2020. The year we were all at home baking sourdough.

Well, not everyone. I didn’t bake a single loaf of bread.

There were some cliché chocolate chip cookies and an amazing cheesecake, but mostly, there was plenty of food fails for this year’s compilation.

This is Volume 4 of my food fails – yes you read correctly – that is four years of kitchen mishaps from yours truly. If you want a walk back in time, here’s Volume 1,  Volume 2, and Volume 3.

The themes for this year: burnt and collapse, which are descriptors that accurately parallel how my nervous system feels after the year that was…

 

Roast pork

 

Wooden board on a stone bench. There is a piece of pork crackling on the board and the roast pork meat has fallen apart.

 

Roast pork is something I am actually pretty good at cooking. Brag alert: I have mastered getting crispy crackle every time. And it was no different this time around – as you can see in the pic.

However, when I peeled off the crackly shell to slice the meat, everything fell apart.

Literally.

This is not the most appealing photo, but I guess that is to be expected when your pork roast has disintegrated in front of you.

 

Burnt kale chips

 

A plate of burnt kale chips on a bench.

 

Confession. I am an anti-diet dietitian who actually likes kale. Hard pass on the kale smoothies. But I do like it in a slaw or this sausage pasta.

It was perhaps after making said sausage pasta and I had some kale leftover, that I decided to try my hand at making kale chips for the first time.

Acrid is normally a word used to describe a smell, but these burnt kale chips tasted acrid.

They were headed straight for bin-town.

 

Burnt sweet potato wedges

 

A tray of burnt sweet potato wedges

 

I am a regular ol’ potato wedges girl. But in an attempt to add a bit of variety into our meals (which I was sooooo over cooking having been stuck in lockdown for months), I thought I would change it up and do sweet potato wedges.

Good plan, but the execution needs work. Because as you can see, I burnt them. They also stuck to the foil. I can’t remember what we were eating them with, but what I do remember was that the meal was going be pretty sad without the addition of the wedges, so I salvaged as many edible looking ones as I could.

They were OK.

Have I attempted sweet potato wedges again?

Nope.

 

Burnt, leaky quiche

 

A slice of burnt quiche lorraine on a plate

 

It is not a Feel Good Eating Food Fails round up if there isn’t a failure that involves eggs. (Can I get anymore F’s in there?!)

Seriously. If you go back through the archives, you will find an egg fail in every single one.

This year is was quiche Lorraine.

It was actually my third quiche I made this year, after having never made one in my life prior to 2020.

I honestly must have fluked the very first one I made (which I boasted about here – eyeroll at myself), because the second one I made, I accidentally used puff pastry for the base. It was only after I had tried blind baking the base and it puffed up, that I realised my mistake. Dinner was very late that night as I had to re-do the pastry.

Clearly, I wasn’t deterred, because I went in for a third go. This time I had the filling leak through the pastry (it WAS shortcrust this time!) and hardened like solidified lava. Annnnd, I managed to burn the crust.

I have been suitably deterred now.

 

Burnt Tokyo Tina donuts

It was the end of October, Grand Final weekend and Melbourne was STILL in lockdown. So, we decided to have a fancy dinner from Tokyo Tina through Providoor.

I don’t know if it was preparation fatigue with all of the previous dishes, OR the effects of a few drinks on board by the time we got to dessert, OR my oven that runs hotter than what most recipes call for, but our donuts came out looking a very dark brown, rather than a delicious golden.

Alas, no pics of the burnt donuts for your viewing pleasure – we sampled and threw them away too quickly in an attempt to bury our shame.

 

Landslide cheesecake

 

A cheesecake on a plate. One side has collapsed

 

A cheesecake on a plate. One side has collapsed and there is a pool of dulce de leche surrounding it

 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this fail unfolding in real-time.

I purchased the Beatrix Bakes cookbook during lockdown and the ‘Cheesecake That You Will Love The Most’ was the first recipe I attempted from it after having sampled the real deal. It is indeed the cheesecake I love the most out of all the cheesecakes I have eaten in my life.

Here’s a pic of what I was trying to make.

It is a real labour of love and definitely not how I usually approach cooking and baking. I knew I needed to slow. right. down. and take my time.

It was not quite slow enough, as I missed one of the tips for flipping the cheesecake out of the tin, and I ended up leaving a chunk of it on a dinner plate.

Covering it with salted dulce de leche just made things worse – clearly something went awry in making that too, because rather than sitting proud atop, it just slid off into a puddle around the base.

No matter how much the end result looked like it would fit in well in an episode of Nailed It, it tasted deee-licious. We polished the whole thing off.

 

And that, my friends, brings this volume of food fails to a close for another year. I would love to hear in the comments your recipe successes and fails for 2020.

 

 

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