I haven’t been able to bake bread because Bob came back one day with four huge loaves of bread—no, I still haven’t penetrated the whys of this—and then one week later, two more big loaves from Germany. Then he went off bread for more than three weeks so I’ve been picking my way through the frozen loaves. sigh.

In the meantime, various experiments:


labneh made from kefir

A very kind person gave me new kefir grains for which I’m ever so grateful. They are—cross my fingers—doing well and i was even able to make labneh from goat’s milk, which we had with various other mezze-ish dishes. It was delicious and I was thrilled to be able to finally make labneh from kefir, something I’ve long wanted to do. If you read this, thank you so much!!



Coffee-orange liqueur in the making

No, this isn’t a miniature Halloween pumpkin but an attempt at orange and coffee liqueur, rum, cheap, awful, undrinkable rum in this case, as inspired by Carl Legge. Don’t you love the Internet and blogs for this? Across the world, people with funny ideas make you do funny things. And I love suddenly chancing upon an old experiment you’ve forgotten all about in the recesses of the cupboard or the basement, and uncorking it to see how it’s going. I made almond essence in summer with apricot kernels and every now and then, I open the bottle for a little sniff.


Wonderfully moist apple puree spiced cake using leftover leaven

Yes, I know, all my cakes look alike, boring brown masses. I try to incorporate excess leaven or else fruit or vegetables, and since spices go so well with such cakes, that too. Surely I can’t be held responsible if they all turn out looking the same:) Anyhow it doesn’t matter because I’ve been eating and eating this, and I really like it. The idea was to make a cake for Bob that would keep one going (well, there was the banana, oat flour and chocolate cake before this, but that will need tweaking), so I ground some oats and tossed in all my remaining apple puree and hoped for the best. I’m lucky it turned out well: really moist, barely sweet but spiced. And it does get better with each day.

Apple Puree Cake (for 2 loaves)
Flour                 250g
Oat flour           130g
Baking soda     2 tsp
Salt                   1 tsp
Cinnamon         2 tsp
Other spices     2 tsp (I used a mix of ginger, nutmeg)
Apple puree      540g
Vegetable oil     130g
Honey                 40g
Maple syrup        40g
Brown sugar        10g
Eggs                   4 large

The usual dries + wets method.





2 thoughts on “Experiments

  1. Joanna

    You have made me smile from ear to ear ! Naughty Bob buying all that bread but these things happen. Carl Legge has just had his first book published and he is such a nice and helpful person who I know via Twitter: your kefir grains are his ‘grandchildren’. I have stashes of frozen garden apples in the freezer so one of your apple puree cakes looks like just the thing to make. I might even do it this weekend as it looks as if it is going to be cold again. All best, Joanna

  2. michaelawah Post author

    temperatures here have dipped as well – i found myself wanting soup and swedes! And just when I had sworn off spiced cakes, I found myself thinking of lebkuchen, of all things. Then when the sun came out, I thought, to hell with spiced biscuits, i want something citrusy. Do you think we’re so hopelessly conditioned? Anyway, hope you get a chance to make the cake and that it turns out well. Oh yes, I should add that my apple puree was homemade and unsweetened.
    I am honoured to know the kefir tots have such a legit lineage 🙂 whisper to grains: you had better not die on me, I have people to answer to!


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