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…

Spicy avocado sweet potatoes

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Spicy avocado sweeet potato
I’ve got a secret to tell you. I don’t know whether to be embarrassed about this or not, but I’ve been eating baked sweet potatoes at least once a week for a very long time. They’ve become my default, simple, go-to, easy dinner of choice and I’m not even beginning to get bored of them. One of the very first recipes that was never put on this blog for you was about baked sweet potatoes. I know that’s a confusing sentence, but what I mean is that one of the first recipes that I pondered over endlessly, planned and procrastinated, then almost posted, was baked sweet potatoes. I’ve still got the draft sitting in a folder, I just didn’t take the photos. Because, my brothers and sisters, did you know that you can bake them like a regular potato? Cooked whole in the oven then sliced and topped with whichever…

Brunch-style smoked salmon panzanella

Gavin WrenBreakfast, Fish & Shellfish, Main Dishes, Recipes

Brunch smoked salmon panzanella with poached egg
Yes, yes, I know it’s Monday, not Sunday, so why am I posting a Sunday brunch recipe? Well, firstly, because yesterday was Sunday, which was the day I cooked and photographed this, and secondly, because I wanted to give you plenty of time to wind this recipe into your weekly shopping, so that you can make it this coming weekend. It’s a lovely, easy one to make, a Sunday brunch special which can be quickly thrown together and when it comes to being served, the messier, the better. It doesn’t require very much forethought or planning which combined with a little bit of leftover, stale bread you can create this unique twist on either Panzanella, or poached eggs on toast, depending on how you look at things. Maybe poached eggs on panzanella? Make sure you go in heavy with the dressing as this recipe really needs the lemon and oil,…

Beetroot, apple and horseradish soup

Gavin WrenRecipes, Soup, Vegetarian

A mountain of cooked beetroot
Bee’roo.
Bee’root.
B’root.
Beet.
Root.
I just can’t seem to say it right. The first person to point this out was my girlfriend, who regularly sends up my pronounciation of the word beetroot. A typical* conversation at home might go like this: Me: “Do you fancy some bee’roo soup for lunch”
Gf: “B’ROO?”
Me: “OK, let’s try again. Would you like a bowl of homemade beeTrooT soup?”
Gf: “B’ROO?”
Me: “I’ll take that as yes.”
(* Grossly exaggerated) This linguistic laziness seems to be quite a common English tradition where people regularly drop letters from words. All over the country, people drop their h’s and t’s when they pronounce words to either sound cool, be cockney, lazy, or just because they do. Even my hairdresser’s name is an example of it, being called ‘Enry ‘Iggins, presumably in reference to the musical My Fair Lady. Anyway, pronounciation peculiarities aside, last…

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…