Monday, 29 February 2016

Spelt & Sheep's Cheese Pizza

A delicious & straightforward homemade pizza.  The base is made from spelt flour before being topped with sheep's cheese and succulent strips of  yellow pepper.


Homemade pizza is a winning meal for Mr E & I.  Easy to make, comforting, delicious, stringy cheese, topped with our favourite flavours, what's not to like?   Whether it's a simple margarita with tomatoes & mozzarella, a feta topped pizza with pesto or even one with butternut squash, goats' cheese and thyme; we regularly choose to make our own.

For the past couple of years we've loved making our own pizza bases.   They're delicious and so easy to make.  After a quick mini-workout of kneading, the dough is set aside to allow the yeast to work its magic.  In fact, I often make our dough in the morning and allow it to prove for several hours in the fridge.  It sounds strange, I know, as most recipes call for bread / pizza dough to be proved at room temperature for an hour or so, but by popping the covered dough in the fridge and forgetting about it for a few hours more flavour is allowed to develop resulting in an even tastier pizza!  Half an hour before you're ready to eat, simply remove the dough from the fridge, shape it, top it and bake it! 

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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Side-by-Side Baking - Pikelets

Using store cupboard ingredients, pikelets are a historic bake being a thinner version of the familiar crumpet.  They are very easy to make resulting in a delicious breakfast or brunch!

Pikelets, made from a yeasted mixture

Some years ago I became the custodian of a group of seven or eight old family photographs.  The images, now over 100 years old, are fabulous and predominately show my great-grandfather in his Royal Garrison Artillery uniform with his medals pinned to his chest.  Most of the card images are taken in studios with peers alongside, but there are a couple which, to us, are even more interesting.   One shows him with colleagues in, what we imagine to be, India with a native gentleman sat upon an elephant whilst the photographer captured the moment.  Arguably the best photograph in our collection is a large canvas of, what we believe to be, James' wedding.  He sits in his military uniform whilst his new bride stands alongside in her heavy dress and wide brimmed hat.  It's a beautiful picture and fascinating on so many levels.

Family photograph over 100 yr old Family photograph over 100 yr old

Family photograph over 100 yr old

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Thursday, 18 February 2016

Lemon & Cardamom Mini Bundt Cakes

Lightly flavoured with cardamom and lemon, these easy to make mini bundt cakes are not only a scrumptious treat but are also kinder to the waistline by being noticeably smaller than a muffin sized bun!

Lemon & Cardamom Mini Bundt Cakes

I really do have a fondness for the aesthetics of bundt cakes, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing people's creations during the festive season on Twitter.  Their varied patterning always comes through beautifully once the bake is turned out from the pan.  And yet, I have only recently become the proud owner of two bundt moulds.  One is a traditional large tin and the other is a silicone mould for baking six mini bundt cakes.   These mini bundt moulds are so darn cute, I really don't know why it's taken me so long to purchase some.

A little heads-up for you now........
We love these mini bundt moulds so much that we have in fact bought another one!  It's identical to the silicone one I used for this bake.  The additional mould is going to sit alongside some other items in a little giveaway which we shall be running soon to celebrate the fact that Only Crumbs Remain will be celebrating its first birthday! (Wow, how's that happened!)  There'll be 13 different items perfect for either the new or keen baker and as such we are calling the giveaway The Baker's Baking Bundle!  So stay tuned and watch this space!!  And to avoid missing any posts, including the forthcoming give away, why not subscribe to Only Crumbs Remain, in the box on the right.  You can unsubscribe at any point, though I'd obviously prefer it if you didn't, and you will only receive, via e-mail, the most up to date post I have issued ie/ no spam!   
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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Squash, Quinoa & Goats Cheese Salad

A nutritious, healthy and satisfying warm salad, which is easy to pull together, consisting of roasted butternut squash, goats' cheese & quinoa.

A warm salad of Butternut Squash, Quinoa & Goats' Cheese

Firstly, can I apologise for the really dismal photos, the sun was already sinking below the horizon line by the time I came to dress the plate.  Thankfully, the days are now lengthening so images of evening meals should, in theory, improve!
So, onto the recipe....After making our Spelt & Quinoa Bread, which I shared recently, I was left with half a bag of pre-cooked quinoa seeds.  Now, being a thrifty Yorkshire lass, I clearly didn't want to waste good food and so decided to use them in a warm salad consisting of roasted butternut squash, crumbly goats' cheese with a generous scattering of the slightly nutty red and white seeds.
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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

A Dozen Apple Roses

With thinly sliced apple and a dash of cinnamon rolled in a scrumptious cream cheese pastry, these apple roses are not only incredibly effective but also really delicious, making them perfect to share with your sweetheart this Valentine's Day.  Though they'd be fabulous for any occasion!  

