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…

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…