Baking Failure

Yesterday I shared my Gluten Free Banana Cake recipe which is a good old fashioned favourite.  You will have noticed, if you've been following my blog for long, that I haven't been baking as much lately.  There's a reason for this - I have almost cut sugar out of my diet.  Now, having said that, it doesn't mean that I don't bake at all.  I still bake for my family but just not as much as I used to.  I've also been thinking (and working on) alternatives to eating sugar laden treats and how to replace them with healthier alternatives. 

From comments I have had in the past, some people seem to think that I'm a baking goddess who never gets anything wrong - let me tell you this is far, far, far from the truth.  I had a spectacular failure leading up to Christmas where I attempted to make some Christmas mince pies without butter and sugar (substituting coconut oil and maple syrup).  

There are many failures in my kitchen but I generally don't share them.  Today is different!  I made these gluten free Anzac Biscuits yesterday so just to prove that I don't always get it right here's the photographic proof!

The good thing about having failures like this is that you can improve on your recipes and technique.  For example, when I see a batch of biscuits that looks like this I know there's two possibilities of what went wrong - too much sugar or not enough flour.  In this case, it was the latter.  I knew before I put these into the oven that were going to fail.  Why, because they didn't feel right when I was rolling them into balls.  They felt too oily (that's how I knew it was not enough flour).  They also didn't go crispy which they would have if they had too much sugar.

Practice makes perfect with baking.  When you bake a lot you get a feel for what is right and you'll improve.  I guess what I'm saying here is that if you want to be a baking goddess you need to practice and take note of the results.  My recipe books have notes written all over them (note the food stains as well).

Two more pieces of advice:

  1. If you're baking for a special occasion and decide to make something new, either make it ahead of time (practice run) or have a back up plan.  My back up plan is usually this banana cake or a chocolate cake or something that I've got in the freezer (frozen cookie dough works well here).
  2. Have a never fail recipe which you can make quickly and easily when you lose confidence.  This is one of my never fail recipes - Mum's chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies.

So, take heart if you fail.  It simply means you're pushing your limits and are improving.