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!