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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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Saturday, 1 April 2017

Double Chocolate Fudge with Mini Eggs

This Double Chocolate Fudge recipe produces a delicious melt in the mouth confectionery.  The addition of mini eggs not only makes it a perfect recipe for Easter treats, but also introduces a fun pop of colour and a wonderful contrast in texture.  Keep reading too for top visual clues when making fudge without a sugar thermometer.

Double Chocolate Fudge with Mini Eggs recipe

Ooh how I wish I could bring you smelly vision where this Double Chocolate fudge is concerned!  The aroma of chocolate filtering through the house whilst this fudge bubbles away, and for a number of hours afterwards, is delightful.

Of course the highlight of this Double Chocolate Fudge with mini eggs doesn't end there!  It gives a wonderful melt in the mouth experience and the mini eggs bring a great contrast of texture too.  If you love homemade fudge, trust me, you'll love this one.  It's sheer bliss!
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Monday, 27 March 2017

38 Easter Bakes, The Ultimate Collection!

The ultimate collection of 38 Easter bakes, from traditional Easter treats like hot cross buns, and Simnel cake through to fun Easter themed cupcakes and plenty of ways to use up left over Easter chocolate.

38 Easter Bakes, containing traditional Simnel cake & hot cross buns, through to fun Easter themed cupcakes, free-from Easter recipes and ideas to use up left over Easter chocolate


As Easter is fast approaching you may be looking for some Easter bake inspiration.  With the help of a fabulous group of top food bloggers, I can bring you 38 amazing Easter recipes.  Here we have everything from traditional Easter bakes like Simnel cake and hot cross buns, through to tips for making your own Easter eggs and ideas for using up any left over Easter chocolate.  And if you're catering for those with allergies there is a delicious selection of free-from Easter recipes to whet your appetite, from gluten-free, to lactose-free and even sugar-free!

So with a huge thankyou to my blogging friends for allowing me to share this ultimate collection of Easter bakes with you, lets check them out!







  38 Easter Bakes

 


~  Showstopper Easter Cakes  ~ 

 

 


A Showstopping Easter cake, Malteser MaltEaster Bunny & Mini Egg Chocolate Cake

This cake has serious 'wow' factor! It's the perfect Easter showstopper cake if you were hosting a party.  Though you could, of course,  make it just because..!   Jenny not only tells us this cake is perfect for those who love Easter and the chocolate which comes with it, but she also shares a 'how to' video alongside her recipe demonstrating how easy this Easter showstopper cake is to assemble.  The difficult part would be ensuring the children (big and small) didn't eat the mini eggs before it was finished!

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Easter Bunny Butt Cupcakes

These Easter & springtime themed cupcakes are so much fun!  They're surprisingly easy to make and would be perfect for children's parties, family get togethers and charity bake sales.

How to make Easter Bunny Butt Cupcakes

I'm sure Easter Bunny Butt Cupcakes need no real introduction.  With the cute fondant bunny butt poking through the buttercream grass and pretty flowers they shout out Easter and springtime loud and clear.

Ever since successfully making our fondant Christmas characters, a few short months ago, I've wanted to make these cute fondant bunny butt cupcakes which I see all over Pinterest at this time of year!  A recent journey over the Pennine hills to Lancashire to visit Mr E's side of the family was the perfect excuse to get creative. 

Easter Bunny Butt Cupcakes are perfect for springtime parties!

Creating fondant characters is, believe it or not, new to me having had my first dabble leading up to Christmas with our snowman, choir boy, penguin and Santa cake toppers.

Despite the detail in our Easter themed cupcakes, the fondant bunny is actually relatively easy to achieve as most of the shapes are merely balls of fondant of varying sizes.  The body, fluffy tail, and pink pads on the over sized feet are just balls of fondant. Even those bunny feet started off life as a ball!  Hopefully you will see the basic component parts with the images.
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Saturday, 18 March 2017

Apple Rose Tart

Apple rose tarts are eye catching, resembling a pretty bouquet of roses.  They're just as delicious as any apple pie!

Apple Rose Tart Recipe

Mother's Day is fast approaching and for the past week or so I've been wondering what to make for my Mum this year.  Of course I could make her some elaborate chocolate showstopper, or something equally indulgent, but knowing that my Mum is very conscious about the types and quantities of fat that she includes in her diet such bakes really wouldn't have been appropriate for her.

