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Tuesday 25 August 2009

Win! 'I love cake' earrings from Love Hearts and Crosses

Our friends at Love Hearts and Crosses are being very kind today. You see those lovely 'I love cake' earrings in that photo? Well they've let us have a pair to give to one of you! Hurrah! After much insistence that I'm not allowed to keep them, I promised to make you all answer a silly question, and then we'll put all of the answers into a hat and pull out a name.

Just tell us what your biggest baking/cooking disaster has been.

I've almost burned down the food tech building in my old school while trying to make chocolate mousse, and Miss Cay had food tech disasters as well (before she became like Nigella Lawson with a Northern accent). All of us have had a rubbish cooking moment at some point or another. And most of the time, as long as no one gets third degree burns, they're pretty damn funny.

You can answer in two ways. Either leave a comment here for everyone to read and giggle at or drop us an email. Whichever way you decide to enter, we can't accept anonymous entries to this comp (how will we know who to send the swag to?!) and you're agreeing to sign up to our forthcoming newsletter which will be brilliant. You'd be quite right to sign up for that anyway while you're here. No Twitter entries for this competition though.

Of course, if you don't win, you can always pop over to Love Hearts and Crosses and buy the earrings yourself...

UPDATE! Whoops! I meant to tell you when to get your entries to us by! By 6pm today please! Sorry, I clearly got over excited by sharing presents and forgot that bit. Santa never has to worry about blog posts, does he?


  1. Mandi B - The first time I ever cooked for a "date" at home I decided that lasagne was the exotic choice of the domestic goddess/career siren and set to work. I'm not sure what went wrong, but when we came to eat it - none of the pasta had cooked and we crunched our way through a good two minutes of lasagne before I told him to stop being polite. It was foul. Later that evening when we were getting "comfortable" on the sofa and after the embarrassing lasagne had been left in the dogs bowl "date's" stomach growled and growled with hunger because he missed his dinner and I had nothing else to feed him, I fell off the sofa as the wine had gone straight to my head and I hadn't had any food and after a few "crunches" even the dog decided it didn't like the lasagne either and promptly threw it back up again. Needless to say I didn't see the guy again....

  2. I would love to win these superb's my daughters birthday soon, and she'd just love them!
    My biggest cooking disaster, hmmm, as i'm not the world's greatest cook, that could be pretty much anything i've ever made! LoL
    I've done such things as manage to burn rice pudding - bear in mind it was poured straight from a tin into the pan just to reheat!
    my yorkshire puddings are always a disaster, yet i insist on trying - they come out flat and stodgy, and i make the most delicious custard...if you can ignore the lumps! lmao xx

  3. I love baking and am often to be found in the kitchen baking all kinds of experimantal cakes. However, my biggest baking faux pas was a while back when I was baking a cake, all the mixture was ready, so I looked in the cupboards for a tin (I lived in a shared house at the time). I found a lovely black tin... perfect. I poured the mixture in, put the cake in the oven and left it to bake. After the alloted 30 minutes, I checked it and it was raw. I was perplexed. The oven was hot, the top of the cake was starting to bake but it was liquid. So I put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes... no different... another 30 minutes... no different. It was at this point my friend came in and asked me why I was trying to bake a cake in a plastic salad bowl... oops! It looked like a cake tin, I swear. How the hell it didn't melt is anyone's guess!

  4. Hmm. I haven't had many cooking disasters (seeing as I mostly avoid it altogether), but the first time I attempted bread was pretty dire. I forgot to add yeast to the first batch of dough, and the second batch was fine until I dropped it on the floor :-(

    Anyway, good luck to everyone who enters - those earrings look lovely! (I can't enter seeing as I'm a Domestic Slut, but I couldn't resist a bit of baking gossip...)

  5. The first time I cooked for my now husband I managed to give him food poisoning after cooking a frozen chicken pasta bake which was burnt on the outside and still frozen on the inside. He even mentioned it in his speech at out wedding...
    Nowadays I let him do the cooking and I stick to topping the wine glasses up!

