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 almond extract added to the mixture and the toasted flaked almonds scattered on top, which 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's 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 meat free option.

If you're still undecided which meat-free option to make for your vegetarian guests this Christmas, how about this delicious vegetarian Christmas Plait.  Not only does it look inviting, with its interesting but easy to make plait, but it tastes absolutely amazing too!

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 not only a delicious Christmas bake, but also the perfect way of using half a jar of sweet mincemeat.  It's delicious and indulgent as you would expect with a brownie recipe that includes real chocolate in the mixture.

Chocolate Brownie recipe which makes great use of left over sweet mincemeat

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 chocolate tray bake recipe 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!


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Homemade Raspberry & White Chocolate Fudge

This homemade Raspberry & White Chocolate Fudge is as delicous as it is pretty.  It's perfect packaged up as a gift for loved ones or offered to guests as party nibbles.  

How to make Raspberry and White Chocolate Fudge, with it pretty colour contrasts and a classic flavour combination.

This homemade fudge is absolutely delicious and works on the classic flavour combination of raspberry and white chocolate!  The flavour of sharp raspberry against the sweet and creamy white chocolate is a match made in heaven, and works particularly well in this fudge recipe.

Check out the colour contrast too.  Those flecks of freeze dried raspberries sat alongside the white chocolate stars and the background fudge colour makes this homemade confectionary particularly pretty and great for a homemade food gift this Christmas.   And if that wasn't enough, this homemade fudge is made even more special with the subtle colour difference when the fudge pieces are viewed on their side.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

6 Easy Fondant Christmas Character Ideas

These 6 easy to make fondant Christmas characters & shapes make great toppers for cakes, large and small.  They can easily be customised to your own ideas and are great fun to create as a family activity.

6 easy to make fondant Christmas cake characters and shapes: a snowman, a penguin, Father Christmas, a choir boy, a holly cluster and a snowflake.

Our naked mini Christmas Cake gifts have finally been dressed.  No longer are they hiding away in the cupboard covered only with greaseproof paper and tin foil, they now sit proudly waiting to be shared with friends and family with their layers of marzipan and fondant icing and topped with a homemade fondant Christmas Cake decoration.

I would love to be able to shout out that these fondant Christmas characters are my own idea, but alas not.  In fact this is the first time that I've attempted any sort of shapes without the use of a cutter or mould after watching a number of YouTube tutorials.  Those who follow me on Instagram may have seen the snowmen which Mum and I made for the very first time a couple of weeks ago.  We had such a laugh making these little sugary shapes!  We all love Mum's pipe smoking snowman so much that he now has pride of place on the shelf in their front room!


Monday, 28 November 2016

Mini Christmas Cakes

Christmas cakes are an integral part of the festivities for many people.  Why not make some mini Christmas cakes to give to friends and family, either as a small gesture or as part of a delicious homemade foodie hamper. 

Homemade Mini Christmas Cakes, perfect for an easy to make edible gift.

Christmas, as we all know, is the season for giving.  Though, often it can be difficult choosing gifts for loved ones who seemingly have 'everything'.  They already have more than one bottle of their favourite perfume / aftershave, a bookshelf of novels by their favourite authors, and that chunky knit woolly jumper is folded away in the draw next to their seasonal one, decorated with Santa carrying a bunch of mistletoe!

For those friends and relatives why not present them with a hamper, large or small, full of delicious goodies.  Imagine that hamper packed with homemade goodies like relishes, chutneys, biscuits, cheeses, fudge, truffles and mini Christmas Cake.  Surely a homemade gift, that you've spent time and care over, that you've made yourself with love and finished off with a  Christmassy ribbon says 'Merry Christmas, I love you' far more than any unwanted gift hurriedly picked from a department store shelf.


Thursday, 24 November 2016

Mince Pies with a Frangipane Crust

These delicious mince pies with a frangipane crust are a perfect alternative bake to the pastry rich, double crust pies usually enjoyed around Christmas time.  They're easy to make, and with shop bought pastry you'll be sat down enjoying one before you know it!

Mince pies are a much loved part of Christmas festivities.  In fact you could possibly go as far as to say that they're almost a staple treat for many households.  If Family Fortunes were to pose a question along the lines of: 'Name foods commonly associated with Christmas', then I'm more than sure that mince pies would be a popular answer nestled amongst turkey, brussel sprouts and Christmas pudding.


