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!

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.


Monday, 20 February 2017

Side-by-Side Baking - Genoise Cake

A comparison bake exploring 2 different methods of making genoise cakes.  The aim is to identify 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!


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.


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Vegan Rich Chocolate Orange Dessert

This easy to make chocolate orange dessert is completely luxurious!  It would be perfect for date night, or 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.

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! 😊

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.