There are two kinds of baking disasters: the ones you can salvage and the ones you can’t. Last week, my Gran went through one of the former, convincing herself (quite wrongly) that things were beyond repair.
She had been making shortbread, but something about the recipe wasn’t quite right: when she took them out of the oven, they were dark brown, crumbly, and had merged into a single mega biscuit. Thankfully, just as she was preparing to open the bin, my aunt arrived to intervene. And, in a triumph of resourcefulness, declared she would take them for crumbs.
Having tasted these crumbs for myself last night, I can safely say that everyone should keep a tub of them safe in the cupboard. Aside from being excellent for cheesecake bases (not to mention fridge cakes), they possess all the powers required to make a tasty pudding spectacular.
Last night, for example, there was ice cream, fresh strawberries, pineapple chunks, and chocolate covered profiteroles on the table. And weirdly enough, even the profiteroles (which I’ve always thought of as needing no accompaniment) were magically enhanced when eaten with a generous spoonful of crumbs.
I suppose it makes sense, really. Although these little balls have almost everything (squidgy chocolate, cream, soft pastry), they don’t have any crunch. With just one small and simple addition, I felt like I’d found me a whole new dimension. The MeltSmoothCrunch Zone.
Take me now.
Is there nothing a handful of biscuit crumbs wouldn’t improve? Not that I can think of – or not in the world of pudding, at least. Trifles, fruit salads, apple cakes: all could transcend into mystical heights, with just a few sweet crunchy particles.
According to my aunt, they are amazing when sprinkled on natural yoghurt and ice cream (that’s ice cream, plus yoghurt, plus biscuit, mind you – not ice cream or yoghurt. My mind = blown). No doubt you could make a truly wicked granola as well. Breakfast pudding porn.
So next time you finish a packet of biscuits – or things fall apart in the kitchen – keep that bin lid sealed. Gather those crumbs and use your baking noggin. Your efforts will not be in vain.