Saturday, 18 November 2017

Christmas Robin Cupcakes

These fun Christmas robin cupcakes are perfect for the festivities ahead.  They're super easy to make, largely being shaped with a plain round cookie cutter, making them a fun bake for children to help with.

How to make Christmas Robin Cupcakes

It's almost 5 weeks until Christmas and my thoughts are certainly turning towards all of the fun and delicious treats which are so abundant at this time of year.

I have lots of great Christmas themed recipe ideas that I'm looking forward to sharing with you over the coming weeks as we creep ever closer to the festivities.  You can look forward to a tutorial for decorating your own Christmas cake, homemade confectionery ideas which are great boxed up as small gifts to family, friends, and neighbours, and even a surprise inside cake, along with lots of other ideas too!  I just hope I find enough hours in the day to share all of the recipes with you!

Cupcakes perfect for the Christmas festivities

To start things off, my first Christmas recipe for the year are these fun Christmas Robin Cupcakes!


Sunday, 12 November 2017

Brussel, Quinoa & Sweet Potato Cakes + Review

This recipe for Brussel, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes is super easy, nutritious and tasty.  The recipe, a modern twist on the humble bubble & squeak,  is perfect for the colder months of autumn and winter, and comes courtesy of Jo Pratt's new book The Flexible Vegetarian which is suitable for vegetarians and omnivores alike! 

I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase 'a change is as good as a rest', well that's just how I feel about a new recipe book, *The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt, that I was gifted recently.   I guess like most households it's so easy to get stuck in a rut with meal times and some fresh inspiration is often called for.

Jo's book is certainly doing that!  There's plenty of inspiration with over 170 pages of varied vegetarian recipes that are so beautifully photographed.  It's certainly helped Mr E & I switch up our weekly meal plans.

The great thing about Jo's book lies behind the title, The Flexible Vegetarian.   Not only are Jo's recipes written for vegetarians, which is perfect for Mr E & I, but she helpfully provides suggestions for adding a meat or fish element to the vast majority of her recipes.  It surely makes it the one-stop recipe book for both vegetarians and omnivores who are looking to reduce their meat intake.


Monday, 6 November 2017

Iced Almond Biscuits

The icing used to decorate these tasty Almond Iced Biscuits is made with natural colours.  Two jams, raspberry and blackcurrant, helped to create the pretty 3 colour scheme making these biscuits both effective and delicious.  Icing biscuits is a fun activity for children (& adults!).   

How to make Iced biscuits with an additive free icing


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Baking Crumbs - November 2017

Welcome to November's #BakingCrumbs linky!  This is the place for bloggers to share their baking recipes, and non-bloggers to find new recipes to whet their appetite.  This post contains a full round up of October's bakes and I also highlight what I made from the collection!   

#BakingCrumbs October roundup

Already we're into November, which not only means I can begin thinking about how I'm going to celebrate my birthday, but it also means the start of a new #BakingCrumbs linky and a look back at the amazing treats and bakes shared by some fabulous bloggers during October.

Last month saw an a huge 29 recipes linked up to the #BakingCrumbs linky.  Yes 29!  That's so amazing considering it's  such a new linky!  Thank you so much to everybody who linked up and shared the baking fun. 😊

Baking Crumbs Facebook Group!

To continue with the baking fun I've opened a new FaceBook group called 'Baking Crumbs' which you're welcome to join!  And no, you don't have to be a blogger to join in the baking fun!  Here you can share images of your recent bakes (successful & perhaps less so), ask fellow members for advice on baking techniques & ingredients and even share the joy of a new product which has improved your baking exploits!

Back to October's bakes!

It's perhaps no surprise that we saw many amazing seasonal recipes linked up in October.  There were many pumpkin recipes (perfect if you've got some pulp to use following your Halloween mischief), some warming recipes which will be great for bonfire night and let's not forget the scary Halloween bakes which I must encourage you to 'pin' ready for next year's mischief! 

Although GBBO came to an exciting finale last night, which means that 'the blogger's bake along' will finish for another year, I am envisiging some inspiring Christmas bakes starting to be shared soon! With that in mind I'm more than happy, if you're a blogger, for you to continue linking up to 3 recipes per month.