So, wanting to make her something which was relatively healthy yet eye catching, I recalled the pretty vibe of our apple roses which I made last year and was inspired to make this family sized apple rose tart.

Healthy Apple Rose Tart Recipe

Of course pastry itself isn't the healthiest of choices having invariably been made with butter packed with saturated fats.  But having successfully made a vegan pastry just last week for our Beetroot & Lentil Pie, which was so much healthier having been made with an olive oil, I knew that that vegan pastry recipe would be perfect for this healthy Apple Rose Tart.   This pretty tart recipe does include a certain amount of refined sugar, a total of about 85g, but the individual serving quantity would be minimal once this posh apple pie is divided between guests.
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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Homemade Hazelnut Noisette Chocolates

These handmade Hazelnut Noisette Chocolates with their rich milk chocolate hazelnut ganache encased in a tempered milk chocolate shell are the perfect edible gift.     

Homemade Hazelnut Noisette Chocolates

So many celebrations often call for a lovely box of chocolates; birthdays, thank you's, Valentine's day, and of course Mother's day.   It's so easy to pop into a shop and select a lovely box of chocolates, but just imagine how special the recipient would feel if you'd made those chocolates yourself!  You would certainly earn some brownie points if you were to make a few handmade chocolates.

And before you disappear thinking that it's beyond a regular home baker, hang around for a little longer and trust me when I say it's really not that difficult to do!  These homemade Hazelnut Noisette Chocolates are only my third attempt at making handmade chocolates, the first being a batch of hazelnut and caramel chocolates which I made to mark my blog's birthday.
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Friday, 10 March 2017

Beetroot & Lentil Vegan Pie

With a wonderful earthy flavour, this vegan beetroot & lentil pie recipe produces a delicious, colourful and nutritious meal which is perfect served with vegetables and potatoes or a simple salad.

Beetroot & Lentil Vegan Pie recipe

This past week was British Pie Week.  I'm sure that all of your social media feeds, just like mine, were packed with wonderful pie creations.  Fruit pies.  Savoury pies.  Single crust pies.  Double crust pies.  Rustic pies.  Pretty pies.

Given that our household is a great big fan of pies I couldn't let British Pie Week pass by without coming up with another pie recipe.

How to make a vegan Beetroot & Lentil Pie

This delicious Beetroot & Lentil Pie has such a wonderful earthy flavour courtesy of the roasted beets.  And just check out that amazing colour once the pie is sliced into!  There's definitely no need for food colourant in this recipe thanks to the amazing pigments the beetroot has.  For that very reason I'd also recomend wearing something different to your favourite white blouse / shirt when preparing (or even eating) this lovely savoury vegan pie!   Rubber gloves also come in useful too whilst skinning them after they have been roasted.  
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Monday, 6 March 2017

Hazelnut & Caramel Chocolates + Giveaway!

There's nothing more special than handmade chocolates, and they're surprising not as difficult to make as you might imagine.  These handmade hazelnut & caramel chocolates were just the ticket to celebrate Only Crumbs Remain's birthday, alongside a giveaway!  (NB Giveaway now closed).  

How to make Homemade Hazelnut & Caramel Chocolates

When there are things to celebrate, alongside cake, chocolates are very much the order of the day.  So given that Only Crumbs Remain turned two today, I thought we'd celebrate with chocolate!  Though not any box of mass produced shop bought chocolate!  We're talking homemade ones here, specifically Hazelnut & Caramel Chocolates!  They're similar in may ways to Quality Street's The Purple One, apparently the most popular chocolate in their selection!

How to make Hazelnut & Caramel Chocolates at home

And if handmade chocolates weren't excitement enough to celebrate my blog's second birthday we are also hosting a giveaway as a way of saying 'thank you' to so many people for their continued support.  Returning readers, new visitors, fellow bloggers, collaborators, family and friends!  Thank you!

So from a fan of home baking, who wants to say thank you, here's your chance to win 'The Chocolatier's Baking Bundle!'  

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

20 Awesome Dinner Party Desserts

We've got you covered with this awesome collection of 20 dinner party dessert recipes from top UK food bloggers.  There are so many to choose from, including free-from desserts, chocolate creations, cheesecakes and so much more!

20 Awesome Dinner Party Dessert Recipes

My food blogging pals certainly came up trumps when I put the call out on FaceBook for dinner party dessert ideas.  They certainly didn't let me down with the breadth of awesome and delicious dessert recipes they shared with me!