Monday, 21 November 2016

Cookie Monster Cupcakes with a Full Tummy!

These fun and easy to make cupcakes are perfect for children's parties, family get togethers and charity bake sales.
How to make Cookie Monster Cupcakes with a full tummy of ganache

These past few weeks has seemingly seen Cookie Monster, from Sesame Street, along with his friends Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie, and Count von Count everywhere.  They've been on tv trailers and even the One Show where Cookie Monster was a little 'upset' having had to wait for his cookie which, when he did get his jaws around it, sent crumbs all over the place!

He's even been in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen!  OK, perhaps not Cookie Monster himself, leaving crumbs in his wake, but rather in the guise of Cookie Monster Cupcakes!


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Pear, Chocolate & Spice Cake

With warming fragrant spice, crowd pleasing chocolate and naturally sweet & nutritious pears, this delicious recipe for pear cake is perfect for the chillier autumn months.  Finishing this seasonal cake with sliced pears, a glaze of apricot jam and a little chocolate ganache removes the temptation to laden it with a sugary frosting.   

A delicious pear cake made extra tasty with complementary spices and chocolate.

Like most households, I suspect, we occasionally have fruit which has been languishing in the fruit bowl for a few too many days, turning a little too soft and gradually spoiling, being passed over for those fresher, shinier more inviting pieces.

Having a couple of pears in this sorry state just last week, it was the perfect excuse to don my pinny and gather the flour and sugar from the cupboard.

This pear cake is simply finished with sliced pears, apricot jam glaze and chocolate ganache.

It would have been such a shame to dispose of those pears in the food-waste caddy just because they were a little too soft with the skin starting to brown a little.  After peeling and coring the pears, it was evident that the fruit was still very much edible.  The juicy fruit was diced and the pieces made their way into our Pear, Chocolate and Spice Cake.


Thursday, 3 November 2016

Baked Bengal Curds with Macerated Berries

Think of this dessert as an easy baked cheesecake.  With creamy cheesecake like curds, colourful berries and contrasting texture courtesy of the almond crumble, this traditional Indian dessert of Baked Bengal Curds is certainly one to try.  It is naturally gluten free. 

A traditional Indian dessert called Baked Bengal Curds, or Bhapa Doi

If you're looking for an easy dessert recipe which is not only tasty but perfect either as a mid-week treat or to serve when entertaining guests then look no further, you've found it!

All three elements of this delicious dessert, the curds, almond crumble and macerated berries, require just 10 minutes of hands on time, which includes getting the kitchen scales out of the cupboard and weighing the ingredients, or up to 15 minutes if you're working particularly slowly!  If that's not enticement enough just check out how inviting the dessert looks with those beautiful summer berries against the creamy white of the baked curds.  And the piece de resistance, for some, me included, is that this dessert tastes remarkably like cheesecake!

Easy baked cheesecake recipe


Monday, 31 October 2016

Three Homemade Picnic Treats (fit for a Queen?)

Whether baked for a picnic, buffet, afternoon-teatime treat or simply just because, the individual portion size of these Victoria Sponge Cakes with Chantilly Cream & Raspberry Jam, Red Currant & White Chocolate Fruit Tarts with Creme Patisserie and Caerphilly & Leek Vegetarian Sausage Rolls are sure to please. 

Three bakes suitable for picnics, buffets, afternoon tea, or just because..individual Victoria Sponge Cakes with Chantilly Cream and Raspberry Jam, Red Currant & White Chocolate Fruit Tarts with Creme Patrisserie and Caerphilly & Leek Vegetarian Sausage Rolls.

Tempus Fugit!

How time flies when you're having fun!  That certainly has been the case this past ten weeks whilst baking along with GBBO and the Great Bloggers Bake Off with Jenny over at Mummy Mishaps.  It seems such a short time ago that I attempted to make a batch of vegetarian Lime Jaffa Cakes for week 1, and now, all of a sudden, the final episode (for this series and on the beeb) has been aired crowning Candice Brown the winner of the class of 2016.

As we know, the theme for the final was 'Fit for a Queen', marking Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday year.  The three finalists were challenged with making a three tiered meringue crown in the signature, a classic Victoria Sponge in the technical and a massive 49 item bake suitable for a royal picnic in the showstopper consisting of a chocolate celebration cake, puff pastry sausage rolls, mini quiche, savoury scones and fruit & custard tarts.


