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...

Dairy Free Pastry Cream (Crème Pâtissière)

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Dairy free baking, Recipes, Sauces

Dairy Free Pastry Cream, otherwise known as Crème Pâtissière is a sticky sweet custard filling for eclairs, profiteroles, doughnuts, cakes and any other patisserie or bake you care to make! It's made with just eggs, dairy free milk, sugar and flour, which gives a lusciously silky sweet sauce to create a sweet treat or dessert for your friends and family.
I'm tackling a patisserie basic today, luscious crème pâtissière, that thick, sweet, yellow cream found in the most amazing patisseries treats and tarts. This version here has undergone a lactose free tweak, making a dairy free pastry cream that everyone can enjoy.

"Krem pat"
Don't worry, I've not adopted a peculiar language or speaking in tongues. It's how I first heard crème pâtissière referred to during a croissant making workshop. The instructor was demonstrating other uses for the lovely, flaky, layered, enriched dough, working through pain au chocolat, before mentioning we could make pain au raisin.

He suddenly shouted across the kitchen to his assistant "Can I use some of your krem pat?". She said "sure! It's in the walk-in". As I blankly wondered what the hell this krem pat was, he went on to explain crème pâtissière, or pastry cream as it's also known.

I love...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...

Spelt Ginger Biscuits

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Today I'm sharing what might be the very first recipe that I ever wrote down. An easy baking recipe for ginger biscuits which I have now modified to include spelt. These spelt ginger biscuits are so simple that a five year old could make them (and probably has, judging by the writing).
Today I'm sharing what could be the very first recipe that I ever wrote down. It's an easy baking recipe for ginger biscuits which I have now modified to include spelt. The resultant spelt ginger biscuits are so simple that a five year old could make them (and probably has, judging by the writing).
Emancipation.
My parents are clearing their home, having finally taken the decision to sell the house that my brother and I grew up in, after years of my parents living in it alone. Well, I say alone. It has mostly been just the two of them, aside from my occasional sojourns there, when I have been between flats, relationships, or both.

This residential emancipation is divulging a trove of souvenirs and relics, not only from my parent's lives, but also from mine, my brother's and those who went before us. Having lived there for... come and read more...

Low Sugar Dark Chocolate Spelt Brownies

Gavin WrenBaking, No Added Sugar, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Low sugar dark chocolate spelt brownies made using dates to sweeten, providing a delicious rich brownie recipe with only a fraction of the sugar of most brownie recipes. These delicious brownies make a great treat if you're cutting out refined sugar or if you simply want to reduce your sugar intake without foregoing some delicious baked treats! Time to get baking!
Today’s recipe is low sugar dark chocolate spelt brownies, a rich and dark recipe sweetened with dates instead of mountains of refined sugar. Cakes with no refined sugar can present challenges to the baker, because sugar gives structure to cakes as it’s a solid once cooled. Luckily brownies are all the better for being thick, squidgy and gooey, which are boxes these spelt brownies comprehensively tick. Whether you’re simply wanting to cut down on your sugar intake, or are seeking to cut out refined sugar completely, these beauties are the ones for you. The Message. The world is obsessed with sugar. Everyone’s talking about it. There are those who love the white powder, lacing their tea with “milk and three, love” and vocally decrying any suggestions of cutting down or taxation of the sweet stuff as nanny state bollocks. At the other end of the scale we have those who…

Maple Pecan Spelt Muffins

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

Maple syrup brings a rich sweetness to theses maple pecan spelt muffins stuffed with whole rolled oats, pecan nuts and no refined sugars, just naturally sweetened with banana and maple syrup. These easy spelt flour bakes make for a wholesome alternative muffin recipe that's just as tasty yet packs more positive nutrition, perfect for afternoon tea or a sweet weekend treat.
It’s been quite savoury around here recently. Not much sweet goodness going on, and my God, was I longing for something sweet. So today’s post is about some utterly delightful little maple pecan spelt muffins topped with oats which are dairy free that I put together last weekend. These are muffins made with a mixture of wholemeal and white spelt flour, along with whole oats and sweetened using maple syrup and that ubiquitous banana, because it just goes so well in baked good like muffins. And who doesn’t like banana? (Yes, I’m sure there’s someone). Cake Rules. I’m quite fastidious about how much cake I eat, I’ve developed an incredibly strong sense of moderation around it. This is because I have a spreadsheet I’ve kept for posterity, which dates from 2008, when I tipped the bathroom scales at nearly 100kg, well over 15 stone. Approaching 100kg had been pretty scary…