Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Mini Trifle Cakes

Made with distinctive layers of light, fluffy sponge, flavoursome jelly, and creamy custard and cream, these mini trifle cakes make a perfect addition to any afternoon tea or family get-together, being a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

Mini Trifle Cakes

Arguably the most welcomed dessert for our family is the humble trifle.  The trifle seems to be a British institution with its delicious layers of sponge, fruit, jelly, custard and cream all being clearly visible through a large glass serving bowl.  When the five of us get together, and trifle is on the menu, that glass bowl soon finds its way back into the cupboard having had the contents devoured; there's never any trifle left for the following day! 

The history of trifle

Having been inspired by a few trifle themed cupcakes on pinterest I decided to rustle up a few mini trifle cakes.  OK, although they're individual cakes they're not exactly mini or even petit-fours, with them being far from dainty you could even call them petit-eights!  But despite their generous proportions, these individual trifle cakes are certainly a winner according to Mr E.


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Simnel Cupcakes

These little simnel cupcakes are perfect for an Easter treat.  With their double layer of marzipan and mixed dried fruit encased in a flavoursome lemony sponge, these little bakes are incredibly delicious.
Simnel Cupcakes, perfect for an Easter celebration.

Simnel cakes have been made for centuries around Easter time here in the UK.  Wikipedia tells us that in relatively recent times they were made for the middle Sunday of Lent when the fast would be relaxed and daughters working in service would be granted the day off to visit their mother (mothering Sunday) often having made a simnel cake to take with them.   It's unclear where the word 'simnel' comes from but Wikipedia suggests that it is derived from the latin 'similia'  meaning 'fine flour'. 
As we know, Simnel cake is a delicious light fruit cake containing two layers of marzipan; one hidden within the batter and baked in the cake, and the other adorning the top.  They are often decorated with 11 marzipan balls which are said to represent the disciples with the exclusion of Judas.  Sometimes a twelfth larger ball is placed in the centre to represent Jesus.   

Simnel Cupcakes, containing a layer of marzipan in the cetre and decorated with more marzipan.

Being a household of just 8 legs, 4 of which belong to our friendly feline friend, Mr E & I didn't fancy making a large cake for it to linger and potentially spoil so we decided to quickly whip up a small batch of simnel cupcakes.  Being cupcake sized means this bake clearly spends far less time in the oven than a traditional simnel cake, but it also means that you can make as many as you like; be it just a few for your own household or several to share with family and friends at an Easter celebration.  

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Wensleydale Cheese Tarts

These wonderful vegetarian savoury open cheese tarts, made from Wensleydale cheese, are easy to make with a few store cupboard ingredients.  

Wensleydale Cheese Tarts

Like Wallace, of the animated duo Wallace & Gromit, I'm somewhat partial to a chunk or two of Wensleydale cheese.  A delicious, crumbly white cheese made here in Yorkshire.  So, having come across a recipe called 'Wensleydale Tarts' in our copy of a book entitled 'Flavours of....Yorkshire Recipes' I instantly knew I wanted to try it.

Wensleydale Cheese
The British Cheese Board tells us that Wensleydale cheese has been made in Wensleydale (located to the north east of England in Yorkshire) since 1150.  French Cistercian monks brought with them their method for cheese making when they settled in the dale and built a monastery.  Over the years this technique and skill was passed from monk to monk and onto farmer's wives, so when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1540 that cheese making process wasn't lost.  Due to the threat of centralisation in the dairy industry and the outbreak of the second world war the indigenous production of this wonderful cheese was threatened.  It is through the hard work and determination of local folk in the dales that this historic cheese has survived and has been awarded the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) mark.
The tart itself is easy to make, and can be made ahead of time before being finished off when you're ready to serve.  The pastry case is made from a simple short crust pastry.  It's a straightforward pastry to make, though, if you prefer, it would be equally as tasty made with a shop bought pastry.  The pastry is baked blind until it is cooked through before being filled with a thick white sauce which is flavoured with nutmeg, onions and a generous quantity of Wensleydale cheese.  Once the tart case is filled with the flavoursome sauce, it is topped with more cheese and breadcrumbs before being popped under the grill for a few short minutes until golden brown.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Illusion Cake & Giveaway

Made from a raspberry & white chocolate triple layered cake, smothered in a white chocolate & mascarpone frosting, this jelly bean illusion cake marks Only Crumbs Remain's first anniversary.  To celebrate and to say 'thank you' to all of our readers we are also hosting a giveaway! (The giveaway has now ended).
Illusion cake made with jelly beans

A year ago I tentatively and excitedly pressed the publish button and set Only Crumbs Remain live!  It was nervous moment, wondering what was going to happen, but I can honestly say that I've LOVED the past twelve months in the blogging world!  Not only have I been able to indulge in my passion for baking, I have also been privileged to work with a couple of great brands on collaborative posts, whilst also increasing my limited knowledge regarding photography and coding, amongst other things.  Though small in the grand scheme of things, I feel like my blog & I have been on quite a journey during this past year.
Jelly Bean Illusion cake.  The cake itself is a raspberry & white chocolate triple layered cake with white chocolate and mascarpone frosting

I've received an inordinate amount of help with my little vegetarian blog from family and friends, for whom I am incredibly grateful, though for fear of making this sound like an Oscars speech I shall only identify Mr E - my biggest helper.  He not only samples my baking (difficult task there ;-) ) but also helps me proof read my posts, offers suggestions and is my No 1 tea and custard pourer for those movement shots!  He's the best :-)

The Bakers Baking Bundle Giveaway

One of the best parts about blogging though is undoubtedly you, the reader.  It's wonderful to see people call by and read my recipe posts, and even more so when I hear that somebody has re-created a recipe, perhaps with their own twist.  The support, lovely comments and friendships forged are very much valued.  And for that reason, Mr E & I are hosting our first giveaway as a massive "thank you" to all those visitors, new and returning (NB the giveaway has now closed).  I do hope you like what we have pulled together and that you will take part, though more about that later as to kick off the celebration we have cake.  After all what's a celebration without cake!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Traditional Vanilla Fudge

Made using the traditional boiling method with store cupboard ingredients, this vanilla fudge recipe would make a great gift.

Traditional Vanilla Fudge

Confectionary always makes a great gift, whether it's Chocolate Truffles, Turkish Delight or Fudge, most people would be happy to receive a handcrafted box of sugary, calorie laden treat!   This vanilla fudge would make a lovely gift this forthcoming Mothering Sunday, though it would equally be great for a Christmas gift or as a "Thankyou" to somebody.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Rhubarb & Ginger Crumble

Made with beautiful forced rhubarb teamed with complementary stem ginger, this traditional dessert is perfect for welcoming in the new season though still being comforting on the colder evenings.

Rhubarb & Ginger Crumble with Custard

Oh Spring, how wonderful it is to welcome you back, it's been so many months since last we met.  How I love your lengthening days and warmer temperatures, with your promise of good things to come.   I'm not alone in loving you, Spring, for the flowers begin to grow, exposing their delicate petals and feminine colours every time that you're around.  And for the mammal and bird communities, their thoughts soon move onto bringing forth their next generation, happy for you, Spring, to cradle their precious babies in your arms.  Oh Spring, you're my favourite season.

As spring has sprung, meteorologically speaking, though you'd never know it with how chilly it is of late, I wanted to mark the occasion with something seasonal.  Being a vegetarian blog, spring lamb clearly doesn't feature on our dining room table, unless one fancied gambling on it of course, so knowing that the tender and beautifully coloured stems of forced rhubarb was now in our shops I decided to go with that.

Springtime life
Images courtesy of Pixabay