I’m Frances Speer, an enthusiastic food-lover and cookbook collector who loves to eat and to cook, and to talk and to write about eating and cooking. Through Cake for Breakfast I want to change our food conversations away from what we can’t eat, shouldn’t eat, want to eat but feel we shouldn’t, towards what we can eat and get excited about eating.
I don’t subscribe to food trends and follow a commonsense approach of cooking and eating with the seasons and eating as much locally-produced food as I can. For me, cooking and eating is a good time and I want it to be a good time for you, too.
On becoming gluten-free
For 32 years of my life, I ate everything and made light of people with restrictive eating regimes. The joke was over when I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease: goodbye beer, sourdough, and pasta; hello, buckwheat, tamari, and rice flour. Not by choice, but by my traitorous small intestines.
Gluten-free eaters are now ubiquitous, both those who medically need to be and those who choose to eat that way. Lifestyle gluten-freedom seekers have made the gluten-free game both easier and harder. Easier in that gluten-free food is now everywhere, but harder in that gluten-free requests are sometimes not taken seriously.
It can also be difficult to find ‘normal’ gluten-free food in some cafes and supermarkets, as it’s often made refined sugar-free or dairy-free too, which from my point of view is depressing as hell. If I can’t have gluten then I want sugar and golden syrup. I want butter, cheese, cream and all of the good stuff to make up for a lack of gluten.
Everything but the gluten
When I told my friends about my Coeliac diagnosis, a common response was, ‘Oh no! No more cake!’. I’m here to tell you that there is cake after the death of gluten and that it can be fantastically good, not difficult to make and doesn’t have to involve a long list of obscure and expensive ingredients. Cake for Breakfast provides both gluten-free and gluten-full options, both equally delicious so that no one has to miss out or even realise that they aren’t eating gluten. ‘I can’t believe it’s not gluten’, you’ll hear them say – but only if you tell them!
Cake for Breakfast: the balanced approach
Cake for Breakfast reflects my balanced approach to enjoying food. My balanced approach to eating means eating broadly, mostly vegetables and herbs with whole grains, beans, plenty of dairy, and small amount of the best-quality meat and seafood you can afford. It’s about getting in tune with your body and listening to what it wants: if you have cake for breakfast, then you’ll likely want something fresh and crunchy for lunch like broccoli slaw with buttermilk dressing. And dinner, well that’s another exciting opportunity to eat something bloody delicious.
Photo by Olly Coleman. Cakes by Milk Crate, Wellington.