Every single one of the recipes listed below can be made well ahead of time (though one or two may perhaps need to be scattered with crumbled biscuits or perhaps dusted with cocoa powder at the last moment), even a day or two before in some cases, allowing you to be the perfect attentive host when your guests arrive. 

So, whether you're after a rich chocolate dessert, a cheesecake, something free-from, or even a frozen creation, then look no further.  There's sure to be something to whet you're appetite in this ultimate dinner party dessert recipe collection! 

The difficulty comes when choosing which to make first!

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Monday, 27 February 2017

Orange Posset with Rhubarb & Shortbread

This delicious and eye catching dessert is perfect when hosting a dinner party not least because it is super easy to make, looks and tastes amazing, but needs to be made a few hours ahead of time allowing you to be the perfect attentive host!  The luxurious orange posset is teamed with a naturally vibrant rhubarb and orange jam, which not only provides aesthetic interest and combines a flavour combination which really works, but the sharpness of the rhubarb breaks up the richness of the dessert beautifully. 

Orange Posset with Rhubarb and Shortbread Fingers

I love desserts.  Puddings.  Afters.  Sweets.   What ever you want to call them they have my name all over them.  Just check out my recipe index if you need any more convincing!    Whether they're homely like a Mincemeat & Apple Galette, traditional like a Yorkshire Curd Tart,  or complex like a Marjolaine I just love desserts.

But for me, easy, eye catching, and delicious desserts are what's called for when we have dinner guests coming round.  Even better if the recipe can be made way ahead of time to allow me to natter and entertain our friends and family rather than being stuck in a hot kitchen where it's easy to become stressed over how long things may be taking.  Delicious make ahead desserts are certainly what's called for, and if you need some further dinner party dessert inspiration why not check out my 20 Awesome Dinner Party Desserts from top UK food bloggers!
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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Rhubard & Custard Genoise Cake

This delicate genoise cake recipe marries the classic flavour combination of rhubarb and custard, teaming it with orange for extra deliciousness.  It produces a wonderfully delicious light sponge cake which is perfect for sharing over afternoon tea.    

Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Sponge Cake Recipe

Now that forced rhubarb has hit the shops it would seem rude not to take advantage of those delicious & beautiful slender red stems and bake something equally delicious.   It's such a versatile fruit vegetable which can easily be used in a host of different recipes, such as crumble (like our classic recipe for rhubarb and ginger crumble), in cakes, or even made into a jam or curd.  I'm also led to believe, for those carnivores out there,  that the natural sharpness of rhubarb cuts through the oily qualities of mackerel really well!

Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Sponge Cake Recipe, made with forced rhubarb and a little orange

One cake I'm particularly drawn to, aesthetically, is the Fraisier cake, no doubt popularised by GBBO's technical challenge a few years ago.  The halved strawberries positioned upright around the edge of a classic genoise cake and surrounded by creme patissiere simply looks stunning.  Last spring that cake inspired me to try something similar, replacing the strawberries with with rhubarb and orange.  Short baked batons of rhubarb stood on end around the edge of a sponge cake, alternated with orange segments and filled with a patissierie custard.  Alas, though, despite its amazing flavour combo, it didn't make it to the blog due to structural stability, or rather instability! 

That wasn't the end of the rhubarb and custard cake inspiration though.  The idea has stayed in my 'to bake list' all year.  As forced rhubarb is now available in the supermarkets and a genoise sponge cake had been made in my recent side-by-side baking comparison the cake was revisited with a few necessary alterations.

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Monday, 20 February 2017

Side-by-Side Baking - Genoise Cake

A comparison bake exploring two different methods to make a genoise cake with the aim of identifying if one is more effective than the other.
 

Continuing with my Side-by-Side Baking series, this month I chose to look at two ways of making a genoise cake, specifically using the gentle heat of a bain marie whilst beating the eggs and sugar together to ribbon stage compared to a batter made without any heat.


About my Side-by-Side Baking Series.