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Lemon & Thyme Savarin Cake

This flavoursome lemon & thyme flavoured Savarin cake is topped with white chocolate & mascapone frosting, lemon & thyme curd, candid lemon slices and completed with spun sugar spirals.   Savarin is a light yeasted cake which once cooked is soaked with flavoured sugar syrup.

Lemon & Thyme Savarin Cake with White Chocolate & Mascapone Frosting, Lemon & Thyme Curd, Candid Lemon Slices and Spun Sugar Spirals

It's often said that we should aim to learn something new each day.  Be it a fact, a new word, or hone a skill.  Whatever it is, it's so rewarding to put those little grey cells to work to then be able to build on that another day.  Just the other day I made my first attempt at spinning sugar.  Initially the spiral shapes were nowhere near successful but eventually, after a little perseverance, the technique, although not polished, was refined.  Ok, it's not earth shattering and certainly won't solve any of the problems which face the modern world, but it was a little triumph in the world of Angela!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Printable Recipe Sheets for Blogger

Sharing how easy it is to produce printable recipe sheets for the blogger / blogspot platform and outlining a few ways in which the aesthetics of the printable can be customised to suit your own style.

How to create and customise printable recipe sheets for use in the blogger platform
Ever since launching Only Crumbs Remain on the blogger platform, I've felt that the look and feel of my recipe posts lacked 'something' when I compared them to those which use other platforms.  Those had fancy printable recipes!  They looked great!  Clearly that printable function was something which I dearly wanted to bring to my baking blog.   Finding the code for printable recipe sheets which was compatible with blogger / blogspot really wasn't as easy as I'd hoped it would be sadly.  In fact it took numerous months of on and off searching for me to eventually hit upon the right key words which brought up something suitable.  For that reason I thought it would be worth while sharing the link to the site which produces the code for the printable recipe form, but also share a few ways in which I've modified the recipe sheet, along with a few quirks to be aware of.   

So, why use printable recipe sheets?

Printable recipe sheets are great for web pages and food bloggers.  Not only do they give a more professional feel to a food blog, but they're also kinder to your reader who may want to recreate one of your recipes. 

Put yourself in the shoes of your reader.  They've found your food / baking blog, and really fancy recreating one of the recipes which you've lovingly made and shared on your blog.  The food looks enticing and delicious, and the recipe sounds straightforward too.  But without a printable recipe sheet your reader either has to:
  • copy and paste the recipe into a blank word document, to then print,
  • print the whole post (and let's face it, if you're anything like me, your reader may end up with several pages alongside the recipe!),
  • hand write the recipe, 
  • bake with their laptop / tablet / or what ever device they're using sat alongside all of the flour, pastry and butter which really isn't ideal. 

A recipe post with a printable allows your reader to simply click 'print' and hey presto a few seconds later they have your recipe in all of its glory ready to refer to when baking.  The printed recipe sheet can then be filed away for another day of baking and cooking.


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Two Vegetarian Mock Tudor Pies

This duo of savoury pies are inspired by the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire.  Firstly, inspired by the Lancashire hotpot, is a vegetarian individual pie full of flavour, texture and colour packed into a hotwater crust pastry shell.  Wensleydale Cheese inspired the Yorkshire element in the mini tarts, which sees the shortcrust pastry shells filled with a caramelised onion chutney and a simple yet flavoursome cheese sauce before being topped with breadcrumbs and more cheese. 

Inspired by the traditional dishes and produce available in Yorkshire and Lancashire are these two different savoury bakes:  Vegetarian Lancashire 'Hotpot' Individual Pie in a hotwatercrust pastry and mini Wensleydale Cheese Tarts with Caramalised Onions

Pies!  Surely the colder darker months of autumn and winter were designed simply to allow us to indulge in our love of pies in all of their delicious forms.  There are regular closed pies (or double crusted pies as our American friends refer to them), those with a lattice crust, and even open pies like tarts and flans.  There are hand raised pies, galettes, pasties and simple plate pies.  There are small dinky individual pies.  And large family pies.  There are those made with buttery puff pastry where the flakes melt in the mouth and crumbs fall down the cleavage.  There are those made with shortcrust pastry and sturdy pies made with hotwater crust.  In fact there's probably sufficient variety of pies to enable us to enjoy one every day before the Spring Equinox comes around again.  Mmmm pies!!