A Dozen Apple Roses

Over the years I've really developed a love of flowers and plants in general.  I adore their varied shapes and form, their beautiful colours and if the flower has a delicious scent I am completely sold.  As a child our garden was laid to lawn which was great, allowing us kids to run around and burn off all of that excess energy, but since Mr E & I bought our own home I've loved shoe-horning plants into our small front garden and watching them burst through the soil in spring and almost grow before our eyes as the days lengthen and the temperature warms.  My favourite shrub in the garden is our Magnolia Stellata with its delicate, papery, white, star-like flowers which blooms in early spring, but running a close second is the wonderful rose, especially the older varieties with their delicious scent. 


Beautiful Flowers: Magnolia Stellata, Rose, Snow Drops, Rose, Rose
Images courtesy of Pixabay
After stumbling across images of Apple Roses on Pinterest a few months ago I was completely taken by how pretty they were.  Not only were they edible and made largely of pastry, a baking skill I adore, they were also so incredibly effective.  I mean, they really do look like roses, having opened from their tight bud to show off their stamens and waft their scent around! 
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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Risotto & Mozzarella Croquettes

Consisting of starchy rice, earthy mushrooms and stringy mozzarella, these scrumptious and easy to make croquettes are just perfect for using up any excess risotto you may have.

Mushroom Risottoe & Mozzarella Croquettes

I came across risotto balls a number of years ago after watching a baking programme hosted by Rosemary Shrager.  Small amounts of chilled starchy risotto was balled and bread-crumbed before being fried off and served.  I recall making them for a small family buffet we hosted that Christmas;  they went down a storm.  Guests wanted to know how they were made and were pleasantly surprised to learn how easy it was.

Since that day it occurred to me that it would be fabulous to include some nice cheese in their centres.   Perhaps what better cheese to use than an easily sourced mozzarella with its beautifully stretchy and stringy nature as it heats!  Yum!   I decided to use mozzarella pearls in these croquettes as they were the perfect size, but should you struggle to source these you could try using mozzarella chunks cut from the usual balls or even compress a spoonful of the grated cheese to create a small ball.
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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Valentine's Day Brownies

With its paper thin crust, fudgey centre, rich chocolate, & hidden soft toffee chunks, these wonderful brownies are certainly going to be a big hit with your sweetheart this year!

Rich Chocolate Brownies containing hidden rolos

I'm sure I don't need to give any introduction to chocolate brownies: soft, fudgey, chocolatey, rich....simply heaven on a plate!

As Valentine's Day is fast approaching I thought that a simple brownie recipe would be the perfect nod to it, providing a lovely, easy, recipe suitable for sharing with your sweetheart.  After all, chocolate is synonymous with Valentine's Day alongside roses and teddies.

But these are a little more than a simple chocolate brownies as they each hide a little surprise in their centres!
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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Spelt & Quinoa Loaf

 This spelt and quinoa loaf may not be much to look at with its rustic appearance and ragged crust, but what it lacks in the looks department it certainly makes up for in flavour.   Not only does it slice neatly, toast well and make a great sandwich, it is also packed with numerous health benefits too. 

Spelt & Quinoa Loaf

Bread making is one of my regular weekly bakes which I thoroughly enjoy.  I find the whole process really satisfying from the kneading of the dough to create something quite stretchy (which gives me a mini workout in the process) through to the bake resulting in a tasty, often good looking, loaf containing only a handful of easily sought ingredients.  But let's not forget about the aroma of freshly baked bread too!

We go through what seems to be copious amounts of bread between the two of us, or rather Mr E eats a lot of bread.  Sometimes I just can't keep up with him!   We often need to purchase an extra loaf from the bakery counter at our local supermarket, nothing fancy.   But just before Christmas I came across a speciality loaf in our local store called 'Sunflower & Quinoa Bloomer', and despite the price I bought it as a culinary treat for Mr E, after all it was almost Christmas!  He adored that loaf, and it loved him back, so much so we've even pushed the boat out a couple of times since then and bought some more.  

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