Monday, 23 January 2017

Mincemeat & Apple Galette (Free Form Pie)

This charmingly rustic galette (also known as a free-form pie) makes great use of left over sweet mincemeat.  The mixture is bulked out with apple which contains no additional sugar.  Decorated with a few slices of apple, this mincemeat & apple galette makes a lovely midweek dessert.  

How to make a mincemeat & apple galette / free form pie

Four weeks post Christmas, I can now confirm that all of our sweet mincemeat has been used!  

After the Christmas period I often find that we have half a jar, or so, of mincemeat lurking in the back of the fridge, hiding behind the yogurts and cheeses!  It sits there for days, which soon become weeks, being ignored and over looked.  Not wanting to waste it, after all there is nothing wrong with it, the question is what use with this fruity mixture.

homemade mincemeat & apple galette / free form pie recipe

In fact there are several recipes which can be rustled up with half a jar of mincemeat, most of which are a far cry from the traditional mincepie.  How do flapjacks, chocolate brownies, cupcakes or even stuffed apples grab you?  (Further into the post you will find links to 6 recipes by UK bloggers perfect for using up left over sweet mincemeat.)        


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Vegan Chocolate & Cherry Cupcakes

Whether you're taking part in Veganuary, want to make a batch of tasty vegan cupcakes for a vegan friend or relative, or are simply intrigued by egg free and vegan cake recipes, then these easy to make vegan cupcakes, flavoured with the classic combination of chocolate and cherry, are a must try.  They are super light and moist, and are topped with a vegan chocolate ganache and a fresh cherry!

Easy to make vegan Chocolate & Cherry Cupcakes

Being quite a traditional home baker eggs feature regularly in my bakes.  Whether its a simple Victoria sponge, fun cupcakes, a pastry bake or even a meringue, it's rare for eggs not to feature in my ingredient list.

Although Mr E & I have been vegetarian for more years than we care to remember, we seldom try out vegan recipes.  It's relatively straightforward to replace butter, milk and cream in a recipe - but eggs are a different matter.  Imagine baking a Victoria Sponge or attempting a genoise cake without eggs!  As a traditional baker the thought leaves me in a bit of a spin to be honest!

Hen eggs

Back in November, regular readers of Only Crumbs Remain may recall our Pear Chocolate and Spice Cake which had started out with the plan of being a vegan cake, well that was the intention on the drawing board!  However my chosen egg replacer, chia seeds, had proved to be difficult, near impossible, to grind with a pestle & mortar (not being in possession of a spice or coffee grinder) and so after an hour of pounding those pesky little seeds I cracked and added eggs to the mixture instead! Literally!


Friday, 6 January 2017

Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil & Bacon Soup

A delicious, hearty & nutritious soup containing easily sourced frugal ingredients and chunks of vegetarian bacon!  To bring further texture and interest to the soup,  it can either be served with more crispy meat-free Quorn bacon pieces or croutons.

Homemade Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil & Bacon Soup recipe, made with Quorn meat free bacon

Soup is a perfect quick meal for those cold and frosty winter days.  Homemade soup recipes are nutritious, quick and easy to make.  Not only are they perfect for using up any left over vegetables, grains and even pasta from the previous day, but such recipes can easily be scaled up for the surplus to be portioned up and stored in the fridge or freezer for another day.

This Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil and Bacon Soup is perfect for those chillier days.  Imagine returning home from a walk when the ground beneath your feet is frosty and cold and the northerly breeze makes the air feel even colder!  Brrrrr!  Chilly!  Within ten minutes, if there's a batch stored in the fridge, you could be sat down cradling a bowl of thick hearty vegetarian soup, perhaps served with some crusty bread, enjoying the warmth as it returns to the extremities.


Saturday, 31 December 2016

Best Bakes 2016

Looking back at the popular best bakes on Only Crumbs Remain during 2016.

Best Bakes 2016 on Only Crumbs Remain
2017 is creeping upon us and with that comes the excitement and anticipation of what the new year will hold.  It's also a traditional time to cast our minds back over the previous 12 months, allowing us to remember the highlights of 2016.  So, with that in mind I thought it would be interesting to look back through the recipes on Only Crumbs Remain and share the 10 best bakes of 2016, according to statistics, but also a few of our personal favourites.

So without further ado, here are Only Crumbs Remain's Top 10 Best Bakes of 2016!   In many ways, these bakes have been chosen by you, the reader, and so really are the most popular bakes!  If you find yourself tempted by one of these recipes, just click the on the green recipe name!

Vegetarian chicken and Leek Pie

So starting off our best bakes countdown are these delicious vegetarian chicken and leek pies.  These were such a winner for Mr E & I with the robust vegetarian hot water crust pastry filled with a creamy sauce containing a quorn chicken substitute and leeks.  These pies were packed with a delicious and easy to make filling meaning they were far more satisfying than many shop bought versions which seem to be predominantly filled with air!

Apple Roses with a Cream Cheese Pastry

Aren't they pretty!  And they're such a perfect bake for Valentine's Day.  Or perhaps Mother's day, or even just because!   It's amazing how a little bit of pastry and a couple of apples can produce such an effective, and of course delicious, bake!  The majority of the apple roses I saw over on Pinterest, which inspired this bake, were made with shop bought puff pastry, a pastry I enjoy along with the next person.  But having thoroughly enjoyed some Rugelach which had been made with a cream cheese pastry just a couple of months before, I chose to ring the changes and use a different pastry.


