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!

Spelt Eclairs with dairy free Crème Pâtissière

Gavin Wren Baking, Dairy free baking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

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...
Stop Food Intolerance

The Future of Wellness & Food Intolerance

Gavin Wren Food Opinion Pieces, Writing

It’s an incredibly unique thing, our current obsession with food intolerance. The world has experienced vast swathes of intolerances in history, normally towards large groups of other people. Today, there’s a swelling mass of people claiming that certain foods don’t make them feel very good. Often backed up with little or no scientific data, these people are changing the course of food in our country and reshaping the profile of products on the shelves in our shops. I often wonder if we’ll look back at this age along with the so called ‘cult’ of wellness and see it as a turning point in the enlightenment of our consumption of food or merely an unscientific hippyish fad. The ‘Cult’ of Wellness. Wellness certainly attracts a lot of cynicism. There has been very vocal opposition, especially against bloggers who are purporting health benefits despite having very little or no formal training in…
Roast celeriac soup with apple and rosemary

Celeriac Soup with Apple and Rosemary

Gavin Wren Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

An Inspired Decision. Today is another post that’s been inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, this time in collaboration with the head chef of his restaurant NOPI, Ramael Scully. The inspiration for this roast celeriac soup recipe came off the back of being gifted the NOPI cookbook, which is an utterly fabulous compendium of gastronomic delights garnered from the hallowed kitchens of NOPI, that mirage of a restaurant nestled just North Of PIccadilly. In the book, they take a single, whole celeriac and treat it to a particularly extended stint in a hot oven, then slice it into wedges and serve. It’s the kind of mind blowingly simple food preparation which I utterly adore and seek to involve in my day to day life more often. It also served as the inspiration for my fledgling series of videos ‘Will It Roast’, whereby I take large, whole vegetables and…
rye croutons with garlic and mustard

Rye Croutons with Garlic and Mustard – Video Recipe

Gavin Wren Basic Ingredients, Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian, Writing, YouTube Food Videos

Add Some crunch to your lunch Croutons are those crunchy, munchy accoutrements of soup which I have to say, rarely get much sway from me. They seemed like an unnecessary adornment to my soup, because I’m often going to get a large doorstep of toasted bread to suck the liquid life out of my soup and transfer it into my mouth, or I just want to eat/drink/slurp the soup, so adding some small bits of bread seems unnecessary. After all, surely croutons are just small, fiddly bits of dipping bread which disappear into your soup, to be lost forever. If you transferred the concept of croutons into another aspect of food and drink, the nearest comparison I can think of is dunking rich tea biscuits into a mug of tea. Now I’m not a ‘two sugars love’ kind of guy, generally eschewing a good ol’ cuppa whenever it’s proposed in…
Dark and fiery spelt and rye ginger cake

Dark & fiery ginger cake

Gavin Wren Baking, No Added Sugar, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Writing, YouTube Food Videos

This cake is an absolute winner. A real, bona fide winner. It’s because of this cake that I won the Blognix Retreat Scholarship competition, being the recipient of a free ticket to the weekend blogger conference/retreat which is held at a spa hotel in Northamptonshire during February next year. The competition simply asked entrants to make a video only 90 seconds or less, explaining why they should win the scholarship. In an underhand tactic, I went for the achilles heel and made the subject of my video that universally loved object, cake. I’ve always had a policy on cake that it’s a universally appreciated phenomenon, something that holds intrinsic value to everyone. In the front of my recipe notebook there’s a space to put contact details, where I have my name and phone number. Below that is a ‘REWARD $’ section and I’ve completed it with the word ‘CAKE’. It’s…
Halloumi with mint yoghurt

Hot halloumi slices with mint yoghurt

Gavin Wren Recipes, Salads, Side dishes, Small Bites, Vegetarian

Yesterday I told you how to make mint yoghurt, with a straightforward recipe. Today is day two of the Birthday trilogy and I’m indulging that dip with a little bit of halloumi, the Mediterranean cheese found in Greek and Lebanese restaurants or otherwise known as the hard, squeaky cheese which people buy for vegetarians during BBQ season. It’s also a word that isn’t featured in my iMac’s spellchecker dictionary, so it keeps on getting corrected to ‘helium’, just in case you see any peculiar references to grilling or eating helium later on. Halloumi is a really special piece of work, a unique cheese which stands in the face of how you believe cheese should exist and be consumed. It is also stablemates with avocados, because they share one defining characteristic, which is that they have a very narrow window of opportunity during which they are at their prime for…