Failed Kitchen Experiments: A Photo Essay

​​Earlier this week I  was asked a question about failed kitchen experiments.

I took to Instagram to find out if you also have those occasional kitchen fails that make you question everything. A lot of you were really candid and shared with us all some of your most embarrassing and sad kitchen fails. I decided to share some of my most embarrassing and downright sad kitchen escapades that have never seen the light of day…well at least  until now. You may be wondering why I am doing this. I particularly wanted to bring this topic up because just like,  any other well curated blogs and Instagram pages, food blogs sometimes make others think that bloggers are living the perfect life. There is so much more going on behind the scenes that we do not show.  Of each post that I share,  about 4 or 5 recipes are complete disasters that I have to keep refining over and over again till I am certain they can be sharable. But if anything, I have learnt to  take it as a challenge. If something doesn’t work,  it does not mean that we should give up. Instead this should be the fuel we use to push ourselves to become better versions of ourselves (or whatever it is that we are trying to achieve). I do not want this post to dishearten you. Instead I want you to know that we are all  human.  Mistakes are part of being human. Also mistakes do not mean the end,  instead they are stepping stones to greater victories. In this case better food ha!

This cake! It was supposed to be a banana cake with caramel filing and buttercream frosting. Because I wanted to save money, I purchased cheaper margarine to use for the butter cream. It came with a cost because the butter cream ended up being too runny (can you see the runny icing? Such a mess!). The more icing sugar I added, the more runny it became. On the contrary, the cake was delicious but I was so disappointed I shed a tear!
This was supposed to be fried chicken with cherry tomato sauce.The chicken was so dry and the cherry tomatoes ended up being too tart. TOO TART!
Here I was attempting to make oven toaster pull apart bread. Instead of using baking powder though, I used yeast. the result was nothing like a pull apart bread. The yeast ate up all the sugar and the oven toaster dried up the bread. Even though it tasted great, i was sad because I did not achieve the image I had in my head.
Avocado pasta. I wanted to create a light pasta sauce made entirely out of avocadoes.  This one came out thick heavy and without flavor. I am still working on it.
These Petit Fours were originally supposed to be a Swiss roll.When it was time to roll the cake, it decided to shatter into pieces. To salvage what was left of the cake, we cut it into small squares and drizzled chocolate sauce on them. They never made it to the blog!
Ah man! Where do I start with this one?  The chapatis, as you can see, were a fail, the veggies a fail but because I refused to give up, I still stubbornly rolled them up and shot them just as a reminder!
Here I was trying to make a cocktail of pasionfruit juice and stoney tangawizi. The flavors never worked at all and the passion fruit juice was ridiculously watered down! Yes I questioned my life that day!
I was attempting onion jam. I accidentally put too much salt and oil. It ended up being a salty onion confit. GAG!
Yes! I butchered luwombo too! Like I said earlier, I questioned everything! The luwombo itself wasn’t that bad! It was actually really flavorful with the lemon grass but I hated how the pictures turned out that I never posted it.
Phew! That was a lot!
Now I want to know, have you had any kitchen fails and how you combat that into positivity. Leave a comment below

7 thoughts on “Failed Kitchen Experiments: A Photo Essay

  1. Hi Sophie, Many thanks for sharing. The write-up is an inspiration as an encouraging reminder that the path to excellence is full of stones and misadventures. Please keep up the wonderful cooking art that you so kindly share.


  2. Hello my beloved little sister. I’m writing you from Oakland, California, USA. Ah yes, all those mistakes! I could tell you stories! I was a professional chef for 30 years and I STILL blow it from time to time. Not so much on the job, because I always tested and perfected dishes at home before springing them on the public. But honey, this past year, some of my kitchen experiments were SO bad that I was thankful that no one was around to see or taste them! They went very quietly straight into the garbage. LOL. Fact is, practice makes perfect and that is how we learn. Since I’m also a musician, I understood long ago that you have to hit a LOT of bad notes on the road to gaining mastery over your instrument. The only people who don’t make any mistakes are people who never try to DO anything. I’m so happy to see African food being brought to the forefront. I was exposed to a lot of it while touring with Mariam Makeba many years ago. God bless you, Sophie, and I’m thrilled to have found your blog. Sharon


    1. Hello Sharon! It is an honor to get a comment from a professional chef! You are absolutely right. Mistakes are part of growth. You toured with Miriam Makeba?! Wow! You must have a lot of interesting stories to tell! I am so glad you stopped by and looking forward to interacting with you more.


  3. Having my girls around helps me with my kitchen fails. I basically ruined an entire batch of what was supposed to be shortbread cookies and my girls still ate them with so much gusto that I just kept on trying until I got it right.


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