Monday, April 23, 2012

F is for: Failure!

Failure is the word for the week around here... tasty, tasty failure. I've made two different desserts that have been complete flops, which inevitably makes me grumpy. I hate wasting food.

The boyfriend and I don't have cable, so there aren't a lot of tv shows that we watch regularly. Recently we started watching Dexter on Netflix, and the episode where his co-worker is searching for the perfect key lime pie got me thinking. I have a bunch of limes in the fridge and nothing to make with them, why not key lime pie?! So I looked through my cookbooks and found... nothing. Not a single key lime pie recipe. Hrm. The closest I found was a recipe for Citrus Chiffon Pie in my mom's 1961 Betty Crocker cookbook, so figured I would give it a whirl... and here is what I got:

The recipe was simple enough, calling for a gelatin-based mixture and meringue to be mixed together, poured into a graham cracker crust and chilled. Pretty simple, and it came together easily enough. Well, with one exception. See those darker green spots in the picture above? Those are weird little globs of gelatin that didn't mix completely with the meringue. B happily ate it and proclaimed it delish... I wasn't so convinced. The flavour was great, and the homemade graham crust was lovely, but the texture of the filling was off-putting for me, too lumpish and bumply.

Post-mortem dissection lead me to deduct that I had let my gelatin mixture chill a little too long so that when it was folded into the meringue, it didn't incorporate as smoothly as it should have. Either that or I needed to mix it more vigorously with the meringue, but since you want to treat meringue gently, that's not advisable. So! Next time, I'll leave the gelatin a little thinner and make sure there are no lumps before chilling! Given it's light and fluffy texture, plus the fact that it requires no baking, this would be an excellent summer dessert... yanno, if it were done right ;)  

The other dessert I tried to make was a quick chocolate mousse. I followed this recipe that promised it would take only about 5-10 minutes to make. I read through fully and then set about making it and... well, I ended up with a bowl of slightly thickened chocolate soup. The meringue part of it came together fine, however the whipping cream and chocolate never thickened, despite the ice water bath and incessant whipping. I finally gave up and mixed it all together and put it in the fridge in hopes it would firm up that way. I checked it this morning... no such luck. It is now just as soupy as last night, only colder. :P Damnit. 

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