Nath and I first met because Callum and Jumpy had very similar allergies. Although Jumpy has grown out of a few (milk protein, seeds, all fruit and soya), Callum’s allergies seem to be there to stay.
Saying Callum has a restricted diet is an understatement, but Nath is determined for him not to “miss out on wholesome, good, scrummy food that didn’t impact on taste and could cater for his allergies. With a lot of hard work, research and trialling alternatives, Nathalie has managed to overcome the challenges of catering for Callum’s severe allergies, creating, and developing as many recipes as you can possibly think of, to cater for dairy-free, egg-free, tomato-free, wheat-free, gluten-free and more.”
Over to you, Nath!
Tell us about you
Hi, my name is Nathalie, and I am a soon to be married mum of 2! There’s Chloe, my 7 year old daughter, Callum, my 3 year old dude, Jon – the hubby to be, and our crazy fluff ball of a cat.
Where do you find inspiration for your recipes?
In one word, my brave little dude! He has multiple severe allergies, and if I didn’t rewrite, create, and develop recipes, he would struggle to eat what people take for granted on a daily basis! I refuse to have him miss out on scrummy food just because it’s not safe for him, so I create safe versions that everyone can enjoy! I’ve cooked and baked all my life, so it’s something I’ve always enjoyed. I’ve now turned that passion into a business, and I love every single minute of it, as I know it’s helping many others out there in the same situation!
Is there anything you would not touch even if you were given £1,000 to eat it?
Yes, fried spiders! I mean seriously, why anyone would ever even consider this to be a good idea…! Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it, never mind eating it! Urgh!
Can you give us an anecdote about food?
‘Oh wow mummy, I have cake, is it really safe for me?’ – Callum’s response the first time he tried my choc fudge brownies created just for him – and the ones that Mel and her family tried! I’ve not shared the recipe yet as it is in the first of my cookbooks which is dedicated to him! That response is the very reason why I do what I do, and why I will continue to do it for as long as I can!
What is your favourite way to share your recipes?
All my recipes are posted to my blog, and my business website, and then I also share across social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’m just venturing into the realms of Pinterest, Yummly, Google+ etc, although I have a lot to learn (tips gratefully received!!). And I am about to launch a YouTube channel too!
What recipe did you choose to share today and why?
I’m sharing my fudgy chocolate cake recipe, as it’s one of the family’s all time favourites. It’s so simple to make, it’s allergy friendly, and it’s a healthier version of cake as it has courgette in it (which you can never tell). I tend to use this particular recipe for Callum’s birthday cakes as it is strong enough to be carved into shapes. His first birthday cake was a 3d Thomas the Tank, 2nd birthday was a 3D tractor, and last year was a 3D monster truck, I’ll find out in the next couple of weeks the requirement for this year!
Could you share a couple of tips that make your life easier in the kitchen?
Making sure you have all the utensils you need to use all ready to go! There is nothing worse than starting to create or follow a recipe, and then find out you have to stop because something you need isn’t clean! I also swear by my KitchenAid and Magimix! I literally use them every day, and could not do what I do without them! They are a total godsend and worth every penny!
1 thing no one should ever do in the kitchen?
It’s probably been said by many others, but don’t try to guess how much you need of anything, particularly if you’re baking. It’s a science, a chemical reaction occurring, and if the ratios aren’t right, it simply won’t work and it can put you off! Cooking/ baking should be enjoyable, so make sure you are prepared, have everything you need, read the recipe fully, and then jump in and take your taste buds somewhere amazing!
Thanks my lovely for all the info, tips and for conveying your passion for all things ‘free from.’ Jumpy and I had a great time this afternoon following your recipe. OK, I have to admit that ‘following your recipe’ should be used loosely. As we were about to start baking, I realised I had used the rest of my ‘free from’ flour blend to bake Vicki’s scones on Monday. Then I realised I had only bought about half the courgettes I needed. We simply halved the ingredients and mixed a few wheat-free flours together (buckwheat, potato, rice). We also added dark chocolate chunks (just because!). Rather than using a cake tin that would have been too big, we went for a muffin tray. Oh, and we did not have any egg replacer either. I just made flax eggs with milled flax seeds and water.
Jumpy loved grating the courgettes, although she kept repeating they were “gusting” (disgusting) and she was determined not to add them into the batter.
We still did, and the muffins came out looking great and tasting incredible (and you really cannot tell there are courgettes in there)!
Do you think my litttle lady enjoyed her cakes?
Drum roll… Here is Nath’s recipe!
‘Freefrom’ Fudgy Chocolate Courgette Cake
Photo and recipe credit: The Intolerant Gourmand.