FOOD – Mistakes Made Good… and Sweet

From Hwee Hwee Laurence in France:

Have you ever been afraid to try cooking or baking because you think you are not good at it?  That if you make a mistake and the dish or cake turns out a flop, nobody will eat it?  That it will be a waste of time and money?

But do you know that some of the most famous foods arose from mistakes? In the early 1900’s, the Kellogg brothers were working at the Battle Creek (Mich.) Sanitarium.  They cooked some wheat, left it out and forgot about it. The dough went stale, but they rolled it out anyway.  It became flakes, which was toasted and made crispy.  The crispy cereal was a hit amongst the patients of the sanitarium.  The Kellogg brothers then experimented with other cereals and their most famous product – Kellogg’s Corn Flakes – was born.

In France, one of the most well-known sweets is the Carambar.  In 1954, a sweet factory tried out a new recipe, unaware that one of the machines was malfunctioning.  What resulted was the long chewy caramel bar that still exists today.  Carambar is now produced in more than 15 flavours and is as popular as ever amongst children.

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So what do you do if you make a cooking or baking mistake?  Don’t just throw out the dish, unless of course, it is really inedible.  Use some imagination and think of what you can turn it into.

Last week, I baked a chocolate cake that turned out to be too dry and the taste too flat.  The kids ate some, then lost interest.  So what did I do?  I broke it into crumbs, added some strong coffee and a dash of rum and mashed it into a doughy consistency.  Pinched off pieces, rolled them into balls, then coated them with sugar.  And voila!  I hereby present to you – Rum balls. 

They were all snapped up for dessert at the next meal.

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