  6. I ruin anything with eggs in, ever. Always scramble them. The worst was when I was making brownies for my last day at work at 10pm the night before. Made what was essentially a scrambled egg chocolate pie, had to find a 24 hour supermarket, buy more ingredients, start over again. Was up almost all night.

    Following disasters like this I've become quite the vegan baking hero! Far safer without the fruits of our chickeny friends.

    Good luck all of you ;) I'm jealous, even as a brand new Slut I can't enter, woe. I love cake.

  7. Working for a publishers and I offered to bake a cake in the shape of a car for TV chef James Martin for the launch party of his autobiography.

    Me and a colleague spent hours prepping and baking but turns out the pressure of baking for a chef was too much and we got the cooking times tragically wrong. Believe me, a regular sponge recipe and ratios don't work in a car shaped mould!

    Cake emerges from oven, we turn it out, it looks great. I move it to get started on the decorating and a waterfall of gloopy raw cake mix gushes from the bottom...we were left with a hollow cake and a vanilla-flavoured puddle.

    It was a cake wreck and a car crash all in one go! We were up until 3am on the morning of the party baking and icing another :(

  8. Most memorable has got to be the time I read 'tamari' (soy sauce) on a recipe and couldn't find it in the supermarket. I figured 'tamarind' had got to be the same thing (what difference did two letters ever make!?) and added it instead - with 'interesting' results.

  9. When i met this nice bloke at Uni we lived opposite each other in halls of residence. The only thing I could cook was this microwave chicken casserole (chicken plus packet of sauce bought from supermarket) which I did every weekend when we would eat together. I kept this up for a few Sundays on the trot, making this great casserole, until imagine my horror, the manufacturer stopped making it. At this point I had to fess up that it was all I could do, and he'd have to take over with the whole cooking food thing. He did, and we're still together 18 years on. He has done ALL the cooking since then, including baking me cakes and all sorts of nice stuff. So HE deserves the earrings... but as his ears aren't pierced, i could wear them for him, so he could look at them?? Just a thought... ;-)

  10. ...Oh, and before I met him I tried making corned beef hash using pickled onions. Don't go there...

  11. My greatest cooking disaster has to be making my first 'own flat' meal for me and my new love. I choose to make my first curry. All was perfect but I didn't understand that a curry powder contains all spice ingredients including garlic that one needs for the dish, so I accidentally doubled up on garlic, put a bit more in for good measure not realising that Italian cooking rules did not apply to Indian cuisine. The result was the most heinous 'Grey' curry. The true tragedy was that I had made 2, one veggie for me, one chicken for him and it was the chicken one I messed up. It took him a week of being served it from the freezer to admit to me how bad it was and that it was making him sick because we were so skint that we couldn't afford to waste food. 20 years later he is one of my best mates and he still tells the story of it's foulness to much hilarity.

  12. Not being your archetypal "Domestic Goddess" the one and only dish I'm able to cook proficiently is Jamie Oliver's "Stuffed Peppers". The recipe is quick and easy to follow and results in a tasty, vibrant yellow and green peppers, housing delicate mini-cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and garnished with anchovies. It always seems to impress friends and family until recently when I left the peppers "baking" in the oven (for a little longer than Jamie recommends!) by getting distracted showing my dinner guest "Domestic Sluttery" on my laptop!! 45mins later upstairs, I went back downstairs to a kitchen full of smoke and a baking tray of charred remains. Yup, they were the stuffed peppers for dinner. Hasten to say, whilst the fire alarm was whaling, we threw the remains in the bin, ordered a Thai takeaway and carried on perusing the latest home delights on "Domestic Sluttery" - now that's how to live like a Domestic Goddess :)

  13. Cooked spinach is supposed to look like green sludge... is it not??!
    Enough said!

  14. I wish I could enter!! My favourite slip up involved mr Sharon and Valentines Day 2007...He was making the starter and the main and I was in charge of the vino and dessert. I managed to sort el vino outno problem but then my disaster came when I tried to make chocolate mousse. It resembled very cold and hard chocolate cement. You could grout tiles with it (if you wanted brown grouting, methinks not). I cunningly renamed them 'little pots of chocolatey joy' but they have gone down as one of my less brilliant kitchen moments!! Good luck to all who enter - have loved reading these stories :-)!!

