Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Beetroot & Chocolate Cupcakes

An easy to make beetroot and chocolate muffin style cupcake, which is just as delicious with or without the vibrant pink beetroot frosting.  These cupcakes are beautifully moist, and are punctuated with chocolate chips.  They're perfect for sneaking a little extra nutrition into our diets. 

Recipe for Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes

Although beetroot and chocolate cakes have been on my radar for a number of years, I have to confess that until now I've never tried them.  It's not that I was never sufficiently enticed by the idea of using beetroot in a cake, after all carrots work beautifully in them, but given that Mr E doesn't care for beetroot (he even declined my recent Beetroot & Lentil Pie in favour of Homity Pie!) so a large cake just for me seemed a little bit excessive.

How to make Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes

Logic eventually prevailed and my desire to try a beetroot and chocolate cake, morphed into cupcakes. Cupcakes are, of course, the perfect compromise as far as cake is concerned.  Even though cupcakes often don't have the same head turning qualities as a cake often has, cupcakes are quicker to bake, and of course any surplus can easily be frozen (without any frosting) with no spoiling effects (not that these beetroot and chocolate cupcakes had chance to be frozen, they were soon devoured ๐Ÿ˜‰).

Using beetroot in baking

This beetroot and chocolate cupcake recipe, is quick and easy (though it does take a little longer if you choose to use fresh beetroot, as we did, rather than vac packed beets).  It's almost as quick as an all-in-one batter once the beetroot is pureed.  There's no creaming or folding.  Just good old mixing!
 
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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Raspberry & White Chocolate Mini Trifles

Flavoured with the popular combination of raspberry & white chocolate, these individual trifles are not only elegant and eye catching but are also a perfect dessert for dinner parties.  They're ideal regardless of the number of guests.

How to make raspberry & white chocolate mini trifles, perfect for dinner party desserts

Trifles have a very special place in my heart.  They bring back such fond happy memories of spending Sundays with Grandma when my brother and I were young.  Each week she would make us Sunday lunch, sometimes it would be a roast beef with amazing Yorkshire Puddings and other times it would be a simple salad.  But regardless of the main meal she would always treat us to a fruit trifle for dessert.

Not that Grandma was a one recipe wonder, far from it.  It was simply a case of making what was popular.  Trifle, with its soft sponge, tasty fruit, wobbly jelly, vanilla custard and rich cream, is undoubtedly a family favourite of ours.  And of course the squelch, as the spoon is lifted with the first portion from the trifle bowl, never failed to produce lots of hilarity and giggles!
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Lemon Drizzle Olive Oil Cake

This lemon drizzle cake, made with olive oil in place of the usual butter, is perfect for a mid-afternoon treat.  What it lacks in aesthetic qualities it makes up for with flavour and lightness.

How to make a Lemon Drizzle Olive Oil Cake

I have to admit that baking is hardly the healthiest of pastimes, with all of that butter, cream and sugar, and the calories associated with it it's hardly diet food.   And of course being a food blogger, and one who predominantly bakes cupcakes, cakes and pastries, not to mention the occasional batch of fudge, it'd be easy to allow the pounds to pile on and the waistline increase!  Thankfully Mr E and I have some great neighbours, not to mention family and friends, who are happy to try our bakes ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Of course we often make smaller batches too and bake 'just' a couple of times a week, but recently I've found it fun to temper the 'naughtiness' by substituting the butter with olive oil.  Regulars to Only Crumbs Remain may recall the pastries of our Vegan Beetroot & Lentil Pie, Apple Rose Tart and Pear and Almond Tart were made with oil rather than butter with great success.
  
Vegan Beetroot and Lentil Pie recipe How to make an apple rose tart. A classic pear and almond tart recipe.

Having enjoyed a handful of pies and tarts made with oil, it seemed logical to try an olive oil cake as well.  Not only did lemon seem to be the appropriate addition to work alongside the characteristic flavour of olive oil, it's most probably my favourite cake flavour too.  Even above chocolate cake!  So allow me to introduce you to our Lemon Drizzle Olive Oil Cake.

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Friday, 5 May 2017

Rhubarb & Strawberry Meringue Cupcakes

These Rhubarb & Strawberry Meringue Cupcakes are a delicious and pretty twist on the classic Lemon Meringue Pie.  The slightly sharp curd filling contrasts beautifully with the sweet marshmallowy Italian meringue.

How to make Rhubarb and Strawberry Meringue Cupcakes, made with Italian meringue

If you're looking for a special cupcake which is as delicious as it looks then you've come to the right place!  Allow me to introduce you to this scrumptious rhubarb and strawberry curd filled cupcake topped with a swirl of marshmallowy Italian meringue.
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Sunday, 30 April 2017

Chocolate Orange Magic Cake

Wow family and friends with this chocolate orange magic cake, a tray bake style bake, which is equally delicious as it is interesting.  Magic cakes are relatively easy to make, using one batter to produce a cake with three layers.

