Posted in Baking

Making cheesecake for the first time with box mix

This was another box mix from Greens. I think this is my last one. I’m glad they’re all gone and I don’t plan to buy anymore.

I haven’t made cheesecake before and I wanted to wait till I could buy a new spring form pan, but my partner wanted me to make it so I tried to.

I don’t think I added enough margarine spread to the biscuit base. I know I was meant to use butter but we had run out and I didn’t want to visit the supermarket just for one thing. It was hard to spread in the bottom of the glass dish and I used a spoon and a glass to form the base. It was still uneven and too thick on the bottom.

Then I mixed the cheesecake batter then added it to the glass dish. I had difficulty spreading the batter over the base and the base keep lifting. I gave up after about 10 minutes and put the dish in the fridge.

After a few hours I served it. I didn’t enjoy it. The taste was strange, like processed cheese. My partner like it and said it tasted like lemon meringue. He ate most of it.

I won’t make this again. If I make cheesecake again, I’ll start from scratch and have the proper ingredients and the correct pan.

(c) How not to cook 2020.

Posted in Cooking

Roast chicken #2

I tried to make roast chicken again. It was going well until I forgot the foil, so I had to take the pan from oven and burned my arm on the very hot side. I put the foil on the meat then returned it to the oven.

I had to go outside to get some aloe vera for the burn because it really stung. I kept smearing it onto the burn and the next day it was less and didn’t hurt. I still have some red, rough skin marks on my arm but its no longer painful.

After that, I lost interest in cooking. I still cooked the chicken and it turned out looking good and was golden brown with crispy skin, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore.

But the veges couldn’t be put in the oven until the chicken was cooked. This took an hour. So the chicken was cold, but the veges were warm when we went to eat and it was after 7pm.

At that time, I was upset so I didn’t feel like eating. I ate some sweet potato later but my partner ate the chicken.

The next time I buy a tray with a rack, I want a good quality one. The cheap one I bought from Coles for $12 is already scratched a lot on the bottom.

I’m done with chicken now.

(c) How not to cook 2020.

Posted in Cooking

Cooking roast chicken for the first time.

I’ve been ill this week so I haven’t had the energy to do much really. Hopefully I’ll have more energy soon.

I cooked about this a week ago so I’ve forgotten some of what happened. I remember I forgot to start the timer, so had no idea what time I started cooking, maybe 4.30pm?

I ended up cooking it for too long and the meat was dry, but it was okay. The veges were cooked so we ate them. I was so hungry when I finished I just wanted to eat.

I haven’t written much this post, but I have some good photos.

(c) How not to cook 2020.

Posted in Cooking

Cooking roast lamb for the first time.

After the success of the last pork, my partner wanted me to cook lamb. I bought a one and half kilo lamb roast from Woolworths for about $18.

I had trouble trying to remove the lamb from the plastic packaging because it was an awkward shape and it was double wrapped.

I researched again watching YouTube videos and mostly people added rosemary, oil and salt to the skin. The skin was hard to pierce so I only added a few sprigs of rosemary. The meat looked like a Christmas tree.

I then put it in the sink and poured the oil over it. I didn’t want the pan to be filled with oil and burn like last time, so I thought ahead. Then I put the meat in the pan with a rack without dripping oil on the floor. I stabbed a few holes into he meat and ground some pink Himalayan salt over it, then shoved the rosemary into the cuts.

I had preheated the oven to 200c, but the Australian lamb website said 180 so when I put the lamb into the oven, I turned the heat down to 180c. I didn’t realise at the time, but the lamb had a large bone in the middle, but I followed the instructions for boneless meat so I think that’s why the meat was still bleeding when I first checked.

I took the roast out and we tried to slice it, but it was still bleeding inside. I had some cooked outside slices and my partner had some inner slices. We put it back in the oven for about 30 more minutes, then it was done.

I really can not stand bloody meat; I’m not a vampire. If I was served that in a restaurant I would send it back.

This lamb was okay. Maybe I’ll make it again in the future, but now I want to try roasting a chicken with a lemon up its bum.

(c) How not to cook 2020.

Posted in Cooking

Pork roast #3

I made this over a week ago, and I followed a recipe and advice, so I guess it worked.

I didn’t worry about veges, I just cooked the meat and set a timer. It turned out a lot better than than the previous failure, but the crackling was harder and wasn’t as enjoyable.

I poured boiling water on the meat while it was in the sink, then poured oil and ground pink Himalayan salt before putting the meat in a pan.

I put in the pan in a preheated oven. I cooked it like usual, hot oven for the crackling, then turned down for the meat for about 90 minutes.

When I took it out, the top was blistered, like it had a sunburn. The crackling was harder than the first try, but it was okay. The meat was tender but fully cooked, which is surprising. My partner kept saying how nice the meat was, even the next day and he ate all the leftovers.

