Spelt Blackberry and Apple Muffins

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

Soft and tender spelt blackberry and apple muffins, a recipe created from seasonal fruit picked directly from the plant, a dairy-free recipe using delicious spelt flour and the perfect natural pairing of blackberries and apples.
This post is a recipe for soft and tender spelt blackberry and apple muffins, created from seasonal fruit picked directly from the plant, a dairy-free recipe using delicious spelt flour and the perfect natural pairing of blackberries and apples.

As September started, I had recently returned from a week of singing, yoga and relaxation at a camp near Glastonbury. My sleeping bag and tent were purposefully residing in the hallway, causing a very minor detour to the loo and at worst, an awkward trip hazard. Their placement wasn't due to tardiness on my part, the sleeping bag had already been crammed back into it's right-sized gap in the spare wardrobe, then removed again.

A peculiar feeling had risen up inside me, calling me back to the tent, despite an openly professed hatred of camping. At first, a presently underwhelming feeling suggested that I grab this bundle of synthetic...come and read more...

Spelt Tarte au Citron

Gavin WrenBaking, Desserts, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Using the spelt sweet shortcrust pastry (pâte sucrée) which I posted previously, filled with a beautiful, lusciously thick lemon curd, it makes a beautiful spelt tarte au citron with crisp, sharp flavours and that soft, crumbly, sweet spelt crust. It's a beauty of a patisserie recipe perfect for afternoon tea or a post-prandial dessert.
It's been a confusing week. But today's recipe is a gem. Using the spelt sweet shortcrust pastry (pâte sucrée) which I posted previously, filled with a beautiful, lusciously thick lemon curd, it makes a beautiful spelt tart au citron with crisp, sharp flavours and that soft, crumbly, sweet spelt crust. It's a beauty of a patisserie recipe perfect for afternoon tea or a post-prandial dessert.

The Human Experience
I've experienced the full breadth of human emotion from happiness to sadness, fear to anger. Monday began with buoyancy, entering a week full of possibilities. Freelance work to arrange, personal photoshoot to organise, job application to complete, review and submit, exhibition display to create, personal artwork project to finish, blog posts to write on top of having made evening arrangements every night from Monday...come and read more...

Spelt Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Pâte sucrée)

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Today's recipe is spelt sweet shortcrust pastry, otherwise known as pâte sucrée, a staple ingredient for your culinary knowledge banks, a sweet base which can turn it's hand to many creations in the kitchen.
Today's recipe is spelt sweet shortcrust pastry, otherwise known as pâte sucrée, a staple ingredient for your culinary knowledge banks, a sweet base which can turn it's hand to many creations in the kitchen. Both sweet shortcrust pastry and it's savoury sister are the foundations of some of the loveliest sweet and savoury baked creations. Just consider where we'd be without tarts, pies and quiches? Anarchy, that's where.

The pastry in this recipe makes a stunningly tender, soft and sweet crust. It's delicate when cooked, with a beautiful buttery warmth which crumbles into submission when eaten.

I'm keeping the words in this post short because the recipe below is LOADED with pictures to help you find your way through this simple yet essential recipe. If you've found this page, you're probably here for one thing - amazing pastry! Enjoy!...come and read more...

Spelt Eclairs with dairy free Crème Pâtissière

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

Spelt eclairs are a beautiful baked treat made with my spelt choux paste and stuffed with my dairy free pastry cream. Don't be afraid, these hollow buns are a patisserie favourite which can extend your knowledge of baking without stressing you out!
When writing the recipe for these spelt eclairs, I wondered if people will think it odd that I'm using a dairy free filling in pastry which contains butter. Weird, huh?

However, it's not as odd as it may appear.
Boundaries of Tolerance
I experience an intolerance to lactose. This means that if I drink a pint of milk, or worse still, if I consume a mountain of whipped cream, I will get anything from mild discomfort up to severe stomach cramps and nausea.

Products such as butter and yoghurt contain far less lactose than milk or thick cream. Therefore, people such as myself who experience a variety of physical symptoms from consuming lactose can often consume amounts of yoghurt or butter without any significant negative reaction. I eat yoghurt every week and have never noticed discomfort from doing so.

I seem to be able to eat butter, with...come and read more...

Spelt Choux Paste (Pâte à Choux)

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Spelt choux paste (otherwise known as Pâte à Choux) is an amazing pastry which puffs up when cooked, leaving hollow buns or pastries which can be stuffed, filled and topped however you desire! Whether it's eclairs, profiteroles or a croquembouche which you want to bake this weekend, you can extend your patisserie skills with this amazing spelt pastry.
Suddenly, inspiration hit me. I want to make a croquembouche, a spelt croquembouche and it needs to be a massive one made up with loads and loads of little spelt choux (pronounced 'shoe') balls.

Croquembouche is one of the most spectacularly decadent culinary creations in existence. It's a celebratory sweet used in French cuisine at special occasions, comprising choux pastry balls into the hundreds, stuffed with cream then piled high in a cone shape and bound together with large splurges of caramel. It's the kind of recipe that should have The Samaritans' phone number attached, especially if you're making it to a deadline, or for the first time, because I could easily induce some kind of nervous breakdown.

As the saying goes, there's no use trying to run before I can walk. The first step in this adventure is to make, and become comfortable with choux pastry. Also known as...come and read more...

Spelt Cinnamon Bun Cake

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

It's said that our sense of smell invokes profound feelings and emotions within us. Baking this spelt cinnamon bun cake put that to the test and confirmed that a tantalising aroma can put my brain into sensory overload. This recipe is loaded with cinnamon and cardamom infused with soy milk to make a sweet bake which is a traditional Scandinavian treat and for good reason, because it's utterly irresistable!
It's said that our sense of smell invokes profound feelings and emotions within us. Baking this spelt cinnamon bun cake put that to the test and confirmed that a tantalising aroma can put my brain into sensory overload.

The Road Less Travelled.
When talking of food, it's easy to lapse into trite, oft-repeated phrases, loaded with food-friendly adjectives. An author's job is to track down the scent of unique expression, rather than propping up the bar with descriptions that we've all heard before. Originality provokes interest, I often ponder over how to construct the description of a recipe, without resorting to the usual suspects of 'simple', 'rich', 'tasty', 'easy', 'quick'. Rich brevity is the key to success.

It takes a deeper analysis of the food, a bear-hug of emotional connection with it and an expansive relationship with the English language to venture beyond the obvious... come and read more...