Friday, 7 October 2016


A classic French gateau consisting of dacquoise, buttercream, chocolate ganache and nuts.  As the component parts of this dessert can be made ahead of time, it's a delicious choice for those special dinner parties and family celebrations like Christmas or anniversaries. 

Marjolaine is a classic French dessert packed with nuts and consists of layers of daquoise, buttercream and chocolate ganache.

Allow me to introduce you to Marjolaine.  She's a French layered gateau, with a certain je ne sais quoi.  She could possibly be the poshest, most sophisticated and elegant dessert here on Only Crumbs Remain.  With her four layers of dacquoise, French buttercream, chocolate ganache and a whole heap of nuts she's certainly what you might call high-maintenance, but boy she certainly can command presence in a room.   Marjolaine certainly isn't one of those desserts that you might choose to rustle up in a few minutes for a mid-week treat or for when your children's friends come for tea after school.  But rather, this French dessert is perfect for dinner parties where you're aiming to impress or for family celebrations like Christmas and anniversaries. 


Monday, 3 October 2016

Fougasse with Rosemary and Thyme

This flavour packed bread with characteristic slashes, is easy to make resulting in a delicious bread perfect for tearing and sharing.  This recipe sees the dough flavoured with fresh herbs of rosemary and thyme. 

Homemade fougasse bread with rosemary and thyme

Bless Mr E, my husband, he sits alongside me every Wednesday evening watching the baking antics in the Great British Bake Off tent.  Although he doesn't watch it quite as intently as I do, he will still pass the occassional comment about something being a great bake and who he thinks deserves to be awarded star baker or even who he thinks is ready to go home.

Homemade fougasse bread with rosemary and thyme

Following each and every episode I will ask him what bake he thinks I should tackle for my Great Bloggers Bake Along attempt.  Invariably we both come to the same decision about what bake, or even bakes, the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen should whip up.  This week was different though.  The signature challenge of citrus meringue pie, which sang like an angel to me, didn't appeal to Mr E due to his dislike of meringue. (I know!  How can this be!)  His taste buds lay with us trying Paul's herby fougasse.  So some baking multi-tasking was required this week to accomodate both of our likes.  A herby fougasse dough with rosemary and thyme was set aside to proove whilst I whipped up the thyme pastry for our (or rather my) Lemon Meringue Pie.      


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Lemon Meringue Pie with Thyme Pastry

The wonderful flavour combination of lemon and thyme is married together in the classic dessert of lemon meringue pie, with its tart lemony filling, crisp marshmallowy meringue and thyme infused pastry. 

Lemon meringue pie with thyme pastry
Thyme and pie wait for no man (woman or child)!

Lemon Meringue Pie is such a classic dessert with its sweet buttery pastry, tart lemon curd filling topped with sweet meringue peaks and is one of those desserts which I fondly recall from my childhood.  They were so popular in our family.  When mum made one to round off our Sunday lunch we'd always secretly hope that there'd be some left for a second portion...simply to ensure that it was as delicious as our taste buds had led us to believe, you understand!


Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Delicious Duo of Danish Pastries

These delicious homemade Danish Pastries see the laminated dough shaped and flavoured two ways:  Fig, Goats' Cheese & Honey and Blackberry & Apple, both equally delicious!

 Homemade Danish Pastries

Danish Pastries, with their layer upon layer of rich butter pastry which flakes, crumbles and almost melts whilst it's enjoyed are perfect for those indulgent breakfasts, lazy brunches and tantalising teatime treats.

These butter rich, cholesterol boosting, cardiac inducing Danish Pastries are a first for me, having never made them before.  But knowing how delicious they are with that wonderful flaky pastry and having watched the home-bakers attempt them in the GBBO tent this past week I knew that I wanted to challenge myself in making them, along with the classic Bakewell Tart.  


Saturday, 24 September 2016

Cherry & Chocolate Bakewell Tart

A classic British tart containing almond frangipane, a layer of morello cherry jam and decorated with a chocolate feathering through the simple water icing.

The Bakewell Tart is a classic British tea-time treat.  This one sees morello cherry jam beneath the frangipane base and has a chocolate feather patter through the icing to decorate.

Bakewell Tarts, as Jane from the GBBO's tent said, are classic and classy.  They've certainly stood the test of time, and seem to have their origins in the Bakewell Pudding which was first made in the late 18th or early 19th century.  Of course, whatever their history, there's a very good reason for their longevity and put simply it's because they're down right delicious.

