off the benchtop? It is like evil glue. I swore I would never make that again, during paleo.

    I had to really crank up the blender to make it happen, and add some boiling water as well. Then you are supposed to pour it over the cooked pasta and then add milk and cheese, which I did, but I also added bacon and leek.

    I had no idea if it would turn out ok, but my magical roasting pan turned it into heaven. This was seriously amazing! I think the bacon and leek helped a lot too. :) Much healthier than the other versions of mac and cheese, and deeply comforting at the same time.
  • when I was working on my cookbook I tried an eggplant dip....

    it was more like a warm wallpaper paste... <shudder>
    Cooked eggplant is the most unappetizing food ever.  I made an eggplant puree once to go underneath a bed of greens and salmon, and it was gray.  Who wants to eat gray food?
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