Last week my friend sent me a text asking if I wanted to take part in a sour dough cake sharing exercise. My first thought was "is this a joke?" as she often sends me funny jokes by text. I was rather busy so I thought it best not to answer straight away, so as to give myself a chance to figure out whether she was being serious or not. Of course, I forgot and then Mel asked me again and I saw her that evening and she gave me Herman. That's right, the mixture is even given a name. When I had first seen the words sour dough, I had imagined a bread mixture as I remember seeing a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall programme where his dough chef was teaching a local lady how to make it for the kids in her nursery school where she worked. This isn't bread though, it's made into a cake. Mel gave me a taste of hers and it was lovely; a bit like fruit loaf.It takes 10 days to prepare but only a tiny bit of effort as the mixture itself does most of the work by filling itself with air basically.
That's Herman after his first day with me - pretty good going.
These are the instructions you get along with your bowl of goop.
'Hello my name is Herman. I am a sourdough cake. I'm supposed to sit on your worktop for 10 days without a lid on. You cannot put me in the fridge or I will die. If I stop bubbling I am dead.
Day 1 - After receiving Herman put him in a mixing bowl and cover with a loose tea towel.
Day 2- Stir well
Day 3- Stir well
Day 4- I am hungry. Add 5oz plain flour, 8oz sugar and a cup of milk and stir well.
Day 5- Stir well
Day 6- Stir well
Day 7- Stir well
Day 8- Stir well
Day 9- I'm hungry again. Add the same as you did on day 4, stir well and then divide into 4 portions and give 3 away to friends. You keep the 4th portion. Copy these instructions for them.
Day 10- I'm now very hungry. Stir well and add the following:
1/2 tsp salt
10oz plain flour
2/3rd's of a cup of cooking oil
2tsp vanilla essence
2 cooking apples cut into chunks
1 cup raisins
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
Mix it all up and put into a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a 1/4 cup of melted butter.
Bake for 45 minutes at 180c.
When cold, cut into pieces. The cake freezes well and is good served with ice cream or cream ..... I prefer it just with some spread on it, helped down with a cup of tea.'
I'm only up to day 7 at the minute with mine, so I'll let you know what my one actually tastes like and if I managed to get three friends to take up the challenge.
Take care out there