The silver lining in every stuff-up
Let me say at the outset that no matter what you set out to do in the kitchen, it is important to remember that the key to learning to cook well is to make mistakes.
I wish I could say that everything I make in the kitchen is a success, however that is not always the case. When I decided to make the mile-high chocolate meringue pie, I had no notion that it would turn out as it did.
But let me tell you what went wrong: while the Carême pastry crust* was faultless, the chocolate centre was too runny and the so-called meringue wasn’t anywhere near stiff enough to pile on top (being a “mile-high meringue” and all). Once I had tipped the mixture out into the tin, I thought it was going to turn out alright…
And then it wasn’t. Mercilessly flat and dripping out down the sides. After my pie had chilled a while, I thought at least it would have firmed up a little in the fridge. I cut into it and it was like an open wound in my pie as filling and meringue slid slightly out, rather than making a satisfying cut-out slice (surely I’m not the only one who takes pleasure in the slicing of pie?)
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” – Julia Child
However, despite all of this, the taste was still enough to satisfy my chocolate cravings, almost feeling the happy chemicals hit my system as I ate, beginning on my tastebuds and warming through my heart. And while my pie wasn’t how it was meant to be, I know what I did wrong and my advice to my future self would be to whisk it thicker, baby!
Never lose heart!
“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Julia Child
*NOTE: Carême dark chocolate shortcrust pastry – I was excited to find – you can get from Panetta Mercato, where some of my favourite things can be found like truffle oil, the fresh fruit and vegetables of my dreams and a selection of delicious cheeses.