Who could not defy the enticing, simple charms of a Bakewell Tart?   Crisp sweet pastry.  Fruity flavoursome jam.  Moreish almondy frangipane.  Simple water icing.  Finished with a pretty coloured feathering.

The Bakewell Tart is a classic British tea-time treat.  This one sees morello cherry jam beneath the frangipane base and has a chocolate feather patter through the icing to decorate.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Beer Cake with Stoodley Stout

Perfect for the coming colder months, this easy to make beer cake is low in fat & packed with flavour courtesy of the dates, walnuts, spices and stout.   

Beer cake made with date, walnuts, spices and stout

It's now becoming noticeable that the days are shortening.  Only a few weeks ago the sun shone from high in the sky at a time only known to the milkman, and now when we awaken from our slumber to the sound of the bedroom alarm the sun is struggling to climb above the horizon.  Even the artificial sun of the streetlights, which the moths waltz and tango around, are being switched on earlier.

The change of season to the darker, colder months often sees us crave rib-sticking stews, slow cooked casseroles and fruity crumbles draped with custard.  Not to mention moist, flavoursome, and filling rich fruit cakes.


Friday, 16 September 2016

Savoury & Sweet Filled Yorkshire Puddings

Inspired by GBBO, these Yorkshire Puddings are filled two ways.  Firstly a savoury ratatouille style filling which is full of flavour, followed by macerated berries and chantilly cream which makes a lovely change to this usually savoury batter.

Yorkshire Puddings filled with macerated berries and chantilly cream

GBBO has seen some quite eventful changes this past week, but parking my personal thoughts aside let's focus on what's important.....the baking!

This week was a first for GBBO seeing the remaining bakers challenged with making three different batters.  The signature bake was to make 24 savoury filled Yorkshire Puddings.  Twelve lace pancakes were made in the technical challenge, and these were followed by the showstopper bake where they were challenged with making 36 churros.

Yorkshire Puddings filled with a delicious savoury rataouille mixture.

Being a Yorkshire lass, living in Yorkshire, it seemed fitting that I tackled Yorkshire Puddings for my Blogger's Bake-Off bake!  I absolutely LOVE Yorkshire Puddings, whether they're served at family gathering like Sunday lunch or during the Christmas festivities, or simply as a mid week meal with toad-in-the-hole, they're just so delicious.  Not only that, they're easy to make using just a handful of store cupboard ingredients.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Chocolate & Pepsi Cupcakes

These delicious cupcakes are easy to make and result in a soft & light sponge which is packed with chocolate flavour and a background hint of Pepsi.

These Chocolate & Pepsi Cupcakes are easy to make using the melting method and result in a bake which is light and full of flavour.
There's no beating around the bush with these Chocolate and Pepsi Cupcakes. We absolutely loved them.  Not only were they delicious with their hit of chocolate and background notes of Pepsi, they were also light, super soft and a doddle to make.  Rather than being made with the classic techniques of creaming and folding, these delicious cupcakes were made with a simple melting method, which even Mr E, a self professed non-baker, would manage to rustle up!

These Chocolate & Pepsi Cupcakes are easy to make using the melting method and result in a bake which is light and full of flavour.


Saturday, 3 September 2016

Springtime Gingerbread Scene

Inspired by springtime, this gingerbread scene features birds, hares, and blossom trees alongside a house, people and a cat!

A 3D gingerbread scene inspired by GBBO and Springtime.

It seems as though I blinked and suddenly week 2 of GBBO arrived, biscuit week.  The 11 bakers were challenged with making a batch of decorated iced biscuits in the signature challenge, Vienesse Whirls (or swirls as I seem to call them) in the technical bake, and a 3D Gingerbread Story in the showstopper challenge.

For some years now I've been drawn to gingerbread houses during the festive period, but have never taken the plunge to make one myself.  So although the Vienesse Swirls looked enticing, my bake, to continue with my efforts in the Great Bloggers Bake Off, hosted by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps, is a Gingerbread Story.

A 3D gingerbread scene inspired by GBBO and Springtime.

Our gingerbread scene leaves behind the depths of winter, with its dark short days, frosts and snow and embraces my favourite season, springtime.