And if you're not a blogger, do check out the bakes which whet your appetite by simply clicking on the recipe title in green!  You can also find out about the recipes linked up this month by clicking on the thumbnail images in this month's 'linky' towards the bottom of the post.   

4 Halloween Bakes

So, yes, Halloween has passed for another year but there's nothing stopping you from pinning these great bakes for next year's inspiration!

Fun Halloween bakes
(clockwise from top left)
  • Don't you just adore the ghost topping Kate's gluten free Pumpkin Mini Rolls!  I just want to call him Casper (remember that cute friendly ghost character?!)  Kate's bake sounds gorgeous, and relatively easy too, with the lovely warming spices of cinnamon, ginger and all spice.
  • Kat's Slime Cupcakes really do look the part with their creepy eyes, and green 'toxic' buttercream ... they're also filled with a 'radiocative slime'!   Scary ... but yummy! 
  • How much fun is Monika's Pumpkin Ricotta Cake, decorated simply with icing sugar as a Jack-o'-lantern.  Though I must add this cake is more than just a bit of fun, it sounds delicious with the addition of spices, ricotta for that cheesecake type of vibe and a great way of using pumpkin. 
  • These Blackcurrant & Liquorice Spider Cupcakes, made by myself in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen are super easy to make.  The blackcurrant cupcakes are topped with a 'scary' liquorice legged spider! 

4 Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin recipes
(clockwise from top left)
  • Steamed puddings are a must for the autumn and winter months, and Jo who blogs at Jo's Kitchen Larder has created this family favourite with some wonderful flavours to create a Pumpkin & Plum Conserve Steamed Pudding!   Do check out her recipe where she shares some great tips if your new to making your own steamed puddings.
  • If you're looking for recipes to use up pumpkin puree, how about in Monika's Dairy Free Pumpkin Brownies?   She cleverly marbled the pumpkin mixture into the brownie batter which not only creates extra interest when it's sliced into but allows each flavour to sing!  
  • Three words to describe Jo's Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins with Plum Jam:  Autumn.  Easy. Yummy.  
  • I'm a huge fan of dates in baked treats, they bring so much flavour and natural sweetness!  Debbie incrorporated a generous handful in her Spiced Pumpkin Muffins with Dates and Coconut Sugar which must have been so good with the warming spice and pumpkin.


Monday, 30 October 2017

Raspberry & White Chocolate Profiteroles

These raspberry and white chocolate profiteroles are a delicious treat for afternoon tea!  With hints and tips for making your own choux pastry, this profiterole recipe is filled with a white chocolate creme patissiere, glazed with a pretty pink raspberry icing and finished with a sprinkling of freeze dried raspberries.

Raspberry & White Chocolate Profiteroles

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Date Tart with a Lattice Crust

This Date Tart recipe finished with a lattice crust is complemented by apricots, orange and ginger! Not only is it incredibly delicious, it's also easy to make, and once you've watched our quick video you'll be building your lattice crust with confidence!

How to make a lattice crust pie filled with dates, apricots, ginger and orange.

Continuing with my antics of baking along with the Great British Bake Off, this week we were inspired by the Technical Bake of Rum Nicky, one of the three forgotten bakes that were featured.  But not being a fan of rum, and knowing that orange complements the other principal ingredients of date, apricot and ginger really well our Rum Nicky became a 'No-Rum Nicky'!

Lattice Crust Pie recipe

Of course, being alcohol free, this date tart becomes a delicious after dinner treat that the whole family can enjoy.  In fact it reminds me in many ways of a simple date slice my Mum used to make for us when we were young.  It was simply scrummy, but the Date Tart recipe that I'm sharing with you today is certainly a little more elegant with its lattice crust and the addition of a few dried apricots and a sprinkling of chopped ginger.

Just imagine cutting a slice of this wonderful Date Tart, decorated with its lattice crust, and serving it slightly warm with a pouring cream!  Yum!

Date Tart with a Lattice Crust Date Tart with a Lattice Crust Date Tart with a Lattice Crust

How to build a lattice crust.


Friday, 20 October 2017

Blackcurrant & Liquorice Spider Cupcakes

This fun cupcake recipe is perfect for Halloween parties.  Using the scary spider as the inspiration these cupcakes are topped with a cute homemade spider with liquorice legs atop of a yummy blackcurrant cupcake.

Fun Halloween Cupcakes, decorated with an easy homemade spider!