Friday, 23 December 2016

Chestnut & Chocolate Meringue Sandwiches

Based on the classic Mont Blanc dessert, these small & dainty meringue sandwiches include chocolate, chestnuts and cream to create a moreish homemade treat perfect for the party season
These Chestnut & Chocolate Meringue Sandwiches are very moreish and perfect for the party season.

From being a child, one of the regular foods we would graze upon during the colder months was Chestnuts.  Mum and Dad would buy them fresh in the red coloured nets from the local greengrocer or supermarket from bonfire night through to the Christmas season.  Invariably it was Dad who would prepare them for being roasted in the oven by slashing their shell with a sharp knife, a task back then that I was understandably not allowed to do.

Those chestnuts were delicious.  Warm, sweet, nutty and flavoursome.  Somehow they always seemed such a treat as we ate them together by the fire.  And yet, even though we had them frequently, we never used sweet chestnuts in a recipe, sweet or savoury.   So, over these past couple of years I've began to include this popular nut in some of our seasonal meals, such as in this Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash and recently a Vegetarian Christmas Plait.

How to make Chestnut and Chocolate Meringue Sandwiches

Chestnuts, being naturally sweet and nutty, lend themselves to bakes and desserts too.  Our Chestnut and Chocolate Meringue Sandwiches are loosely based on the classic Mont Blanc, but being dainty in size they are perfect for the party season.  They'd be great piled high on a small serving plate or cake stand for guests to help themselves as they mingle and enjoy the festivities of Christmas and the New Year celebrations.


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Homemade Cherry & Almond Fudge

This delicious homemade fudge, with its two tone colour scheme, is flavoured with almond extract, toasted flaked almonds and cherries.  It is reminiscent of the classic Bakewell Tart, though in the form of fudge!

Homemade Cherry & Almond Fudge, with flavours reminiscent of Bakewell Tart

If you're a fan of Bakewell Tart, then you're going to absolutely adore this homemade fudge recipe!

The clear almond flavour comes through beautifully courtesy of the extract added to the mixture and the toasted flaked almonds on top, which also bring a lovely contrast in texture.  And as for the cherries....oh my!  They're good!  Really good!!


Saturday, 17 December 2016

Vegetarian Christmas Plait

A tasty & easy to make vegetarian savoury plait, which is packed with a variety of vegetable proteins.  It is delicious served both warm as a main meal with a medley of vegetables or cold in a buffet spread.

Packed with beans, chestnuts, caramalised onions, cheese and cranberries these Vegetarian Christmas Plaits make a delicious meatfree option.

If you're still undecided what to make as a meat free choice for any vegetarian guests which may be visiting this Christmas, how about this meat free Christmas Plait.  Not only does it look inviting, it's also straightforward to make and most important of all it tastes absolutely amazing!

This Vegetarian Christmas Plait consists of delicious buttery, flaky, puff pastry which houses a mixture of good vegetarian proteins:  mixed beans, two cheeses, and chestnuts.  These flavours and textures are supported with the addition of caramelised onions, cranberries and seasoning.  Every mouthful is  different.  In some you will come across the saltiness of the feta cheese, in others there will be the fruitiness of the cranberries.  There are also delicious notes from the caramelised onions and texture courtesy of the beans and chestnuts.  


Thursday, 15 December 2016

Chocolate Brownies with Mincemeat

This brownie recipe is a delicious & indulgent way of creating something new with sweet mincemeat, and a great way of using up half a jar of the seasonal fruity mixture which may be lurking in the back of the fridge!

Christmas Chocolate Brownies with mincemeat are a delicious way of using up half used jars of this seasonal fruity mixture.

Chocolate Brownies.  They're fudgey.  They're rich.  They're chocolatey.  They're indulgent!  I ask you, what's not to like?!

Brownies are not only incredibly quick and easy to make, but they lend themselves nicely to having a few 'extras' added to the mixture.  Often this popular chocolatey tray bake include nuts of some sort - walnuts, almonds, macadamia for instance.   But have you ever tried it with mincemeat?  Sweet mincemeat that is, the sort which flies off the supermarket shelves at this time of year for those essential mince pies!


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Christmas Fudge

Packed with Christmas flavours of cranberries, cinnamon, mixed spice & orange, this delicious Christmas fudge is finished with holly sprinkles to make a pretty and edible homemade gift for loved ones.

A fudge perfect for Christmas having been flavoured with cinnamon, mixed spice, cranberries, orange extract and topped with holly sprinkles.

Recently, it seems as though I've been on a bit of a fudge fest in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen.  Our Raspberry and White Chocolate Fudge was loved by friends and family so much that they asked us to make more.  More!  Unlike poor Oliver, who was shouted down by Mr Bumble with a bellowing "More!!!", we obliged and donned our apron to stir another batch of hot molten sugar.

Homemade Raspberry and White Chocolate Fudge
Now, if you're anything like me, your mind will wander whilst constantly stirring the contents of a pan!  Perhaps the act of stirring, stirring and stirring some more is partially hypnotic, who knows, but a recent batch of homemade fudge had me dreaming up different flavour combinations which could be introduced into this sweet confectionery.   Amongst those flavours was this Christmas fudge, though you'll have to show a little patience for the other ideas!  So as not to miss out on the amazing flavour combinations to come, why not subscribe to Only Crumbs Remain by entering your e-mail address in the box on the right hand side!😊

Our most recent homemade fudge recipe sings out 'Christmas' loud and clear.   This seasonal festive fudge is not only spiced with warming cinnamon and mixed spice, studded with cranberries and other mixed fruits, and contains a hint of orange extract, but the fudge pieces are topped with pretty holly sprinkles!