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Lime Jaffa Cakes

These GBBO inspired vegetarian lime jaffa cakes make a lovely change to the usual orange flavour.  With their light sponge, dark chocolate and clear lime flavour from the jelly and chocolate elements, these small cakes are prefect enjoyed with a pot of tea.

Homemade Vegetarian Lime Jaffa Cakes inspired by GBBO

Three cheers for the return of GBBO!

This year's opening episode saw the 12 new bakers face a signature bake of Drizzle Cake, a technical from Mary of Jaffa Cakes and a showstopper of a Mirror Glaze Cake.  Judging by the results of the first week's bakes it looks like we're in for a battle royal for the covetted GBBO crown.

Mr E & I instantly decided to make a batch of jaffa cakes for our blogger bake-along.  They're one of our favourite cakes with their beautifully soft fat-free sponge base, jelly disc and topped with a coat of delicious chocolate.  Plus it gave us the opportunity to play 'full moon, half moon, total eclipse', or was that just me?! ;-)


Thursday, 25 August 2016

The New GBBO Recipe Book GIVEAWAY!

This is your opportunity to win the new Great British Bake Off book, At Home, which accompanies series 7. (NOW CLOSED.)
Win GBBOs new recipe book, At Home

After much teasing and tension building GBBO finally returned to our screens last night with a new series.  Over the years I've managed to watch every episode since the distant days when Edd Kimber won the coveted title.  This year will be no different.  Every Wednesday evening I shall be snuggled up on the sofa with a pot of tea at 8PM sharp ready for the bakers to walk through the gardens, down the steps, and into the tent ready for Mel and Sue to shout 'BAAAAKE!'


Sunday, 21 August 2016

GBBO Rewind & Fast Forward

In anticipation of the new series of the Great British Bake Off, here I recall my baking efforts of the challenges set last year.
GBBO 2015 bakes

In three sleeps time much of the nation will be about to sit down to watch the seventh series of the Great British Bake Off with 12 home bakers facing the steely stare of Paul Hollywood and the comforting comments of Mary Berry.  And let's not forget the doublenetendre quips from Mel and Sue.  I'll certainly be there with my fresh pot of tea, in awe of the creations they whip up.

It's become such an institution with many of the bakes lingering in the memories of baking fans.  Amongst those which I recall are Paul's lion bread complete with almond nails, Nadia's blue peacock in chocolate week and Frances Quinn's giant matchstick bread sticks.  Having already seen a few trailers for GBBO 2016, the excitement is already mounting wondering what feats of baked engineering they are challenged with whilst looking forward to 'meeting' the characters.


Friday, 19 August 2016

Brazilian Hearts of Palm Pasties

This vegetarian recipe sees the traditional Brazilian dish of Risoles de Palmito baked rather than deep fried to produce a healthier meal which is jam-packed with flavour.

These palm of hearts pasties are a baked take on the Brazilian Risoles de Palmito

Having been totally impressed by the Olympic performances out in Rio and the amazing medal haul team GB are bringing back home, Mr E & I marked the games with a Brazilian meal the other day.  Now being a little topsy-turvy, I have already shared our dessert, a Quindao (a fabulous coconut dessert using just 4 store cupboard ingredients), on Only Crumbs Remain.  Well, I am the sort of girl who, when eating out, often chooses her dessert before her main meal!  Just check out my (new & improved!) recipe index if you need any more convincing about my fondness for cakes and pastries! 

Rest assured though, I do follow convention and enjoy our savoury meal before diving headlong into a dessert ;-)

This delicious vegetarian bake is a baked version of the traditional risoles de palmito

The dish we chose to make for our Brazilian themed meal is Risoles de Palmito.  The original recipe translated this as Hearts of Palm Croquettes, but to be honest, to Mr E & I these are more of a pasty rather than a croquette which is why I've called them Brazilian Heart of Palm Pasties.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A Brazilian Coconut Dessert (Quindao)

The slow bake of this easy and traditional Brazilian bake rewards you with a rich, delicious, dessert consisting of an outer crust, an almost macaroon inner layer topped with a vibrant curd all packed with coconut flavour!  Plus you only need four store cupboard ingredients to make it!

A delicious Brazilian traditional dessert made with just four ingredients.

Seriously, how good have the Rio Olympic games been?  The beautiful location.  The haul of medals.  There really has been some awe inspiring performances achieved in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain which towers over the golden sands of Copacabana Beach.