The only thing that I don’t understand is why there was red hard part still in the middle. There was no blood so maybe it was muscle or gristle or something. We cut around that part.

This was a success, but I’m so over cooking pork. I want to try other things now. Maybe pretty cakes with beautiful icing.

(c) How not to cook 2020.

Posted in Baking

2 ingredient no bake biscuit cake

I remember this recipe from years ago and it was in some magazines and even on cooking shows. It was a cake you can make with just biscuits and whipped cream. This was for my partners birthday and requested Black forest cake so I thought I would try to make one. I had to add plum jam because black forest cake has jam and cherries. I couldn’t get cherries even if I wanted to leave the house because we only have them available at the supermarket during Christmas. I guess by adding the jam I made it a 3 ingredient cake.

I know there are different words for Biscuit, Bickie or Bikkie, so the American equivalent would be a cookie. It’s hard and flat or sometimes domed on top.

I decided to put baking paper into a silicone loaf pan so that afterwards I can remove it easily. I’m learning from my past mistakes and didn’t want it to be stuck like the Tiramisu.

I whipped the cream and it was easier this time; I guess I’m getting used to my mixer, which I really do love, but I still regret giving away my old Breville stand mixer. They stopped making that model and started making one that looks like a Kitchen aid mixer and I don’t like the look of those.

I didn’t add sugar to the whipped cream because I figured the jam and biscuit are already full of sugar and I don’t want to give my partner diabetes.

I put a bit of cream on the bottom of the pan. I put jam then whipped cream on a biscuit then place it in the pan. I continued this till the end. Then I put more jam and whipped cream on biscuits then put then along the sides. I used up almost one full packet of chocolate biscuits.

To finish, I spread all the remaining whipped cream on the top of the pan and tried to fill in the cracks. Then I covered the pan with the paper towel and placed it in the fridge over night.

The next day my partner wanted his cake at lunch time so I removed it from the fridge and lifted it from the pan onto a chopping board. I carefully pulled the baking paper away and the cake was revealed. It looked like a house after a heavy snowfall. I cut the cake on the diagonal and it tasted very sweet and mostly the biscuits were soft, but some didn’t have enough whipped cream on them so were still hard in places.

I’m a bit disappointed with how it turned out, but it wasn’t too bad. Next time I’ll put a lot more on the bottom and inbetween the bickies so they all get really soft and its easier to eat.

(c) How not to cook 2020.

Posted in Baking

2 ingredient icecream bread

I sat the icecream near the fireplace for it to melt. You want the icecream to be soft and easily scoopable but not runny or watery.

I looked up a few recipes and every one seemed to use 1 and a half cups of flour but I like making my own recipes, so I’ll add 2 cups self raising flour. Also Emmy made in Japan on Youtube make this recipe. She made it look easy so I thought I would try it.

The mixture is a strange texture. I think the flour soaked up all the liquid and left a strange coco powder flavour. I tried mixing with a plastic spatula but it was really hard to get through so I used my dough hooks on my new mixer.

That was a mistake since it didn’t mix properly and the bowl kept moving and I couldn’t mix in all the flour on the bottom of the bowl. I switched to the beaters and that was better for mixing, but the dough became very thick and stuck inside the beaters. I had to use a spoon to remove the dough because most was caught up inside the beaters which took a while to scrap out.

When I tried to put the dough into the loaf pan it stuck to the bowl and was hard to scrap. It became a bit like chewing gum and stretched. I had to fight with it to make it release from the bowl and go into the pan.

I put it in the oven at 10 c foe 30 minutes. When I took the bread out, it was risen but burnt on the top, but that’s okay. I turned the oven up to 200 then turned it down before adding the bread, so I think that’s why it burned. But it did rise. It has the beautiful crease on the side and the hard crunchy outer coating. The inside though, is cake. It has the dry taste of cooked cake, it crumbles like a dry cake, it looks like cake. So it’s cake bread? I’m confused again by food.

This has a beautiful chocolate brown colour on the side so the colour and the look of a boulder are good, just the taste is a bit disappointing. I had the after taste of flour or baking powder in my mouth, some indescribable dry taste. Even the next day it still tasted like bland chocolate cake mix.

This recipe is very strange. I have icecream left so I might try it again using 1 and a half cups of flour and having the oven set to 180 c to see if that makes a difference. I’ll also try and remember to add the hundreds and thousands next time.

(c) How not to cook 2020.

Posted in Cooking

Cooking pork belly for the first time

I was excited to try another meat recipe after the success of the last one. I’m disappointed to say this didn’t turn out as good. This was the most work so far and took many hours.