A magic cake recipe, a relatively simple cake made with one batter to produce a three layered cake.

One batter.  One cake.  Abracadabra.  Three layers.  It's a magic cake!
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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Pear & Almond Tart

With a classic flavour combination, this Pear and Almond Tart not only looks inviting but also tastes amazing.  This frangipane tart, which was glazed with a little apricot jam to produce a wonderful sheen to the bake, was made to mark #BakeACakeForBowelCancerAwarenessMonth.

Pear and Almond Tart recipe

Cancer.  It's a word which conjures fear and dread in the vast majority of us.  Being a disease which can affect any part of our body, it's something which most of us will be familiar with, either having experienced it ourselves or through having a family member or friend who's been affected by it.

Now, I don't often talk about melancholic subjects here on Only Crumbs Remain, after all it is a baking blog.  But when I learnt that April is Be a Star, Bake a Cake for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month I knew instantly that I wanted to embrace it here on the blog.

It's the fourth most common cancer in the UK (and the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK) with over 41,000 people being diagnosed with it each year.   That's 1 in 14 men, and 1 in 19 women. (Information from Bowel Cancer UK).

One of those people was my dad.

17 years ago, back in spring of 2000, we received the news nobody wants to hear.  Dad needed major surgery and 6 months of chemo.  It was a difficult time for all of us, but especially for dad, clearly.  But due to the fantastic skill of the surgeons, oncologists, strength of body (he was only in his early 50's at the time) and mind and a lot of TLC, he came through it.

Happily he's still with us to tell the tale.     
  
How to make a classic pear and almond tart

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Coffee & Walnut Fudge

This homemade Coffee & Walnut Fudge recipe is far from shy and retiring.  It's robust, packed with flavour, and the coffee flavour cuts through the sweetness of the confectionery beautifully.  It's a great alternative fudge flavour! 

Coffee and Walnut Fudge Recipe

I think it's fair to say that I've gone slightly fudge mad in recent months!   There's been quite a foray into the world of homemade fudge here in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen.

And why not when it tastes oh so good, is relatively easy to make and lends it's self incredibly well to being the carrier for a host of different flavour combinations.  And if that wasn't enough, let me tell you that friends and family will be your bestest friends ever (bestest ever I tell you ๐Ÿ˜‰) when you share your creation ..... that's assuming you're prepared to share!

How to make Coffee and Walnut Fudge

Just last week another batch was sliced into with Mr E commenting how much more flavoursome it is than shop bought fudge. I openly admit that I used to love treating myself to the occasional bag of shop bought mass produced fudge.  Invariably I would opt for a vanilla fudge, and yes that shop bought fudge was nice.   But since making our own we can honestly say that homemade fudge is far far tastier than the mass produced stuff.

Homemade fudge carries so much flavour!  And this homemade Coffee and Walnut Fudge is definitely no exception.

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Side-by-Side Baking - Meringues

If you've ever wondered if  frozen egg whites produce a better meringue than a fresh, or even pasteurised one, then keep on reading.  In this side-by-side comparison bake I look at meringues, comparing egg whites in four different states to determine if one is better than the other.

A meringue baking comparison, looking at fresh, frozen and pasturised egg whites.

Regulars to Only Crumbs Remain may recall our Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Cake, I know we recall it not least because it was absolutely delicious!  With the numerous egg whites left over from the creme patisserie, meringues seemed to be a bake not far on the horizon.  However, being a little short of time, and conscious that we had a wonderful cake to keep our sweet tooth happy, the egg whites were popped into the freezer for another day.
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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Raspberry & White Chocolate Meringue Kisses

These Raspberry & White Chocolate Meringue Kisses are as delicious as they are pretty, combining a popular flavour combination which works so well accompanied with meringues.      
   
Raspberry & White Chocolate Meringue Kisses recipe, perfect for a summer party.

These pretty little raspberry & white chocolate meringue kisses came about after carrying out a side-by-side-baking comparison this past week.  The four way look at meringues left me with masses of meringue kisses, which I clearly needed to use in some way.

The dainty shape of these meringues certainly lent themselves to being combined with some good flavours as well as a feminine and girlie colour.  And surely there's no colour more girlie than pink! 

A handful of a few fresh raspberries crushed into some whipped double cream created the perfect shade of pink for sandwiching together these lovely meringue kisses.  And the white chocolate not only complemented the raspberries perfectly, but also helped to protect the meringues from spoiling quickly from the moisture of the raspberry flavoured cream.  

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