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!