Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Herman update, day 6 and other cooking

Well, here he is.  In all honesty this could have been a photo from any of the past couple of days!

He's bubbling away nicely and I haven't yet killed him, despite the kitchen getting very cold overnight at this time of year.

In other news, tonight was all about cooking rather than baking.  I'm not sure yet just how many portions I've cooked but I've got 4 large saucepans cooling on my draining board at the minute before portioning it all out and putting most of it in the freezer.  Tonight's ingredient list looked roughly like this...

  • 600g mushrooms
  • 5 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 3 carrots
  • 8 onions (Really?!?  I used 8 onions tonight?  Perhaps I did)
  • 2 tins of sweetcorn
  • 2 tins of tuna
  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 1kg lean beef mince
  • 1 tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce.
  • 1/2 tube of tomato puree
  • 3 good squodges of garlic puree
  • 6 OXO cubes
  • several good shakes of mixed herbs
As a result, I now have loads of tuna & tomato pasta sauce (also goes well with a jacket potato); "spaghetti bolognaise" sauce (not even remotely authentic as far as I know but very tasty all the same); shepherd's pie filling (lean lamb mince doesn't make it go quite as thick as normal but normal isn't Slimming World-friendly - I may need to experiment) and, finally, chilli con carne.

(clockwise from bottom left - chilli con carne, shepherd's pie filling, spaghetti bolognaise, tuna and tomato sauce)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Friendship cake

Meet Herman, the German friendship cake.

This is what he looked like on Thursday, the day I adopted him.

Friday, after being stirred...

This morning (before stirring)...

As much as I'd love to give you the recipe for him, I'm afraid I can't!  All I've got are the care instructions that came with him, it doesn't tell you what to do to make the sourdough starter in the first place.  This is the first time that I've used sourdough so I can't even take a great big guess as to what might go into the starter.

Herman's care instructions (German Friendship Cake)

Hello, my name is Herman.

I am a sour dough cake.  I am supposed to sit on your worktop for 10 days.

You CANNOT put me in the fridge or I will die.  If I stop bubbling, I am dead.

  Day            Instructions

  1. You get Herman and put him in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Herman is hungry.  Add one cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir
  5. Stir well.
  6. Stir well.
  7. Stir well.
  8. Stir well.
  9. Herman is hungry again.  Add the same as day 4 and stir well.  Divide into 4 equal portions and give 3 away to friends with a copy of these instructions.
  10. Hungry again.  Stir well and add the following:
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 cups flour (I'm guessing plain flour again)
    • 2/3 cups cooking oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla essence
    • 2 chopped cooking apples
    • 2 heaped tsp cinnamon
    • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
Method - Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4).  Mix everything together and put into a large greased cake tin.  Sprinkle 11/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of melted butter over the top and bake for 45 minutes (I've already been warned that it's more like an hour, I'll keep you updated when I get to that bit!)
When cold, cut into finger pieces.  Cake freezes well.  Also delicious with ice cream.

("Also delicious with ice cream" makes me think of this Questionable Content comic - "Not as good as pie".  Before any fellow QC fans ask, of COURSE I have the "Baking is Science for Hungry People" apron!)