Sunday, 13 November 2011

My first cooking challenge disaster

On Friday I met up with a very good friend of mine, Fasting Foodie, and took a trip to London to attend the Masterchef Live event at Olympia. It was fantastic, a great day out full of fabulous food stalls, enthralling demonstrations and celeb chefs galore! We were lucky enough to meet Michel Roux Junior (who I can confirm is even more wonderful in real life than he is on the telly) and the the super-smiley Monica Galetti. We also watched demonstrations by John Torode and Greg Wallace, as well as by various previous Masterchef competitors, who all seem to have done remarkably well for themselves after finishing the show.

All-in-all, it was a brilliant day out, but the highlight was definitely watching Michel Roux Jnr cooking, and then meeting him at a book-signing afterwards. It is not often one gets that close to a two Michelin starred chef! In his demonstration, he cooked up a very delicious-looking dish of Parisian Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms. He made it look so simple and, as my newly signed cook book contained the recipe, today I decided to give it a go.

Interestingly, French gnocchi is made very differently to Italian gnocchi, which contains potato. The French version is made from choux pastry, made with water, rather than milk. I'm not going to write the recipe out here, as I intend to give this one another go, and will share it when I succeed! However, as I promised at the start of this blog that I would share my disasters as well as my triumphs, I have to admit that I had my first Cooking Challenge fail this week.

I'm not sure quite sure what happened, but the choux pastry I made just turned to a great big pile of mush when I boiled it in water. Michel's didn't do that; his were perfect little cylinders of deliciousness! I have a feeling I went wrong when beating the eggs into the pastry mix - I think I should have let the rest of the mixture cool a little before adding the eggs, as I think the first one may have cooked, rather than being combined into the mix. Either that, or I boiled the choux pastry cylinders for too long before draining them. One way or the other, they didn't work, and I was very disappointed.

Fish and chips for tea tonight!

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