Dark chocolate coconut glaze – dairy free

Gavin WrenBaking, Dairy free baking, Recipes, Vegetarian

Dark chocolate coconut dairy free glaze
So you’ve got a cake you want a chocolate glaze for. Or maybe you’ve just made my banana coconut cake and want to upgrade it from amazing to stupendous? You need a rich, sumptuous glaze, something that’s going to both convey your sense of sophistication like dark chocolate and your laid back easy going nature like the tropical tones of coconut. Something that’s going to be so tasty that you could eat it by the bowlful, rather than putting it on the cake. Something that is going to make people go OMG, basically. In that case, you’ve come to the right place my friend. This is the one for you. When testing it, the first effort came out too runny. But, before I threw it out of the kitchen window in a petulant artistic rage, I thought I’d dip the spatula in and try some to check the flavours were…

Banana Coconut Cake – dairy free and low gluten

Gavin WrenBaking, Dairy free baking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Cooked banana coconut cake
Today I have another chapter for you in what has become the low gluten, spelt baking zone of my blog. But this time, I’m not going to give you a long lecture on bananas. No, not at all, I’m just going to stick to the facts and the recipe. But I will say, make sure your bananas are brown and very, very soft before you try and make this cake. And here’s a quick photo of one, y’know, just for reference. OK, that’s better. Cake or bread? So, banana cake, or as most of the world would say, banana bread. Why does everyone call it bread? Does it have yeast in it? No. Does it have water in it? No. Does it look and taste like a cake? Yes. The only trait that many banana ‘breads’ share with traditional bread is baking them in a loaf tin, which by no…

Super chewy oat, mango and cardamon spelt cookies

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Chewy oat, mango and cardamon spelt cookies on a rack
Can I just start this post by saying that these are THE BEST COOKIES I’VE EVER MADE AT HOME. OK, good. When I was younger, not much younger in fact, probably about a week ago, my favourite cookies were oatmeal and raisin. I would happily eat them until I was genuinely experiencing severe nausea. This would be the trigger for me to step away from the pack, reconsider how much I should eat, the nutritional value of too many cookies, then go back and have “just one more”. However, times move on, I’ve grown another week older, but sometimes, certain things don’t change very much. I still have the ability to eat my way through sugar induced nausea, and frankly, oatmeal and raisin cookies still rock the supermarket-bakery cookie world. But the home cooked cookie world opens up all sorts of possibilites and what I’ve got for you here is…

Spelt Hot Cross Buns

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spiced spelt flour hot cross buns
The almighty spelt hot cross buns So it’s Easter, that means chocolate eggs, rabbits, yellow chicks, and err, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like Christmas, it’s a time of the year where you get complete carte blanche to eat whatever the hell you want. This normally manifests in a wheelbarrow full of chocolate and a big roast dinner, not forgetting the mighty hot cross bun. Did you know that you’re officially supposed to eat hot cross buns for a minimum of two weeks, either side of Easter weekend, and the longer, the better? (only kidding, but it’s a good benchmark). And like Christmas pudding, they taste good at any time of year. As you may have guessed, I like hot cross buns. I also have a thing for spelt flour. In fact, I’m on a ceaseless mission to spelt-ificate everything that I bake, which leads to some great discoveries and…

Goat’s cheese and raspberry tarts

Gavin WrenBaking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Goat's cheese and raspberry tart cooked
Just a few days ago I was telling you how great making a simple rough puff pastry is, using spelt flour, and how it’s one of the most simple and rewarding things you can do. And the real treat comes when you cook it, as you can watch the pastry puff it’s cheeks and take on the rich, warm, golden tones that pastry develops in the oven. And it’s extremely versatile. Once you have the base pastry mixed, you can do all sorts of things with it, sweet or savoury, individual tarts or large sharing ones. Also, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get creative and try something of your own with the spare pieces (see the box at the bottom of the page). This tart makes a beautiful summer or autumn recipe, something that’s simple to make yet both visually stunning and amazingly tasty. It’s also a great…

Spelt rough puff pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spelt rough puff pastry ready for oven
Can I tell you a bit of a secret? This recipe got me really excited. Yep, a recipe for plain spelt rough puff pastry and I was over-the-moon excited. It’s not even a recipe that you’d eat on it’s own, it’s just a gateway to other kitchen delights, but for some reason, basic ingredients and techniques get me really excited. A bit like the oven dried tomatoes that were the subject of my first published recipe on this site. In that instance I turned a load of regular tomatoes into rich, sweet, nuggets of concentrated flavour by doing something pretty damn simple. And here’s that excitement again, but with baking there is something slightly magical about the metamorphosis that occurs. It seems so transformational, to take a few simple, pale ingredients like flour, water and butter, combine them, add heat, and the end result is a rich, flaky, crispy morsel…