Hiya, Dot here… Hopefully we can include food fails here too… here’s one I figured I’d add to start things rolling:
I had this great idea for Macadamia nut brittle hearts. The sugar mixture is ready to pour out when it reaches a ‘light amber color’, right? Hmm, apparently my idea of light amber color was a little different than the recipe’s. (I guess it’s time to invest in a candy thermometer.) The first set I poured up basically never set — the syrup was still syrup!. I tried again, and that was still not right–solid, but very soft. I tried reheating, and came out with my final product (One set is sticky beyond belief, the other is burnt!)
Actually, there was nothing wrong with the idea (just my execution of it). Use a good peanut brittle recipes, and follow the instructions. Just use a candy thermometer to ensure you pour out at the right temp, and you should be fine. Pour into heart shaped molds (silicone is nice) instead of out on a sheet pan.
Plus, I was cleaning up the sugar syrup out of the saucepan, and figured I’d just throw some more water in there, and boil it, then pour it out and wipe down the pan. Easy peasy, right? Unless you get distracted and forget about the pan. Till all the water boils out. And the little bit of sugar left has baked itself on to the bottom of the pan, and all over the glass lid. The clear lid was literally brown/black, where you couldn’t see through it, and the burnt on sugar was melded to it. I really wish I’d taken a picture.
–good news though — I googled for how to clean burnt sugar, and amazingly, in boiling a mixture of water, baking soda and a drop of dishliquid cleaned all the gunk of the lid… it just flaked off like old paint! (takes a while, though, and minimal scraping with a butter knife occasionally)