  15. Not entering, just joining in the fun. I made a delicious batch of almost 30 red velvet cupcakes on Friday night. Yummy beyond belief. I went out on Saturday and stayed over elsewhere, came back to my empty flat on Sunday afternoon and guess what?

    I'd left the oven on. For two days. To this day I am grateful that a) cupcakes are baked at a lower temperature than other things and b) modern ovens are pretty idiot proof and don't overheat.

  16. A couple of years ago I was having some friends round to supper and I'd planned a very impressive rolled pork loin with apricot and herb stuffing all tied together with bacon, home grown vegetables - I was out to impress. I'd gone to the local farmers' market and bought the pork loin, then left it in the kitchen under a gauze umbrella thing ready for me to begin my creation once I'd got the veg. I went out to the garden (in my floral dress, of course) collecting mange tout, carrots and fresh herbs - impressive...but I was married to a farmer - none of it was my doing - I spent my days reading books and drinking wine!
    So, there I was, Lady Bountiful, returning to the kitchen with my veggie haul, only to discover the large black farm cat had dragged the pork loin onto the floor and eaten half of it! It was still raw!

    I cut off the chewed bit, rinsed it under a tap and carried on with the recipe, adding some more bacon and pretended it hadn't happened.
    Later that evening once my guests had drank half their body weight in wine I told them - they don't talk to me anymore.

  17. These are all so brilliant. Although I do worry for your guests...

  18. Not my disaster, but my old flatmate Sola's. Either she won't mind me sharing this, or she'll kill me. I'm not sure which.

    Sola is a super attractive, super intelligent woman but at this time rarely ventured into the kitchen. She liked to stay slim and had never shown much interest in cooking, but her new boyfriend was coming over for the first time and so she had decided to cook, from scratch, (and rather surprisingly) Banoffee Pie.

    Some might say this was an ambitious enterprise; something low fat and shop-bought might have been more her style, but I guess it just shows what you will do for love. She had plenty of time and had the biscuits crushed for the base, chopped the bananas, got the cream sorted and the tins of condensed milk were bubbling away, waiting to turn into caramel.

    After several of hours' boiling time, she came out of the kitchen looking perplexed. She had removed one tin and opened it, and the condensed milk had done nothing - it looked exactly as it had going in. None of us were any the wiser, but after some discussion she decided to boil it for a bit longer and check again. Still nothing. Bit longer. Same again.

    6 hours passed. The kitchen contained one distressed Sola, 3 perplexed flatmates and 4 tins of very-hot-but-definitely-not-caramel-condensed milk. At a loss, we started looking at the discarded can & suddenly Sola looked a bit wide-eyed. "Do you think it would matter that I bought sugar-free condensed milk?", she said quietly. We all looked at her. Yes. Yes it does matter. Just a little bit.

    There was no Banoffee Pie that night but nonetheless the date was a success. Four years later Sola is still with Matt, living with their beautiful baby girl, who turned one this year. I don't know if she ever made Banoffee Pie again, but I can vouch that Sola's cooking has improved. I've tasted her lasagne and it is fab.

  19. Anything I bake is a disaster - I can cook savoury food but sweet treats never work :( everything is too burnt, flat, soggy - in fact, the opposite of whatever it should be.

