Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TWD: Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben - FAIL

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben, which is a deep-fried goody – a very bold selection for the second week of January when most people are attempting to eat healthy. I had never actually deep-fried anything until Sunday. I will happily scarf a side of French fries or crunch down crab wontons – actually, pretty much anything, as long as the frying is done by someone else and I don’t have to see all the oil. I wasn’t particularly excited about these cookies, but I figured deep-frying them might be the gateway to other fried treats. Like doughnuts. Josh gave me The Craft of Baking for Christmas, and there are several incredible-looking doughnut recipes in it calling my name. Anyway, it’s lucky that I tried these superfluous little snacks on a Sunday afternoon (my soon-to-be-posted birthday cake was made the same day), rather than attempted doughnuts for breakfast, because my first deep-fry experience was a disaster.



I totally burned the scherben! This week I really ate my words, rather than the TWD treat: just last week I was saying that my baked goods generally turn out nice and a few weeks before that I mentioned I had finally acquired a good candy/deep-fry thermometer. The oil was obviously way too hot when I threw the dough in, despite the fact the thermometer was not even at the prescribed 350 degrees. (If anyone out there can recommend a stellar thermometer, let me know. I’m sure it will pay given how many ingredients I’ve wasted in candy-making endeavors.) I turned down the heat and was going to fry up the rest of the scherben I’d cut, but the tray they were on fell off the counter and the dough landed on the floor. The good news? The frying part actually wasn’t scary, so there will be homemade doughnuts in my future. Many thanks to the uber-talented (not only is she a very ambitious cook/baker, her photos are stunning and she is a brilliant storyteller) Teanna of Spork or Foon for finally getting me to deep-fry something, even if it wasn’t very successful. The recipe can be found here on Teanna’s site and stop by the TWD blogroll to see some more attractive scherben.

17 comments:

Clivia said...

Wow. I like my French fries that dark, but I don't know about Scherben... Knowing you, your doughnuts will be a wonder of light, fluffy perfection and this will be that humourous counterpoint. Better luck next time!

Amanda said...

Bummer! I baked half of mine and fried the rest. I actually burnt the baked batch LOL!

Kayte said...

OMW...I laughed when I saw these as I remember (completely forgot until this moment) when I was about 9 trying to fry french fries and burning them like this. I think that's why I never fry anything! But my Scherben turned out, so I must have grown in ability since then...sure, that must be it, right? LOL. Well, if you can bear to try frying them again, I must say a couple of these are very tasty. BTW, I could just strangle you for that toffee candy you sent to us...Matt is constantly asking if I can make that...he LOVES it. (Just kidding about the strangling part, but you have created a junkie for that...and he wants it exactly how you made it.) I have made it three times now and just yesterday, he was looking in that little white tin you sent (that's where I store it) and said, "Margot's toffee seems to be all gone...maybe you would have time to make some more?" Hmmm...sure, maybe! LOL! Actually, if he still likes it this much, I am thinking when he goes to college in 18 months, this will be a great care package. Can't thank you enough.

spike. said...

Unlucky day in the kitchen- at least the experience got you ready for doughnuts!

Tracey said...

Oh man, bummer that they didn't turn out. But hey, it's only your first attempt at frying and I'm sure the next one will be much more successful!

I figured I'd send you a link to the thermometer I use for candy/oil/etc. I've had it for over a year and really like it. My only complaint is that the base (the part that measures temp) has a bit of height so if you're trying to make a really small quantity of something, it might not reach low enough in the pot to work. Anyway, happy to discuss more if you'd like - just shoot me an email! Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/MIU-90049-Candy-Fryer-Thermometer/dp/B000JNUBUM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1263391730&sr=8-1

Teanna DiMicco said...

Oh no!!!! I am so sorry these burned! The thermometer lied to you! I must say, though, that I am very excited that these are going to be a gateway for bigger and better things (aka DOUGHNUTS!) Thank you so much for your kind words and thanks for frying along with me this week!

Sarah said...

Too bad! I'm always a little wary when making something that requires a specific temperature, as thermometers have lied to me many a time! Boil a pot of water and put your thermometer in it - it should read 212. If it doesn't, at least you will know how over or under it is. I finally did this with my thermometer and discovered that it was under by 6 degrees! I am really dying for THe Craft of Baking, can't wait to see what you make from it!

jillbert said...

Oh no! Too bad about the frying and falling on the floor problems! But it's good to hear that you're not giving up on frying. I still haven't fried anything, but like you, I'm happy to eat fried things that someone else prepares.

Flourchild said...

Sorry about the burning Scherben. I have never fried anything so Im sure I would have had a mess on my hands!

SUGAR B said...

Sorry about that!

You tried which makes you better than me because I didn't! ;)

Love your spirit!

shortbreadsouth said...

Not a good day, huh. I know if you can get the thermometer thing worked out you will have much more success.

Mimi said...

Sorry you had a less than perfect experience. I have both a Taylor and a Wilton thermometer and both work well. Checking with boiling water is always a good idea.
Mimi

Jessica said...

I'm so sorry that your scherben burned! How frustrating. I have constant thermometer anxiety when making candy and I was really stressed out about the temperature for this recipe, too.

The craft of baking is on my wish list. I'm glad to hear that it's a good cookbook! I hope you get to make some donuts -- I'd love to read about your experience making them. I'd like to try making donuts some time but I'm a little scared.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Margot, Don't worry about it - it looks as if you just left them in a little long, and that's easily fixed. And a big tick for giving deep frying a go for the first time - it always scares me somewhat, but TWD and Daring Bakers have taken me there a few times now. Mmmm, donuts ...

Megan said...

Oh man! Major bummer -

And I can't wait to see the birthday cake! Was it for your birthday? If so, happy belated birthday!

Leslie said...

How sad! I hate fails but to stink up my house with frying oil and not be successful would be the ultimate bummer. I use a Thermapen for everything and it has never let me down. Amazon sells them...they're kind of pricy but a good thermometer is worth it.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Not only burning the scherben, but dropping the dough on the floor? Oh, my, that was a difficult day in the kitchen! I'm looking forward to your experiments with your new book; that one is on my list too, but I bought too many cookbooks so will have to wait.