Halloween is just around the corner bringing with it all the fun of ghosts and ghouls, goblins & witches, mummies and vampires .... and let's not forget about all of the creative yummy food to be had at Halloween parties too!

In fact, for many, Halloween marks the start of such a delicious time of year where food is concerned.  Soon after Halloween we have bonfire night with treats like treacle toffee & gingerbread cakes,  and then there's the exciting (though often manic) run up to Christmas and the new year where tables groan under the weight of festive foods from Christmas Cakes and trifles like this freestanding raspberry & glitter trifle which would be a perfect centre piece, to mince pies and stollen.  The list is endless!


Sunday, 15 October 2017


Sfogliatelle is a challenging Italian bake, also known as Lobster Tails.  Paper thin layers of pastry dough are shaped and filled with a delicious ricotta mixture which is often flavoured with orange & cinnamon.

Homemade Sfogliatelle, also known as Lobster Tails.

GBBO's Italian week, saw the bakers make a batch of sfogliatelle in the tent along with cannoli and a margarita pizza.  Continuing to bake along with the Great Bloggers Bake Off I found homemade pizza, as delicious as it is, a little underwhelming, and cannoli somewhat scary with the thought of creating a makeshift fryer!  And yet strangely enough I was excited to tackle the Sfogliatelle showstopper bake which Mr blue-eyes himself admitted he found difficult.    

Homemade Sfogliatelle, also known as Lobster Tails.

I must either LOVE baking or be an absolute fool to try and make a batch of Sfogliatelle, but I was so captivated by the amazing paper thin layers that were formed, the fun 'lobster tail' shape and of course the delicious ricotta filling!    

How difficult could they be?


Monday, 9 October 2017

Spiced Blackberry & Pear Lattice Crust Pie

This homemade pie is decorative as well as delicious.  Using lightly spiced seasonal fruits, this Blackberry & Pear Lattice Crust Pie is low in refined sugar, easy to make and equally good served with custard, cream or ice cream. 

How to make a lattice crust pie

I'll be honest, my baking antics in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen didn't quite run to plan this week.  'The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry', as John Steinbeck wrote, seems such an appropriate phrase.

Continuing on with my GBBO 'bake along' antics, I knew that I wanted to give Portuguese Tarts a try as soon as I realised that the remaining bakers would be tackling them in 'the tent'.  It seemed to be the perfect bake for us to attempt particularly because each week, when I visit my parents, we share a pack of (dare I say shop bought!) egg custards.  

Having never tried, let alone made, the Portuguese counterpart to our English egg custard, I scoured my recipe books and made a batch of Portuguese Tarts from scratch which we chose to customise with a swirl of melted chocolate!   Although unplanned, they look pretty perfect for Halloween celebrations in my mind!  

Portuguese custard tarts finished with a custard swirl.

But, and here lies the rub, despite looking great they just didn't seem 'right' despite using a recipe from a reliable source.  It may have been something to do with folding meringue into the custard mixture just before being baked, which, had I watched the episode more closely and listened to my instincts I may have spent more time in trying to find another recipe!  Being a huge fan of custards it'll be a bake I return to in the future, and baking along with the Great Bloggers Bake Along I have a collection of Portuguese Tart recipes to turn to, such as these Portuguese Custard Tarts Made Easy from my blogging buddy Jacqui!

So, getting to the point, our planned GBBO inspired bake this week wasn't good enough to share with you and so we took inspiration from the Signature Challenge of decorative savoury pies.  And I'm sure the observant amongst you will be saying, "but that's not a savoury pie!"  This is true, but having some blackberries and pears which were needing to be used it seemed more appropriate to put the fruit to good use and produce a sweet decorative pie instead.

Filled with autumn fruits this Spiced Blackberry & Pear Lattice Crust Pie is perfect comfort food.

Now, although I say 'sweet' this homemade lattice crust pie contains relatively little added sugar simply because it really doesn't call for it.  All of the fruit used in this pie (blackberries, pears and an apple), is the sort that can be eaten straight out of the fruit bowl and is therefore sweet enough. So other than a little icing sugar used in the pastry and a sprinkling of caster (or granulated) sugar over the pastry lattice crust, the vast majority of the sugar in this bake is perhaps what you would describe as being 'natural'.