Stay Out Of The Kitchen!

The title of this entry is directed at me and me alone! As you know from the history of this blog, sometimes I like to try new recipes I haven’t tried before, and often I like to try and create new recipe ideas. I was in a creative wave the last few weeks, and the two things I tried to make both ended up pretty much in disaster!

Sometime last year, my wife picked up a bag of coconut flour. She likes to pick up random ingredients that I’ve never used before, both for fun and also as a way of challenging me to try and work with that ingredient. When the coconut flour first arrived I did some research about it and found a lot of people writing about it being a bit difficult to work with because things often end up dry or not quite the consistency you were hoping for. For my first attempt at using the flour, I created a brownie recipe. Imagine my surprise when they turned out really well, and I had none of the issues people were speaking about. You can read about that experience by clicking here.

A couple of weeks after the brownie experience, I decided to give the flour a try again and went to work creating a cookie recipe. When they were done baking and I gave them a taste test, I discovered what I had created were more like little dry balls of dust than cookies! They weren’t horrible, but they weren’t great either. Immediately, my confidence that working with coconut flour wasn’t so difficult turned into the realization that my first time using it when making the brownies was perhaps nothing more than beginners luck! With that realization, I put away the coconut flour for quite a while until just about 2 weeks ago when I decided to give it a try again.

This time around, I decided to try making something that was like a snack bread, using Parmesan cheese to cover the slight flavor of coconut that comes from the flour. Once again, I found that coconut flour continues to vex me! In my desire to prevent another dry outcome, I clearly hydrated it too much. After it was done baking, I ended up with something that was the consistency of mashed potatoes. Also, the great idea of covering the coconut flavor with Parmesan cheese resulted in not a cheesy flavor but rather an even more enhanced coconut flavor along with the taste of Parmesan. Everything about this recipe didn’t work, and once again, I put my coconut flour back on the shelf for another day.

Parmesan Coconut Flour…. Bread?

A week after the coconut flour disaster, I went back to the kitchen to try another idea I had in mind, making a cake with pudding in the batter. The idea is certainly not new. You see recipes with this idea all the time, but usually the recipe calls for you to add the dry pudding mix into your cake mix. My concept was a little different in that I planned to use prepared pudding in place of any additional water, butter, or oil.

The idea seemed logical and reasonable to me, and when the batter was ready, it very much resembled any other cake batter you would make. I wasn’t expecting a light and fluffy cake when it was done, but rather something that was a bit more fudgy and dense. When it was done baking, it even looked like the kind of cake I was expecting. The reality was that it was definitely more dense, but not particularly fudgy. It was so dense in fact, that after cutting a slice for a taste test, I reached down and picked up the rest of the cake with my hand and shook it around without it breaking apart! In the end, I had something that was more like a chocolate tire than a fudgy cake! While the chocolate flavor was pretty good, the texture was not appealing in the least. It was right about then that I used the title of this entry on myself, stay out of the kitchen! Two weeks, and two disasters.

Chocolate Pudding Cake (Tire)

Of course, I know leaving the kitchen was just temporary for me because it won’t be long before I’m back in there trying to create yet another recipe. It definitely won’t be coconut flour parmesan bread, that idea is out the window forever! I do think using cooked pudding in cake batter has some potential, but the recipe definitely needs more careful thought and consideration. Maybe one day, it will return to the blog as a success.

Nobody wants to have a kitchen disaster when it comes to creating a recipe, but creating a perfect recipe on your first try is not something that will happen every time. I think kitchen disasters can be a good thing too if you take them for what they truly are – learning experiences. They teach us what will work and what won’t when it comes to cooking.

Have a great weekend!

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