Whilst watching Max Whitlock become double Olympic Champion following his amazing floor routine and prowess on the pommel horse the other evening, I knew that Mr E & I needed to mark the games with a traditional Brazilian meal.  Now, not knowing anything about Brazilian cuisine, let alone having never travelled to Brazil, I carried out a quick search on Google and found numerous dishes to whet our appetite.


Saturday, 13 August 2016

Mini Bilberry Tarts with a Lattice Crust

These petite individual fruit tarts are made with a delicious sweet pastry and finished with an inviting lattice crust, making them perfect for sharing with family and friends during afternoon tea.  

Recipe for Mini Bilberry Tarts with a Lattice Crust

Afternoon tea is such a treat.  With the generous selection of crustless sandwiches, beautiful scones served with jam and cream, and the mesmerising array of pretty patisserie bakes, I would happily indulge in this classic British tradition everyday if it weren't for the calories! 

As afternoon tea is known for its small, dainty bakes and having a set of 6 petite tart cases in the cupboard and some recently foraged bilberries in the fridge, a dainty, individual bake was called for to mark Afternoon Tea Week (8th - 14th August). 

Afternoon Tea with fruit tarts with a lattice crust

These individual bilberry tarts with a lattice crust certainly fell into the petite category having measured just 6cm across!  They're just so dainty!  The lattice crust exposed the wonderful colour of the fruit so well.   Purple.  Jammy.  Fruity.  Delicious.  Bilberries!


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Side-by-Side Baking, Folding in Flour

A comparison bake looking at two different folding in methods when making cake batters.

Victoria Sponge Cupcakes

It's been some time since I last shared a Side-by-Side bake, so wanting to remedy that I donned my pinny and gathered my taste testers together.

For those who may be new to Only Crumbs Remain, my Side by Side Baking series compares similar bakes with a view to achieving better results.  The focus of the actual comparison depends upon the bake itself; it may look at the rise achieved in a sponge, the crumb of the bake, specific ingredients, or perhaps the ease of a technique.  So far we have compared gluten free flour against regular self raising flour in cupcakes; the creaming-in method against the all in one method when making sponges; the effects of resting yorkshire pudding batters; two different pikelet recipes; three different methods of infusing tea flavour into a sponge batter; and the impact butter quality has on sponge bakes.   All of this couldn't be done without my small group of 'volunteer' taste tasters who are briefed on the nature of each comparison bake before trying the samples.

This particular Side-by-Side comparison looks at two different methods of folding flour into a cupcake batter.  It was inspired by August's edition of Asda's free magazine, 'Good Living', which I picked up during a recent shop.  As you may know, James Martin is the new face of Asda, helping them to promote good family food and straightforward bakes.  In the magazine are numerous recipes and tips shared by the Yorkshire pro-chef himself.


Thursday, 28 July 2016

Bilberry & Custard Crumble Tart

With slightly sharp & juicy bilberries, creamy custard, and crumbly crumble all housed in a sweet pastry case, this fabulously delicious bake not only combines two popular desserts but also contains all of the seasonal flavours and textures you might want in one bite!

Bilberry & Custard Crumble Tart

Pie or crumble?  It can be a quite a decision wondering what to make with fruits which have been lovingly foraged.  That was the predicament which Mr E & I faced the other day after coming home with a box full of bilberries.  Clearly, it's not an earth shaking predicament, but none the less a relatively important one when you want to do justice to a beautiful fruit which is difficult to harvest. 

The 'eureka' moment hit when I was on the cusp of falling asleep that evening.  Why not make both.  In one bake.  A crumble tart.  Or if you prefer, a crumble pie.  With a sweet pastry base, delicious slightly tart bilberries and crumble topping the dessert sounded like the perfect combination.  But deciding to make the tart a 'complete' dessert I included a layer of creamy custard, to make a Bilberry & Custard Crumble Tart, which sat snugly between the bilberries and the crumble topping.  It's perfect for packaging up for a day out and about, a picnic or for when sat at home with a pot of tea.  


Saturday, 23 July 2016

Chocolate & Strawberry Drip Cake

Made with a triple layer vanilla sponge cake, coated in vanilla frosting & decorated with chocolate ganache, chocolate dipped strawberries, dehydrated strawberries, and chocolate shards, this drip cake, being my first attempt, may not be as sexy as many others but it certainly tasted amazing.

How to make a Chocolate and Strawberry Drip Cake

Drip cakes.  They're tall.  They're elegant.  They're eye catching.  They're show-stoppers.  They're down-right sexy!

