Thursday, August 2, 2012

Purple carrot wins, and losses

Johanna should have a prize for her smoothie ingredient guess of roast carrots.


The ingredient list didn't include roast carrots, but it did include purple carrots.


Unfortunately, though, the story of this smoothie is a sad one.

You know those times when kitchen creation is driven purely by imagination? By an idea that sticks in your mind, an ingredient list that wafts to you, and a method that just comes together seemlessly?

Those kitchen moments can be magical.

But here's the thing. The magic is a bit dependent on the resulting product/s turning out. Otherwise it's somewhat of a let down - you have a delicious dish in your imagination, but not in front of you.

No one wants that.

For several weeks, I have been thinking about making soft carrot cake biscuits (cookies). Not just any carrot cake biscuits, though, but purple carrot cake biscuits.

I had such grand plans for them. They were to be beautifully purple, slightly sweet, suitable for breakfast or snack time, and firm and chewy all at the same time.

The ingredient list came to me in stages, as is right and proper for imagination-based cooking. It included coconut flour. Oats. Puffed millet. Chia. Purple carrots, of course. Pineapple juice and some crushed pineapple, almond milk, vanilla, mixed spice, agave, baking soda.

The mixture was dazzling in its purple-ness.


 The pre-baked biscuits were a bit odd, but still held promise.


But then.

This happened.


I know. I'm laughing too. Green purple cookies did not enter my imagination.

Worse than the colour (which could be viewed as odd but interesting) was the texture. Rather than firm and chewy, I had something that was both crumbly and too moist. Who knew that could happen?


In hindsight, making up a recipe and playing with a new flour (coconut flour) may not have been the wisest combination.


The taste also fell short of my dreams. These biscuits were edible but they weren't quite sweet enough, and they sat at the intersection between savoury and sweet in an unappealing kind of way.

I guess magic can't happen every time. Lesson learnt: never count your biscuits before they're baked.

On the plus side, the leftover purple carrot gave me a great smoothie, and my imagination has something to keep pondering. I also had some purple carrot success (thank goodness!) when I adapted Min's recipe for carrot, nut and date balls.


I followed Min's recipe closely but used one small orange carrot and one small purple carrot, instead of one medium orange carrot; added a couple of extra dates (14-15 instead of 12); omitted the coconut oil; and added a few tablespoons of oats.


Thankfully, the outcome was good enough to go some way to reducing the biscuit disappointment. These balls were enjoyable from the fridge and even better from the freezer, and I will definitely be making them again.

The biscuits, on the other hand...not to be repeated in a hurry.

Any recent flops in your kitchen?!

29 comments:

  1. I'm not laughing.

    I lie.

    That first batch looks a lot better raw than baked. I won't tell you what I thought the baked ones looked like. LOL

    I made a pot of soup yesterday that went down the garbage disposal this morning. It was only worth eating once and only then because I was hungry. :)

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    1. If you weren't laughing I would be very surprised :D

      Sorry to hear about soup, too!

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  2. Oh I had some of these problems when I first tried baking with GF flours - I know the moist and crumbly texture. I have found that sometimes you really do need a little extra sweetness. I have managed purple and green biscuits but I almost wish I had :-) It is all a good learning experience. And the oat balls look pretty too

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    1. I think I do need to backtrack a few steps with coconut flour and actually follow some recipes! I did think of you when I opened the oven and saw green biscuits - they would have suited your kitchen, but I wouldn't wish them on you!

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  3. Carrot and date balls sound wonderful to me.

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  4. What a bummer! At least they were edible and not a total waste of ingredients. I made some beetroot, lentil and quinoa burgers recently which sound good in theory but I also had texture problems due to rushing and the flavour wasn't spectacular either! I think flops are to be expected every now and then if you like creating your own recipes.

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    1. Beetroot, lentil and quinoa burgers sound lovely - what a pity they didn't turn out! As you say, I suppose it is part of creating your own recipes, and being edible is something at least.

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  5. I made a pasta sauce tonight that I had to throw out so you are not alone - you just make your disasters more public! Shame about those biscuits - they actually look quite good raw! xx

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    1. I know! Raw they held such promise!

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  6. Kari, I love that you actually posted about your somewhat failed attempt. I see all these beautiful recipes on other blogs, and I can't help but to think.."man they sure know what they're doing..so perfect and delicious looking." But I'm sure they too have their share of disappointments from time to time. That's how amazing recipes are born! Experimenting with new recipes is def a hit or miss for me also!

    So I hope you don't give up and that you'll keep working on that recipe of yours!! I'd love to see and try your soft purple carrot cake biscuit recipe!! Gets me excited thinking about it. I really do need to bake more.
    And thank you for the shoutout! I love the addition of oats!! I'm going to add them to my next batch of balls ;).

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    1. Thank you for the original recipe Min :) They were wonderful balls and a great relief after the biscuit fail! I will definitely persist though - and thanks for your acceptance of the flop :P

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  7. Haha, those green cookies do look interesting. I am glad that you were able to tweek your recipe. The last flop I had in my kitchen was making banana bread a couple of years ago. I forgot the flour, who does that? I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my bread and then I realized what I had done. UGH. Now I don't skip around on reading the recipe. I follow it from the top.

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    1. Oops! That is very funny. Although in saying that, I forgot to add pineapple to a pineapple cake once and that was pretty silly too :P

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  8. Aww! Lots of times these colorful veggies turn weird colors when baked. It happens. I love the idea of the purple biscuits though!

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    1. I still don't fully understand how they turned green. Some sort of chemical reaction I suppose, but I don't know what combined with what to give it!

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  9. Green??! I can only imagine what your face looked like when you took them out of the oven! :)
    At least the balls turned out well!
    I made up some cookie dough the other day (I have yet to bake them) and it called for 2/3 cup of sugar. Well, after just "skimming" the recipe I put the sugar in the dough. Um, I was supposed to roll the cookies in the sugar!!! I just know they are going to be SO sweet. :)

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    1. Oh how funny - hopefully they'll serve their purpose when you're craving something super sweet?! :)

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  10. I'm just amazed you thought to put purple carrots in a smoothie! Awesome! I think the adage - when in doubt, make balls applies really well here :P

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    1. Oh indeed :) A good life motto that one!

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  11. I do like to invent recipes, but I have to say my boyfriend is the one who comes up with the most insane suggestions that I then try to create. Mostly they have worked well, but we did make one very strange cheesecake. It was edible, but completely unappealing looking and will not be repeated. So sad.

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    1. It is such a shame when recipes with potential just don't deliver! Good on your boyfriend for having creative ideas though - and at least if things don't work out, you can blame him ;)

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  12. haha....out of one mishap comes a success!! but hey, it's boring to NOT experiment around and those experiments can lead to some flops but some awesome good finds u would have missed out on had u not tried. :)

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    1. Thank you Cait! I'm all for that interpretation on things :)

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  13. i must try that.. it sure looks tasty.

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    1. Try the balls and not the biscuits!

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  14. I've used raw carrots in smoothies before, but I actually don't think I've ever made a carrot baked creation - even normal carrots. I kinda like the idea of green cookies though :P

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    1. I might like the idea more if it was intentional :D

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  15. Snort :)

    I have had SO many similar baking disasters... I'm lucky that I have a Boosty that will eat my epic fails!

    Purple carrots ARE amazing though, aren't they? So so pretty.

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