Monday, 28 November 2016

Mini Christmas Cakes

Christmas cakes are an integral part of the festivities for many people.  Why not make some mini Christmas cakes to give to friends and family, either as a small gesture or as part of a delicious homemade foodie hamper. 

Homemade Mini Christmas Cakes, perfect for an easy to make edible gift.

Christmas, as we all know, is the season for giving.  Though, often it can be difficult choosing gifts for loved ones who seemingly have 'everything'.  They already have more than one bottle of their favourite perfume / aftershave, a bookshelf of novels by their favourite authors, and that chunky knit woolly jumper is folded away in the draw next to their seasonal one, decorated with Santa carrying a bunch of mistletoe!

For those friends and relatives why not present them with a hamper, large or small, full of delicious goodies.  Imagine that hamper packed with homemade goodies like relishes, chutneys, biscuits, cheeses, fudge, truffles and mini Christmas Cake.  Surely a homemade gift, that you've spent time and care over, that you've made yourself with love and finished off with a  Christmassy ribbon says 'Merry Christmas, I love you' far more than any unwanted gift hurriedly picked from a department store shelf.


Thursday, 24 November 2016

Mince Pies with a Frangipane Crust

These delicious mince pies with a frangipane crust are a perfect alternative bake to the pastry rich, double crust pies usually enjoyed around Christmas time.  They're easy to make, and with shop bought pastry you'll be sat down enjoying one before you know it!

Mince pies are a much loved part of Christmas festivities.  In fact you could possibly go as far as to say that they're almost a staple treat for many households.  If Family Fortunes were to pose a question along the lines of: 'Name foods commonly associated with Christmas', then I'm more than sure that mince pies would be a popular answer nestled amongst turkey, brussel sprouts and Christmas pudding.


Monday, 21 November 2016

Cookie Monster Cupcakes with a Full Tummy!

These fun and easy to make cupcakes are perfect for children's parties, family get togethers and charity bake sales.
How to make Cookie Monster Cupcakes with a full tummy of ganache

These past few weeks has seemingly seen Cookie Monster, from Sesame Street, along with his friends Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie, and Count von Count everywhere.  They've been on tv trailers and even the One Show where Cookie Monster was a little 'upset' having had to wait for his cookie which, when he did get his jaws around it, sent crumbs all over the place!

He's even been in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen!  OK, perhaps not Cookie Monster himself, leaving crumbs in his wake, but rather in the guise of Cookie Monster Cupcakes!


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Pear, Chocolate & Spice Cake

With warming fragrant spice, crowd pleasing chocolate and naturally sweet & nutritious pears, this delicious recipe for pear cake is perfect for the chillier autumn months.  Finishing this seasonal cake with sliced pears, a glaze of apricot jam and a little chocolate ganache removes the temptation to laden it with a sugary frosting.   

A delicious pear cake made extra tasty with complementary spices and chocolate.

Like most households, I suspect, we occasionally have fruit which has been languishing in the fruit bowl for a few too many days, turning a little too soft and gradually spoiling, being passed over for those fresher, shinier more inviting pieces.

Having a couple of pears in this sorry state just last week, it was the perfect excuse to don my pinny and gather the flour and sugar from the cupboard.

This pear cake is simply finished with sliced pears, apricot jam glaze and chocolate ganache.

It would have been such a shame to dispose of those pears in the food-waste caddy just because they were a little too soft with the skin starting to brown a little.  After peeling and coring the pears, it was evident that the fruit was still very much edible.  The juicy fruit was diced and the pieces made their way into our Pear, Chocolate and Spice Cake.


Thursday, 3 November 2016

Baked Bengal Curds with Macerated Berries

With creamy cheesecake like curds, colourful berries and contrasting texture courtesy of the almond crumble, this traditional Indian dessert of Baked Bengal Curds is certainly one to try. 

Baked Bengal Curds are a traditional Indian dessert which is very easy to make.  It tastes remarkably like cheesecake.

If you're looking for an easy dessert which is perfect either as a mid-week treat or even to serve when entertaining guests then look no further, you've found it!

An easy dessert to make which is suitable for mid-week treats or perfect when entertaining guests.

All three elements of this delicious dessert, the curds, almond crumble and macerated berries, requires about 10 minutes of hands on time, which includes getting the kitchen scales out of the cupboard and weighing the ingredients, or up to 15 minutes if you're working particularly slowly!  If that's not enticement enough just check out how inviting it looks with those beautiful berries against the creamy white of the baked curds.  And the piece de resistance, for some, me included, is that this dessert tastes remarkably like cheesecake!


Monday, 31 October 2016

Three Homemade Picnic Treats (fit for a Queen?)

Whether baked for a picnic, buffet, afternoon-teatime treat or simply just because, the individual portion size of these Victoria Sponge Cakes with Chantilly Cream & Raspberry Jam, Red Currant & White Chocolate Fruit Tarts with Creme Patisserie and Caerphilly & Leek Vegetarian Sausage Rolls are sure to please. 

Three bakes suitable for picnics, buffets, afternoon tea, or just because..individual Victoria Sponge Cakes with Chantilly Cream and Raspberry Jam, Red Currant & White Chocolate Fruit Tarts with Creme Patrisserie and Caerphilly & Leek Vegetarian Sausage Rolls.