In fact they're all the rage on Instagram and Pinterest right now.   There's pink ones, blue ones, cream ones, chocolate ones.  Some are topped with macarons, chocolate and candy.  Whilst others use seasonal fruits and flowers.  There are those styled with 'dropped' ice cream cones and even those which combine an illusion cake with the decoration of a drip cake.  There really is no limit to the style and flavours which can be brought to a drip cake.  And as such they make the perfect bake for any number of occasions; birthdays, anniversaries, weddings or simply 'just because'.   In fact check out my 'Impressive Cakes' Pinterest board for drip cake ideas and inspiration.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Date Slice

Date Slice is a lovely tasty treat.  It's easy to make and is great added to a packed lunch, included in a picnic or even offered as a tasty homemade after-school treat.

How to make a Homemade Date Slice.

This recipe for Date Slice is super easy, super quick, super tasty and not forgetting very nutritious too.

Date Slice is one of those recipes which mum and I would often make together when I was a teen during the long summer holidays.  No sooner was the bake out of the oven and cooled, they were snaffled up and literally only crumbs remained!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Bilberry & Spelt Muffins

 These easy to make muffins make great use of foraged fruit.  The bilberries, similar in appearance to blueberries, are generously packed into the bake bringing a wonderful aroma and flavour.

These Bilberry and Spelt Muffins were made with foraged fruit.

When Mr E and I have some spare time we often go for a walk in the Yorkshire countryside. Up hill and down dale as they say.  Last weekend saw us at one of our local nature reserves walking through the woodland waiting for a shower to pass.  The woods were quiet, as is expected at this time of year, as the songbirds are recovering from the enormous effort of raising their brood.  Just a few short minutes into our walk a bird made its presence known, and not through the beauty of its song.  The bird decided to, well, visit the bathroom at the precise moment that we walked beneath the tree where it stood.  Wearing no hat Mr E had been well and truly got!  And needless to say he wan't too pleased about it!

Despite Mr E not being too happy about the 'incident' it is said to bring good luck.  Perhaps he should purchase a lottery ticket for the next draw ;-)  Or maybe the good luck was stumbling across the heavily ladened bilberry bushes we found later in our walk.


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Arancini Kievs with a Quinoa Crust

The crispy quinoa crust surrounding these arancini contrasts well against the soft starchy risotto, and the garlic butter within brings extra flavour.  Packed with nutritious grains, these arancini, commonly referred to as risotto balls, make great use of left over risotto. 

Recipe for homemade Arancini / Risotto balls with a kiev filling and a nutritious quinoa crust

It seems an age since I last shared a savoury recipe here on Only Crumbs Remain.  In fact it is an age.  To be specific it's almost 6 weeks since I wrote about our No-Knead Rosemary & Garlic Focaccia!  Yes, there seems to have been a whole 6 weeks where I've simply baked, written about and shared a plethora of desserts and cupcakes!  But do rest assured, Mr E & I haven't just been living off those 'naughty but nice' bakes, we have rustled up savoury meals everyday just like every household we know.  So wanting to balance things out a little between all of those sweet calories, here is a dish which makes perfect use of left over risotto resulting in an easy to make light lunch.

The risotto and mozzarella croquettes which I made earlier in the year were a huge hit with both Mr E & I.  The stretchy mozzarella hidden inside was fabulous.  So wanting to re-create something similar we decided to make some 'kiev' style risotto balls.


Saturday, 2 July 2016

Apricot & Orange Frangipane Tarts

These individual tarts, decorated with a pastry plait, are delicious with a clear almond flavour which is complemented by the addition of apricots and orange.   Although generously sized, they are the perfect afternoon treat when served with your favourite drink. 

The flavours of this Apricot and Orange Frangipane Tart work very well together and make a lovely alternative to the classically used pears.

In recent weeks I've become mesmerised by images of beautiful pastry designs which adorn the tops of pies and tarts over on Instagram.   We're not just talking about the classic basket weave here, which in itself is very effective, but rather flowers, cutouts and other such intricate designs.

So being a huge fan of making my own pastry I promised myself that my next appropriate bake would be finished with some sort of pastry decoration.  The desicion was what to make, but having an open bag of ground almonds in the cupboard which was rapidly approaching its best before date Mr E & I decided to make some frangipane tarts.