  20. I had loads of mushrooms leftover for some reason, so I decided to make a stroganoff. I found a recipe online, but despite not having a good 60% of the ingredients I decided to persist. I replaced cayenne pepper with red wine (!?) and chucked in some flour when it wouldn't thicken up. Result: Mushrooms in a light mauve cement-like sauce. And it didn't taste much better either :)

  21. My biggest disaster: Macaroons! Ugh! What should have been a chic French treat turned into a sticky egg-white mess...:(


  22. Oh those earrings are so fab..might have to buy some if I don't win! ;-)
    My biggest cooking disaster was letting my other half make tea. It was that bad it's gone down in our family history. The kids were so traumatized by it that they've never trusted him to cook again.
    I normally do the cooking but as I was going out he said he would do it. I doubted he would have much trouble putting something together as I'd just been food shopping.
    I popped out for a few hours leaving behind some happy and smiley children.
    I returned to find three green looking kids rolling around on the sofa. 'Mum...he made us eat Cat Sick!' What!!!
    I went to the sink to find a large pan of looked like sick, it smelt like sick...surely not!
    It turns out that unable to find anything to cook, (even though I had just spent 80 quid in Tesco!) he a blended together a mix of frozen quorn mince,condensed korma sauce,(the sort you have to add cream to) frozen peas and sweetcorn.
    None of it was properly cooked and it was absolutely vile!
    Poor kids, whenever they see curry now they say 'Urgh...Cat Sick'

  23. those earrings are so darling..
    cooking disaster...
    24th April 1993. Italian cookery course making a tricky Italian Clazone. Baby due date in 2 weeks...oh! oh!
    Was half way through the day when my waters broke and I went into labour. Everyone said that as it was the first baby it would take for ever..
    Ohh no it did not. She arrived before the end of class.
    To this day I have never tasted Calzone

  24. Boohoo :( I just got home from work to realise I MISSED this competition. And I have a great baking disaster story!

  25. Whoops, mine is not so much a comment, more a thesis! You might need to make yourself a cup of tea before you settle down with that one.

    Loving the cat sick story - reminds me of when my Dad tried to make me eat chickens' hearts (aged 5).

  26. I hate blooming fruit cake. Every Christmas I struggle to choke down a morsel. Loathsome stuff. Bleagh. But oh that raw mixture is delicious: treacly, buttery, chewy fruit, cubes of sharp mixed peel. I make a mean fruit cake (apparently).I have a brilliant recipe passed down by my Mum (and to only ever one close friend) which turns the heart of the meanest Grinch to fluffy love clouds. I even made my wedding cake in three layers of deeply fruity (bleagh again) mixture, and reportedly many a romance blossomed from its magic crumbs held under a pillow in those little boxes. NOT VERY TRAGIC I hear you murmur. Oh but it is, oh yes. I have friends, so-called, who only love me for my cake. Friends who remain silent for months at a time start sending wheedling, loving texts and emails late in September in the expectation that I will sterilise a bucket and spend the precious days of my half term holiday in mixing and making them each a perfect eight inch disc of fruity fulfilment. I have so very few friends that I have to comply. This is one of the few skills, if not the only skill that I have. It is the one talent I can use to hang onto those few friends whose interest would otherwise founder on the rocks of indifference or sheer dislike. That, ladies and gentlemen, is my disaster. But at least I get to scrape the bucket.


  28. Missed the deadline but anyways...

    I was hosting a afternoon tea house warming and decided to bake some cakes. Considering it had been years since I tried and I didn't have many supplies for making cakes bur I thought I'd have a bash at a practice.
    However I didn't have any cake tins, baking trays or cupcake holders. Just a roasting tin and tin foil.
    Nor did I have any self raising flour or baking powder.
    The end result was a pancake like slab which I "artfully layered".
    The concoction was known at work as the kebab cake from its coffee colour and stickiness and floppiness!

  29. Brilliant entries, guys! The winner was Heidi, but all of you deserve extra pats on the back for telling us your worst stories!


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