Before I start a recipe I always do some research to help me, but with this no recipes I saw warned me that the pork belly would still have nipples on it. I though it was funny at first, then a bit gross and sad. I felt bad for the pig and hoped it had had a good life before before being slaughtered. I bought this from an actual butcher shop who I heard grow and sell their own meat, so hopefully they looked after it well. This pork belly cost $20 for I think it was between 1 to 2 kilos. I don’t know if that’s a good price, but its okay for one time.

Cutting in to the skin was extremely difficult. I tried for about half hour to cut it with very sharp Santoku knife but I could on get a small amount cut. Then I watched a Jamie Oliver video on YouTube and he cut the skin with a retractable blade. My partner had to wash a blade carefully, then tried to cut the pork belly but he had difficulty as well. He ended up cutting his finger and leaving blood on the skin. I had to wash that off then he tried again. We were able to get a few cuts so that was enough.

I covered the skin with pink Himalayan salt and tried to rub it into the cracks, but my partner said to be careful and to wash my hands because pork was like chicken. I washed them twice. I always thought pork was like beef, but its like chicken where you need to be extremely careful with preparation and cleaning. I started regretting buying the pork belly then. I moved it to the tray with the quartered onions and covered it in oil but didn’t rub it in. I was trying to copy Jamie’s recipe but he didn’t use oil. I think my use of oil was a bad idea, but I was done touching the weird human flesh like texture skin and my legs were aching from standing for so long.

I had preheated the oven to 220 Celsius to make crackling, which is the only reason I buy pork. I set a timer for 30 minutes then peeled and chopped the vegetables: sweet potato, carrots and white potatoes.

I think the oven may have been too high because my onions looked like charcoal. I put the pork on a chopping board, then emptied the tray into the bin, cleaned it, then spread the veges on the tray with a small amount of olive oil, then placed the pork on top. I turned the oven down to 150 Celsius.

One and a half hours later, I removed the tray from the oven. The pork was brown, but it wasn’t crispy. It felt a bit rubbery and tasted awful so I removed it. The meat and vegetable were cooked so we tried them. The meat was still juicy and tender so it wasn’t a waste. We had it for dinner with left over coleslaw.

My partner wanted to put the cooked skin under the grill to make it crackling, but it didn’t work, it just burned so we threw that away.

I won’t be making pork belly again. That was too much effort for little gain.

After I finished this I found a recipe for making making bacon from pork belly, so I might try that instead if there’s a next time.

(c) How not to cook 2020.

Posted in Cooking

Making pork roast and crackling for the first time

This was the most labour intensive thing I’ve made so far. This took hours and cutting through the fat layer was hard to not cut down too far to cut the meat. I did it twice, but it turned out okay.

I looked up a few Youtube videos, but then I looked at the Australian pork website and combine all the recipes to make my own.

1. Remove wrapping from Pork. Pat dry the skin on top. Don’t touch the bottom or you will get blood on the paper towel.

2. Use a sharp knife to carefully score the skin to make the crackling. Score about 1cm apart in one direction. I cut across the meat because I left the string on. I didn’t want to try anything too intricate for my first time.

3. Then I put the meat in fridge for an hour to dry out. No need to cover it, just had to make sure nothing would fall on to it; I really didn’t want orange juice pork.

4. I took the pork from the fridge put it in the metal try. I wish I had a tray with a rack but I can look for one. I rubbed some olive oil over it and tried to put some oil into the cuts. Then I ground a lot of pink Himalayan salt over the pork while I waited for the oven to heat up. I had forgotten, again, to preheat.

5. When the oven was at 240c, I carefully put it in the oven using gloves so I don’t burn my hands. I remembered to set a timer for 30 minutes. After that, I turned the oven down to 180c for about 1 and a half hours.

6. When I thought it was cooked, I turned the oven off and opened the door. The meat sizzled loudly and looked like a magazine photo. My partner helped me move it to the table.

When it was cooled a bit, I tried the crackling and oh my gosh, it was amazing. It was very salty but somehow sweet as well, even though I hadn’t add any sugar. I assume some of the fat had caramelised or some kind of pork magic had made delicious crunchy sweet crackling.

This wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I love the crackling but I’m not a fan of the taste of pork. I’m so glad I tried this. I want to try pork belly to get more crackling next time.

(c) How not to cook 2020.

Posted in Cooking

Cooking challenge #1

Choose either:

1. Cook something from my blog you haven’t cooked before.

2. Cook something else you have the ingredients for in your kitchen. Box mixes are acceptable, like cake mix, pancake shake etc.

3. Challenge me to cook something I haven’t cooked before, challenge another cookery blog, or challenge both of us or challenge all three of us to make something we haven’t made before.

4. Don’t leave the house to buy fancy ingredients, just use what you have already. Your end product can use another recipe or make up your own.

5. Post photos of new food item.

6. Pass it on and challenge another food Blogger to make something new 🙂

(c) How not to cook 2020.