If you're new to Only Crumbs Remain, you may be wondering what my Side-by-Side Baking series is all about.  Basically, it's an ongoing series of posts where I look at the effects certain techniques and food products have on given bakes.  More often than not, and I certainly include myself here, we are shown how to make, say a Victoria Sponge, but with little understanding of why we may be folding in the flour so gently and what would happen to our cake if we didn't.  This series is designed to experiment with and highlight such techniques and products with a view to appreciating why we carry out them out.  So for instance, last month we looked at curdled cake batters, but I've also looked at resting Yorkshire Pudding batters before baking, folding in flour by hand against that folded in with a spatula, butter quality in cake batters and the all-in-one method against the traditional creaming-in-method.  These bakes are designed to focus upon one aspect of baking (or even ingredient) to see if we can make our bakes even better or even if there are some, dare I say, short cuts we can take to achieve a good result.  Therefore, in this series there will always be at least two separate batches baked in these comparisons to allow me, and you as the reader, to literally compare them Side-by-Side.



Side-by-Side Baking - Making a Genoise Cake.


So, as I've already mentioned, for this month's comparison bake I chose to look at two different ways to make a genoise sponge cake, to determined if there is a method which produces a cake with a better rise and with more aeration.

The prompt for this bake came some months ago, though if truth be told it was over 12 months ago, when my mum celebrated her 65th birthday.  To mark the occasion we made her an Apple & Cinnamon Genoise Cake, which by the way was absolutely delicious and was the perfect cake to round off her birthday which had seen us at a lovely (almost swanky) fish & chip shop complete with chandeliers!

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Monday, 13 February 2017

Homity Pie

Homity Pie is a simple, homely, and nutritious bake just like a great big hug in pie form!  It is a vegetarian open pie packed with potatoes, spring onions, leeks, and cheese, and is delicious served either with a green salad or a medley of your favourite vegetables.  

Homemade Homity Pie

The first time that Mr E & I came across Homity Pie, I seem to recall, was some three or four years ago whilst having lunch in a lovely vegetarian tea room / cafe in the market town of Skipton one chilly November day.   It was listed on the specials board, 'homity pie served with seasonal vegetables'.  Neither of us had heard of it, but after quizzing the waitress Mr E quickly decided that that was for him.

You see, Mr E loves his potatoes and Homity Pie is packed full of the humble potato.  They're certainly the star of the show.  But with a few other basic ingredients, of onions, cheese and parsley, this vegetarian open pie is transformed into a delicious and nutritious family feast.

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Vegan Rich Chocolate Orange Dessert

This easy to make luxurious chocolate orange dessert would be perfect for Valentine's Day, date night, or on those ocassions when you feel the need for a delicious chocolate pudding.  This recipe is vegan friendly, meaning it is also suitable for those who need to avoid dairy and / or eggs.  It is also gluten free.

Vegan and Gluten Free Individal Chocolate Orange Dessert Recipe

If you're planning a romantic meal for you and your special somebody, then, regardless of what you have for your main course, you're going to need an indulgent and delicious dessert.  Surely that means a chocolate dessert.

Chocolate desserts, to me at least, are a must for Valentine's Day.  They're also perfect for date night, birthdays, when entertaining friends and family, and quite possibly every other day which ends in a 'y'!

Easy Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Orange Dessert Recipe

This dessert is both gluten free and vegan friendly.  Now, although it is free of ingredients like butter, cream, milk and eggs which we ordinarily rely on to bring a certain amount of flavour to a recipe, this Rich Chocolate Orange Dessert is far from being flavour free.
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Thursday, 2 February 2017

'Loveheart' Styled Shortbread Biscuits

These delicious homemade shortbread biscuits, flavoured with lemon zest, are a lot of fun & would make a lovely gift for that special someone on Valentine's Day!
 
Perfect for Valentine's Day, Loveheart Styled Shortbread Biscuits

Allow me to share a secret with you.  It's not a massive secret, just something that you probably don't know.

It was early in 2004, a leap year you may note, and having dated Mr E for several months I knew he was 'the one'!  A few weeks earlier I'd enjoyed a few 'loveheart' sweets, you know the ones with the cute little messages on them.  Anyway I noticed that some of the phrases had been updated from how I recalled them as a child.   Now there were phrases like 'Marry Me', and 'Say Yes'!  My mind started to work and a few weeks later on, 29th February, a leap year day, with the help of a few hand selected 'Lovehearts' I plucked up the courage and popped the question to him!  The rest, as they say, is history! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Shortbread biscuit recipe with lemon zest

Anyway, in deciding which recipes to share running up to Valentine's Day, Mr E came up with the idea of some simple biscuits with writing on them, 'Loveheart' style.  What a great idea.  Not only did it hark back to those lovely little sweets and the progression in our relationship, but it also prompted me to share a biscuit recipe, something which is a little lacking here on Only Crumbs Remain.

