Sunday, October 04, 2009

Misadventures in the kitchen: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love my food but seem to lack the knack for cooking and baking.

Thankfully, that has not quelled my interest in trying out recipes and attending cooking classes. Pity my other half who is always on the receiving end of burnt/undercooked products, bland food (in line with my well meaning attempts to cut down on salt, sugar and butter intake) and sullen tantrums (when my attempts to encourage a second helping are flatly rejected).

Today I was bitten by the baking bug and decided to whip up a batch of Nigella Lawson's Totally Choocolate Chip Cookies.
I adore Nigella Lawson because she somehow manages to pull off being plus sized and gorgeous at the same time. Plus her recipes are easy to follow and usually fool proof.

Check out her cool chocolate chip cookie demo on You Tube. She makes it look so effortless.

I proudly assembled my ingredients on the kitchen top and secretly conjured up grand illusions of a perfect chocolate chip cookie which would be sought after by generations to come. Afterall, this was quality chocolate I was using (Varlhona jivara chocolate) and my Madagascan vanilla essence cost over 30 bucks for a tiny bottle.

Everything seemed under control right up till the very moment I slid the tray of cookies into the oven.
Then disaster struck.

Mistake 1: I had forgotten to preheat the oven.
Mistake 2: When I actually remembered to do so, I had misread 325 degrees farenheit for 325 degrees celsius instead (i.e. waaaay too hot!). When I realised my folly the first batch of 6 cookies was already burnt.

RIP my beloved cookies.

Tray no 2 experienced a better fate. I adjusted the temperature to 250 degree celsius and only baked the cookies for 12 mins (although the recipe calls for 18mins) as my Baby Belling tends to overheat. The cookies still came out slightly burnt at the edges but tasted quite good.Unfortunately, they had flattened out in the oven and were stuck to each other. Being my usual impatient self, I shoved a knife under the base of the cookies, hoping to dislodge them from the tray. As the cookies were still cooling, some of them broke into pieces.

Upon closer inspection of the cookies, I also realised that they looked rather flat compared to those pictured in the recipe book. Was that due to my substitution of baking soda with bicarbonate of soda?

I feel a little tired after all the baking. However, I am confident that one day I will come up with a worthy chocolate chip cookie recipe.

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