Tempus Fugit!

How time flies when you're having fun!  That certainly has been the case this past ten weeks whilst baking along with GBBO and the Great Bloggers Bake Off with Jenny over at Mummy Mishaps.  It seems such a short time ago that I attempted to make a batch of vegetarian Lime Jaffa Cakes for week 1, and now, all of a sudden, the final episode (for this series and on the beeb) has been aired crowning Candice Brown the winner of the class of 2016.

As we know, the theme for the final was 'Fit for a Queen', marking Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday year.  The three finalists were challenged with making a three tiered meringue crown in the signature, a classic Victoria Sponge in the technical and a massive 49 item bake suitable for a royal picnic in the showstopper consisting of a chocolate celebration cake, puff pastry sausage rolls, mini quiche, savoury scones and fruit & custard tarts.


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Lemon & Thyme Savarin Cake

This flavoursome lemon & thyme flavoured Savarin cake is topped with white chocolate & mascapone frosting, lemon & thyme curd, candid lemon slices and completed with spun sugar spirals.   Savarin is a light yeasted cake which once cooked is soaked with flavoured sugar syrup.

Lemon & Thyme Savarin Cake with White Chocolate & Mascapone Frosting, Lemon & Thyme Curd, Candid Lemon Slices and Spun Sugar Spirals

It's often said that we should aim to learn something new each day.  Be it a fact, a new word, or hone a skill.  Whatever it is, it's so rewarding to put those little grey cells to work to then be able to build on that another day.  Just the other day I made my first attempt at spinning sugar.  Initially the spiral shapes were nowhere near successful but eventually, after a little perseverance, the technique, although not polished, was refined.  Ok, it's not earth shattering and certainly won't solve any of the problems which face the modern world, but it was a little triumph in the world of Angela!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Printable Recipe Sheets for Blogger

Sharing how easy it is to produce printable recipe sheets for the blogger / blogspot platform and outlining a few ways in which the aesthetics of the printable can be customised to suit your own style.

How to create and customise printable recipe sheets for use in the blogger platform
Ever since launching Only Crumbs Remain on the blogger platform, I've felt that the look and feel of my recipe posts lacked 'something' when I compared them to those which use other platforms.  Those had fancy printable recipes!  They looked great!  Clearly that printable function was something which I dearly wanted to bring to my baking blog.   Finding the code for printable recipe sheets which was compatible with blogger / blogspot really wasn't as easy as I'd hoped it would be sadly.  In fact it took numerous months of on and off searching for me to eventually hit upon the right key words which brought up something suitable.  For that reason I thought it would be worth while sharing the link to the site which produces the code for the printable recipe form, but also share a few ways in which I've modified the recipe sheet, along with a few quirks to be aware of.   

So, why use printable recipe sheets?

Printable recipe sheets are great for web pages and food bloggers.  Not only do they give a more professional feel to a food blog, but they're also kinder to your reader who may want to recreate one of your recipes. 

Put yourself in the shoes of your reader.  They've found your food / baking blog, and really fancy recreating one of the recipes which you've lovingly made and shared on your blog.  The food looks enticing and delicious, and the recipe sounds straightforward too.  But without a printable recipe sheet your reader either has to:
  • copy and paste the recipe into a blank word document, to then print,
  • print the whole post (and let's face it, if you're anything like me, your reader may end up with several pages alongside the recipe!),
  • hand write the recipe, 
  • bake with their laptop / tablet / or what ever device they're using sat alongside all of the flour, pastry and butter which really isn't ideal. 

A recipe post with a printable allows your reader to simply click 'print' and hey presto a few seconds later they have your recipe in all of its glory ready to refer to when baking.  The printed recipe sheet can then be filed away for another day of baking and cooking.


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Two Vegetarian Mock Tudor Pies

This duo of savoury pies are inspired by the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire.  Firstly, inspired by the Lancashire hotpot, is a vegetarian individual pie full of flavour, texture and colour packed into a hotwater crust pastry shell.  Wensleydale Cheese inspired the Yorkshire element in the mini tarts, which sees the shortcrust pastry shells filled with a caramelised onion chutney and a simple yet flavoursome cheese sauce before being topped with breadcrumbs and more cheese. 

Inspired by the traditional dishes and produce available in Yorkshire and Lancashire are these two different savoury bakes:  Vegetarian Lancashire 'Hotpot' Individual Pie in a hotwatercrust pastry and mini Wensleydale Cheese Tarts with Caramalised Onions

Pies!  Surely the colder darker months of autumn and winter were designed simply to allow us to indulge in our love of pies in all of their delicious forms.  There are regular closed pies (or double crusted pies as our American friends refer to them), those with a lattice crust, and even open pies like tarts and flans.  There are hand raised pies, galettes, pasties and simple plate pies.  There are small dinky individual pies.  And large family pies.  There are those made with buttery puff pastry where the flakes melt in the mouth and crumbs fall down the cleavage.  There are those made with shortcrust pastry and sturdy pies made with hotwater crust.  In fact there's probably sufficient variety of pies to enable us to enjoy one every day before the Spring Equinox comes around again.  Mmmm pies!!