Here is a perfect recipe for when you’re cooking for people you don’t like or just have a thing for carcinogenic food. In just 4 easy steps you too can ruin countless recipes.

Ingredients (necessary to have all the below within a 7 day period):

  • Start a new job
  • Return from an interstate holiday the day before starting said job
  • Purchase a second hand car
  • Commit to baking at least two batches of muffins and some muesli bars for a food swap
  • 1 broken timer
  • 1 faulty smoke alarm (though, to be fair, I’m quite glad the smoke alarm hasn’t being going off every second day)

Step 1: Upon returning from an interstate holiday (the day before starting a new job) commit to baking most evenings. Insist you are invincible and, most probably, Wonder Woman. Watch. Me. Go.

It helps it you can get cocky and start challenging yourself to mixing entire batches of muffins in the space of two songs. Which, for the record I totally can do. I didn’t say anything about the cooking process.

This is where I was last week… maybe all the sun has ruined my ability to bake?

Step 2: Pay no attention when putting oven on (it is a race against the CD player after all) and accidentally set to grill, not oven.

Step 4: Ignore the smell of burnt toast in the house and play with your iPhone instead. You’re up with the new technology after all. You’re even using the timer feature, no need to replace that old broken timer that has gotten you through years of cooking – no sir-ee!

When the smell does become more noticeable it’s probably best to check on the muffins. If, by this stage you’ve successfully burnt them, just take all the burnt top off and just keep cooking them.  See below carnage. We don’t hold on ceremony here at Clever muffin!

Half way through the burnt-top removal process. Discarded burnt tops below.

Be pleased with your efforts. I think the below muffins are still perfectly fine. You are invincible and can multi-task. Repeat.

Right. Enough with the sarcastic commentary.

Here are some muesli bars I also burnt to smithereens this week. I tried to just cut off the burnt bits (below) but almost broke a tooth on the more OK looking bits. So no rescuing them, straight in the bin.

With this batch I found the real trick was using my iPhone to look up the recipe and also using it as a timer.

When the timer goes off to tell me to turn them around or take them out I just ignore it because I’m doing something else.


After this crazy week of new jobs, car shopping and the constant smell of burning in my kitchen I decided to make a non-bake dessert on Saturday when we had a friend over. My boyfriend kindly made lasagne for the main course – or maybe he just didn’t want to let me near the oven – but dessert I thought I could do.

Thought I could do.

I remembered Frugal Feeding, a fellow blogger, recently putting up a post of Truffles (visit his site for instructions, it’s a nice recipe). Well, I did OK. Except for the white chocolate you need to melt to drizzle on top.

Yea. I burnt it. Should have known. Chocolate is one of the easiest things to burn. I’ve even written about how important it is to never walk away from melting chocolate previously.

I didn’t burn the chocolate so badly I couldn’t use it, but it never got crunchy, it was strangely chewy.

My guest even commented that the chewy topping was a really awesome contrast against the rich chocolate. How did I do that he asked…

Ah, I just have a little thing I’ve been doing this week with food, I replied.

Let’s hope it’s short lived.

32 comments on “How to burn stuff”

  1. Hilarious, Aimee! Failed recipes are the fodder for next week’s dinner party lore so they’re somewhat useful! Thought your muffins were a great recovery. I usually burn broiled nuts… And stand there thinking “what’s that smell? I’m not baking anything?”

  2. Love this! Yep, I ruin something at least weekly here too. Fortunately I haven’t set off the smoke detector yet; although I’ve come close. (Think opening all windows and turning on all fans to keep it from going off!) I love your answer to the chocolate question too. LOL Aimee! Thanks for the feeling that I’m not alone and the laugh. 😉

  3. Hehe I’m sorry but that’s a pretty funny story! Looks like you did a pretty good job of saving the stuff for the most part. When something burns, you just eat around the the burnt part 🙂 I tried some pumpkin scones a few weeks ago and burnt both batches. It’s always so sad…. hope you have better luck on your next adventure 🙂

  4. I have a gift for burning bread in all its shapes and sizes! My husband thinks the solution is to order a custom made oven with no broiler but then again I am sure I can find other ways to burn bread…I am truly talented you know

  5. Lol.. hey girl.. it happens. I once burned my brownies because I was doing 4 things at once. It was not the best smell in the house and I love chocolate.. so image how mad I was lol. I also do the same thing Kristy does.. open the window and turn on the fan to get the smell out or to try to make sure the alarm doesn’t always go off when I’m frying or etc. But things happen.. and you’re an amazing cook otherwise 🙂

  6. I’ve been having a problem which is quite the opposite, large batches of meusli bars that won’t bind. And my too clever daughter tells me it’s because I’m doing it wrong…
    What’s wrong with crumble? Crumble is good.

    Excellent post.

    • Actuallllllly – I’ve recently updated the muesli bar notes with an extra binding tip. Stack a tray covered in heavy books on top of your cooling slice. It works a treat! I’m sure that’s how all the big manufacturers do it. Well, maybe they have something fancier then books…

  7. I’m really impressed that you salvaged the muffins. Wouldn’t have even occurred to me to remove the burnt bits and re-bake the tops. They turned out really well!
    Once, when I was making fudge, I burnt the sugar but persevered, I was all out of ingredients. It was still delicious but more like butter tablet or something. Two people asked how I got such a nice, toffee texture, haha. What they don’t know….

  8. Im sorry about your new baking/ cooking technique but I have to say I really got a kick out of your post and the creative spin on it. It’s real life beyond the strategically styles photographs and nearly whimsical content some blogs have. I loved it so much I’m leaving a comment using *my* iPhone. We know how difficult that can be…

  9. One more thing, I admire your creativity of salvaging those muffins! Reminds me of when I burned chicken beyond recognition.

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