Thursday, 10 January 2013

Crumbs...what do I do with that leftover bread?

There it is - a chunk of leftover, slightly stale bread that we somehow never got round to eating whilst still fresh and lovely.  So, what to do with it other than stuffing for roast chicken? I began to look in cook books and on the internet and found exactly what I'd hoped - a cake!  Someone had posted a recipe for their German grandmother's cherry & vanilla breadcrumb cake - I am assuming that this recipe came into being during the years of rationing either during or after the war when food waste was not an issue (I will touch on this again in a little while).

Anyway, I took my sad looking chunk of bread, chucked it into the food processor to make rough crumbs and then put those into the oven to dry for a little before returning them to the food processor for another whiz.  The result was a fine, almost flour-like consistency...Now, you see where I am going with this, don't you?  The breadcrumbs are used to replace some of the flour in the recipe! 
I was still a bit skeptical but must admit that I am very pleased with the fluffy & moist result that you can see in the picture below.  The translated version of the recipe will soon appear under the recipes tab but for the German-speaking readers amongst you, please click here for a link to the original.

Mhmmm...I think you could replace the cherries and vanilla with apple & sultanas and cinnamon or maybe pineapple chunks and powdered ginger? Lots of yummy possibilities!

To me, this is the beauty of using up leftovers: creating something wonderful and new out of something that could have easily ended up as rubbish.  On that note, one of the headlines in today's press was a report on food waste which states that 30 - 50% of the world's food gets wasted.  Shocking and unacceptable!  Please click here for a link to the report.

Cherry & Vanilla Breadcrumb Cake (makes one large loaf cake)


80g butter, 100g sugar, 3 egg whites & 3 egg yolks, 100g flour, 100g fine breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp milk, 2 tsp baking powder, some vanilla essence, 250g cherries (fresh or tinned)


  •     Preheat oven to 175 degrees (conventional oven) or 160 degrees for a fan oven
  •     Lightly oil a large loaf tin and dust with fine breadcrumbs
  •     Mix butter with sugar until creamy and stir in the egg yolks
  •     Add all the dry ingredients as well as the milk, vanilla essence and lastly the cherries - the dough will be quite stiff but fear not...
  •     In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff
  •     Fold the egg whites under the dough - this will now be a much softer consistency
  •     Spoon the mix into the prepared loaf tin
  •     Bake for ca. 50 minutes (my small loaf cake took only 35 minutes, so just keep checking by putting a skewer into the middle of the cake - if it comes out clean, the cake is done)
  •     Cool the cake on a wire rack and once cooled, lightly dust with icing sugar

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