Some of you dear readers have confessed to getting stressed about preparing certain dishes which are tricky to cook at home. The bread sauce that was too sweet, the unsalted Spanish omelette, a curry sauce that never thickened, or jerk chicken that was underwhelmingly spicy.

Often you don’t realise your culinary boo-boo until it’s too late to correct - and the immediate reaction is to bin the offending dish and order a take-away. Hold your horses! All is not lost. Find out how your kitchen nightmare can have a happy ending.

Five magic tips to save the day

1) If your dish is too bitter…

A touch of bitterness can be a wonderful thing - for example a coffee with dessert or some dark greens in a rich dish. However, if you’ve got carried away, add some salt or sugar to balance out the flavour.

2) If your dish is too sweet…

Try adding a little lemon juice or a splash of vinegar, but don't add salt – surprisingly, it will just heighten the sweet taste.

3) If your sauce is too runny…

All you need to make that sauce thicker is to give it some time to simmer on a low heat. This allows the ingredients time to break down and cook off some of the liquid.

4) If your dish is too spicy…

Dairy will be your saviour here, so stirring in few spoons of yoghurt or sour cream will help to correct mouth-blowing heat - for instance, the chilli that went overboard.

5) If your dish is too salty…

Unfortunately, once it’s in there, there’s no getting it out, no matter how long you stare (and swear) at it. The solution? Dilute, dilute, dilute (and by that we mean add more ingredients or stock). If that doesn’t do the trick, sweetness is your next best option. Remember: salt as you go, and always taste to check.

Is there any dish that you are less than confident about cooking yourself? Let us know...