Lemon & ginger spelt fruit bread

Gavin WrenBaking, Dairy free baking, No Added Sugar, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

spelt fruit bread
I have a personal rule regarding food that I make food for the blog, a promise to myself that I will not over-eat. Sounds simple, eh? You might think so, but sometimes I make dishes for the blog at peculiar times of the day or end up with way more food than I need, and I really don’t like wasting food. So, rather than engage in some kind of bacchanalian feast with it all, I try to do the right thing and save it for later, freeze it, or just eat it as my next meal. This is because at 37 years old I weigh nearly 5 stone (30kg) less than I did around my 30th Birthday and there’s no way I’m letting that weight sneak back in without me noticing. This soupçon of personal restraint provides me with an infallible indicator of a recipe’s success, and that’s if it…

Wholemeal Fresh Spelt Pasta

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, The World of Food

wholemeal spelt pasta tagliatelle
I’ve made homemade pasta previously, from silky whisps of fine tagliatelle to carefully manipulated, pillowy ravioli. It’s one of those things that’s a domestic indulgence, because shop bought, dried pasta is so good and easy to cook that it’s hard to justify the time and effort required in making your own. But, in the true spirit of indulgence, it is also incredibly satisfying to make this simple ingredient and if we always chose the quickest, easiest, ready-prepared method, we might all turn into mindless zombies. Despite this previous experience of homemade pasta and the fact that pasta contains so few ingredients, it ended up quite a tricky recipe to develop. Balls of pasta, eggs shells and flour very nearly adorned the kitchen window as I tried to rationalise dryness, stickiness, toughness and splitting, so that I could explain it to you. The end result really is quite a rough (rustic?)…

Pesto aubergine tart

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Aubergine pesto tart
By now you’re probably thinking “errr… what’s the deal with this guy and aubergines?”. I’ll admit it, I’m sponsored by aubergines. They called me up from their field based HQ and asked if I could write about them endlessly. In return I get sod all, because they’re a bunch of plants, have no currency nor do they possess suitable ID to open a bank account to store or transfer money. They even asked me for exclusivity rights to break up my talks with the poddington peas about a mutual tie-in. Ok, maybe that’s all fantasy. Maybe. In reality, I just like aubergines, they represent something very summery to me. So on those rare occasions that the weather turns the temperature up slightly, casting sunlight towards us and beaming a gentle, welcoming smile upon our faces, I cook aubergines. I’ve extolled their virtues for quite some time in dishes such as…

Pistachio-topped labneh cheesecake with lime & coriander – no added sugar

Gavin WrenBaking, Desserts, No Added Sugar, Recipes

Labneh cheesecake with lime and coriander
For once, I’m going to start talking about the food first, rather than sharing obscure excerpts from my prandial past with you. Previously on le petit oeuf, I’ve professed my love for yoghurt and featured it in a few recipes. This has developed recently into a lean towards the delights of labneh, and anyone who is following my Twitter feed (and if not, why not?) will have seen a few more labneh based adventures, such as the za’atar rolled labneh balls. If you’ve never experienced labneh, let me explain a little more about it. It’s made from plain yoghurt that has been strained, a simple process that takes it from it’s initial runny state, via the greek yoghurt-ish phase before finally reaching thick, soft-cheese-esque consistency. If you want to give it a go, I published a simple guide to how you can make great labneh at home just last week…

Fruit loaded mini cherry clafoutis

Gavin WrenBaking, Dairy free baking, Desserts, No Added Sugar, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Mini cherry clafoutis with no added sugar
It’s food based confessional again, this time I’ll confess that I didn’t eat strawberries for thirty years. Damn, that sounds like a long time. I have a slight recollection of eating berries as a young child, but spent my teens, twenties and some of my thirties professing that I simply didn’t like berries, currants or any fruit in that genre such as grapes. Cherries also fall under that large sweeping generalisation, as they’re far too berry-like to be in any other fruit group to my mind. Then, a few years ago I was shaking off some old (bad) habits and was encouraged to test the boundaries of my wild new leaf turning exercise by eating a strawberry. Part of me wondered if it was a textural thing. Berrys are quite mushy, whereas the fruits I liked (apples, pears, oranges… errr, pineapple) had a perceived texture or zing to them. I…

The ultimate, no added sugar granola guide

Gavin WrenBaking, Breakfast, Dairy free baking, No Added Sugar, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Home made granola no added sugar
What is Granola? Now, this might sound like a stupid question, but do you know what granola is? Google says ‘denoting people with liberal or Green political views, typified as eating health foods.’, so who knew? I’m part-granola! But keeping this on topic, it also said ‘n. a kind of breakfast cereal resembling muesli.’ Which is more like the granola I’m thinking of. But I have a problem with that definition. It’s not particularly accurate and sounds like it was created by two buddies on a Friday afternoon in an office… ‘So, what’s next on the list today… hmmmm, granola…. ‘Hey, Dave! Isn’t granola that health freak rabbit food stuff?” ‘Yeah, it’s just a posh name for muesli’ ‘OK, sweet. So, let’s see… ‘Granola noun A kind of breakfast cereal resembling muesli.’ Maybe I’m being unfair on these people, they’ve got a hugely responsible job…