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Monday, 30 January 2017

Cherry & Almond Cupcakes

The delicious flavour combinaton of cherry & almond can be found in these pretty cupcakes.  The pink colour of the buttercream frosting make them perfect for a girl's birthday, Valentine's day ....... or simply just because.

Cherry & Almond Cupcake recipe

If you popped into my recent side-by-side baking post where I looked at eggs curdling in cake batter, you may have been left wondering what I did with the cupcakes.  Well, those plain and humble cupcakes were very simply transformed into these pretty and inviting Cherry and Almond Cupcakes.

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Friday, 27 January 2017

Side-by-Side Baking - Split Cake Batter

If you've ever wondered why cake batter splits when we add eggs to the mixture, can it be rectified or if it really matters then continue reading.  Here I carry out a 4 way comparison bake looking at the different batters and the resultant cupcakes.  

Discussing why cake batters curdle and split, how we can prevent it happening and asking id it really matters

It's been quite some time since I last shared a Side-by-Side Baking post, in fact it was way back on the 9th August.  Metaphorically speaking there was certainly a thick layer of dust on them when I dug them out, think Miss Havisham of Great Expectations and you probably won't be far wrong!   As I mentioned in my end of year review post it's a series I want to continue here on Only Crumbs Remain not least because it allows me to learn why certain techniques, for instance, are employed in baking.

Now, I have two warnings about this post.  Firstly this post is a little bit lengthy so you may want to grab a pot of tea or coffee before settling down to read!  And, secondly, there is a little bit of science in this post (after all, baking in the school setting wasn't once called 'Domestic Science' for no reason!).  I've aimed to keep the technical stuff to a minimum, especially as I'm not the greatest scientist (you should see my face when Mr E tries to explain the bending of timespace - and yes, those conversations do happen!), and so I've linked into several internet articles should you want to read more detail from the author's particular slant.



About my Side by Side Baking Series.

 

Why cupcake and cake batters curdle

If you're new to Only Crumbs Remain, you may be wondering what my Side-by-Side baking series is all about.  Basically, it's an ongoing series of posts where I look at the effects certain techniques and food products have on given bakes.  More often than not, and I certainly include myself here, we are shown how to make, say a Victoria Sponge, but with little understanding of why we may be folding in the flour so gently and what would happen to our cake if we don't.  This series is designed to experiment with and highlight such techniques and products with a view to appreciating why we carry out them out.  So for instance, I've already looked at resting Yorkshire Pudding batters before baking, folding in flour by hand against that folded in with a spatula, butter quality in cake batters and the all-in-one method against the traditional creaming-in-method.  These bakes are designed to focus upon one aspect of baking (or even ingredient) to see if we can make our bakes even better or even if there are some, dare I say, short cuts we can take to achieve a good result.  Therefore, in this series there will always be at least two separate batches baked in these comparisons to allow me, and you as the reader, to literally compare them Side-by-Side. 





Side-by-Side Baking - Split or Curdled Eggs in Cake Batter 


Why eggs cause our cake batters to curdle

So our first foray into our baking comparisons this year is to look at why a cake batter splits / curdles when eggs are added, can it be rectified, and to ask if it really matters or if it affects the final bake. 

The prompt for this baking comparison came from one of my recipe books, How Baking Works (and what to do when it doesn't) by James Morton (I'm sure you recall him as the young Scottish GBBO constestant in series 3 who was training to be a doctor.)  As the title implies, his book is far more than a recipe book.  If you're unfamiliar with it he goes through the step by step process of making chocolate brownies,  macarons, biscuits and so on and explains why we carry out certain steps and even offers troubleshooting guidance if the bake fails.  In his chapter for cakes he goes through the steps for the classic creaming method.  He explains that the eggs need to be added to the creamed butter and sugar one at a time and went on to say that  'curdling has been shown not to affect the final rise'!

When I read this I was somewhat surprised.  Not only because just about every cake recipe we read on line and in many tangible recipe books suggests adding a spoonful of flour with the last egg (in order to prevent, or remedy, any split / curdled batter) but also because the darling queen of baking herself, Mary Berry, has probably pulled a few faces at split batters on GBBO in the past!   

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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 overlooked.  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.)        

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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!

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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.

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