Chocolate Chip Waffles and “Hiccups”

I taught my cooking class today at local elementary school.

Don’t close your browser yet, this isn’t a “this is what I did today!” post.

No, I basically taught 1st to 5th graders for an hour with hiccups the whole time! I didn’t even have a Dr. Pepper (diet, of course, I’m not THAT recovered?). I tried to hide it, but after attendance, they spotted it and started laughing hysterically.

It was difficult for me to wrangle the kids back and try to maintain some authority without being all “Ms. Trunchbull”. Anyhow, I’m going off topic. What is my topic? Hiccups!

Not real hiccups though, more like mishaps and bloopers.

I’ve had so many bloopers in culinary school, I can’t even begin to tell you. And not to brag or anything, but I’m surprised I had a 4.0 there. I was on the honor roll (yes, at least in well respected culinary schools, there is such a thing) but I’ve goofed up so many times.

Before I even started culinary school, I researched what I should look out for. Here’s an abridged version of the “hiccups” commonly made in culinary school:

1.You don’t taste as you go
2.You don’t read the entire recipe before you start cooking
3. You make unwise substitutions in baking.
4. You boil when you should simmer.
5. You overheat chocolate.
6. You over-soften butter.
7. You overheat low-fat milk products.
8. You don’t know your oven’s quirks and idiosyncrasies.
9. You’re too casual about measuring ingredients.
10. You overcrowd the pan.
11. You mishandle egg whites.
12. You turn the food too often.
13. You don’t get the pan hot enough before you add the food.
14. You slice meat with the grain instead of against it.
15. You underbake cakes and breads.
16. You don’t use a meat thermometer.
17. Meat gets no chance to rest after cooking.
18. You try to rush the cooking of caramelized onions.
19. You overwork lower-fat dough.
20. You neglect the nuts you’re toasting.
21. You don’t shock vegetables when they’ve reached the desired texture.
22. You put all the salt in the marinade or breading.
23. You pop meat straight from the fridge into the oven or onto the grill.
24. You don’t know when to abandon ship and start over.
25. You use inferior ingredients.

And I’m guilty of every. single. one.

And although cooking is an art, in many ways, its totally not. There are no mistakes, or “hiccups” in art. There are definitely mistakes in cooking (at least in professional cooking). Although I’ve written about how much I embraced Julia Child’s philosophy in regards to cooking “hiccups”, you can only be so cutesy and put things back together so far. Cookies that resemble coal suck, over salted soup makes some people gag (no to mention blood pressure to soar), and your “toasted” nuts set off the fire alarm.

But shit happens. Unlike art, you can recreate you “art” when it comes to cooking. A painting is pretty unique. But if you follow a recipe, you can recreate something and learn from your hiccups. The first time I made angel food cake in my baking class, the middle of the cake sunk, making what looked like a spongy crater. I dont think I folded the egg whites correctly. I had a drill sergeant of a chef at the time that yelled at me, “What’s this piece of shit?”. I kind of wanted to cry, but I knew I could do better. Sure enough, I did it again for the final and got an A. I got a B- on my sourdough, but that’s a different story.

Whats you biggest “hiccup” that happened to you in life or in the kitchen or in life?

And here’s another hiccup I made. I forgot to take photos of me making these waffles. O well, next time right?

  • 1 1/2 cups ground almonds or almond meal
    1/2 cup buckwheat flour (or All Purpose flour)
    pinch salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 cup  chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    4 tblsp canola oil or melted butter
    3/4 cup non-dairy milk  (up to 1  1/4 cups milk depending on your equip)
    1 tblsp sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup or sweetener of choice

Super simple! Mix together wet and dry ingredients, fold in chocolate chips and follow instructions according to waffle maker instructions. 

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16 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Waffles and “Hiccups”

  1. TOTALLY guilty of #1 and my husband gets on to me all.the.time about it. He was a sous chef for a while in a really nice restaurant a long time ago, so he is an excellent cook and knows about ALL these rules/mistakes. I try to learn from him, but for some of us….theres just no hope when it comes to cooking. I do most of the cooking too, but thats because I like to.

    #14-I have the hardest time finding the grain in chicken. Other meat is fine though. I gave up a long time ago, so when he comes around while I’m cutting it, I try to find it. When he’s not, though, I do it real quick and hope he doesn’t notice….lol The poor guy has showed me way too many times, so I don’t want him to think he married a basketcase.

    Other than those, I’d say underseasoning is the other ‘hiccup.’ I guess I’m always afraid I’m adding too much salt. I think I’m getting better at it though. :)

  2. HA! I do all of these, too! I guess its what separates “real” chefs from regular people cooking food…

    Except I do one of them (maybe I’m 1/25th of a chef??)…I always taste as I go! I can’t help it…it is too yummy :)

  3. Love the Matilda reference, fyi. :) I’m sure I make all of those cooking mistakes, and more. Except instead of undercooking I tend to overcook instead, biologist’s paranoia about killing all possible pathogens that could be lurking in there…

  4. Oh good lord. I’m guilty of every single one, which is why I only cook for myself and cook what I like–it’s simple. When I bake, I am guilty of getting into a recipe and then finding out I might not have something necessary. Fail. I also think I can just eyeball amounts of things and have never been precise with my dry ingredient measurements, which I have found out is frowned upon.

    I for sure don’t taste as I go, so I suppose I could be sending off bionic brownies and not know it. However, I have a pretty reliable panel of taste testers that will tell me if it’s crap (but yet will fail to tell me when I have flour in my hair.)

    As for life hiccups? Every day, my dear. You can only learn from them–or blog about them–and move on ;)

  5. I feel awkward because I’m pretty sure I learned that all those things are “hiccups” from watching Top Chef, rather than any formal cooking instruction.

    Do I watch too much TV?

    For the record, it is nearly impossible not to let your inner Trunchbull out at least once a day when working with small children.

    And diet soda just tastes better.

  6. Shit does happen, especially in the kitchen. We make mistakes all the time. Food can be tricky, even more so when you take so many things out of a recipe. We feel we are more scienctist, trying to get things to rise and what not, than bakers. When I went to raw foods culinary school, I was terrifed because I am not a perfect chef. I make mistakes. I make a mess. But it was good for me to learn…learn from others, learn from my mistakes.

  7. My hiccups tend to happen when I try to bake like I cook (throwing things in, adding, tasting, readjusting until it is how I like it, then eating…). You can cook that way- you can’t bake that way. I tried to “invent” my own recipe based on the median of a bunch of angel food cake recipes this year. What happened? They went from underdone to char in 2 minutes… I blame the oven on that one. I also tried to make soy-nut butter one time, it made me gag and I had to throw it all out. At least bulk soy nuts are cheap.

    I love the “ashamed” bear picture!

  8. I think I write “this is what I did today” posts all the time. Hmm…

    And I feel like some of my biggest hiccups are coming soon as I begin to start teaching. Its so easy to stay stupid things around kids and have it totally backfire in your face. Can’t wait!

  9. I think I’ve broken every single one of those cardinal sins as well. Especially the one about not mucking with things on the stove too much. I’m IMPATIENT! I liked to flip things! It makes me feel useful!

  10. You must know by now that I’m going to comment on any waffle recipe… right? ;)

    I too am guilty of every single one of those. Especially cooking onions too quickly. I haaaate waiting for them to caramelize. My worst baking mistake is the time I added three eggs to a small cupcake recipe. The pages in the cookbook stuck together and I didn’t know any better. I ended up with sweet egg muffins. I still ate them all. Extra protein!

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