Thursday, 24 May 2012

Once bitten forever smitten - Friendship Cakes

All cakes taste better if shared with friends so what about a cake made with a 'starter' gifted from a friend. Last week I was given a Herman the German starter mix and a website address so I could check how to look after the mix and then a recipe for a cake.

A stater mix is flour sugar and water that has been exposed to the air to pick up natural yeasts. These ferment and create a live culture so you have a starter mix for bread or cakes. A little bit more food in the form of sugar and flour is added with water to increase the amount of mix so you can use some and keep some or pass it on to a friend.

The starter mix acts in the same way as any other raising agent making air bubbles in the mixture as it cooks thus expanding the cake so its light and airy in texture. I notice that most of the recipes are for fruit cake mixes including fresh chopped apples- this is because yeast based cakes dry out quicker and the apples help to improve the shelf life of the cake.

These are not fancy cakes for celebration teas, these are satisfyingly filling chunks of cake to scoff with a cup of tea when your next meal is still a few hours away. Having a very sweet tooth myself I have adapted the Herman the German mix to make my version of Cinnabons - these are american yeast dough buns loaded with cinnamon and a creamy butter frosting. I think including the apple chunks makes them just about ok as a breakfast muffin!

Apple and Cinnimon with vanilla buttercream cake review - from Giles Holloway 
Delicious - The buttercream is wonderfull, I could eat these all day.
I was supprised I could taste as much of the apple as I did considering the characteristcs and powerfull flavour of buttercream and vanilla. A a good amount of apple in the cake which gave the cake a nice texture, and the cinnimon was well balanced, the next flavour you tasted after the buttercream.

So after that fullsome review I thought I'd give you the recipe...Its a dairy free / egg free recipe so its great for people with food intolerances
1 HermantheGerman starter mix
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup Quex Rapeseed oil
1teaspoon cinnamon
1 graed dessert apple

Mix all ingredients together except apple - it will be a sticky dough but not as wet as a sponge cake mix. Add grated apple and with super scrubbed hands squeeze the apple thorough the dough with your fingers. Divide between 9 or 10 muffin cases and bake for 20-22 mins at 150 (130 fan ovens)
When nearly cold squirt on a homemade buttercream - this means the buttercream and the top of the cake merge together