Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Choc chip, walnut and date sourdough cake

A couple of months ago I baked my first cake using sourdough starter.  It seems fitting to start this year's Vegan MoFo with a recipe from Vegan MoFo last year.  I really enjoyed seeing Alex at In Vegetables We Trust experimenting with her sourdough starter in baking cakes and biscuits.  In the school holidays I had sourdough starter that needed using because I had been too busy.  By the time I got around to baking the cake, I discovered my dried figs were beyond rescue and I had used sourdough starter in pizza.  Never mind.  There were medjool dates to be used.  I made a very nice choc chip, walnut and data tea cake.

I also found an old orange and used the juice instead of milk.  So my final cake was quite different to the recipe I was following that used fresh figs and spices.  Both cakes have one thing in common.  The starter.  Once you have a sourdough starter it demands to be fed and it grows at an alarming rate.

The cake came out of the oven in time for dessert.  We ate a warm piece with gooey choc chips while talking to my mum in Ireland via Skype.  If only I could I would have passed a piece through the computer to share with her.  Just as I would to you. It was so good straight out of the oven.  Once it cooled it was firmer but still lovely.

The cake was moist and crumbly.  You can see a crack in the middle in my picture.  I decided to only bake mine for about an hour rather than an hour and a quarter.  In the middle it was slightly underdone but edible.  In fact I found it quite enjoyable with a spread of nuttalex margarine.  My parents always slathered butter on tea cake.  E was less certain.

As a kid I loved date and walnut tea cake.  This cake was like that, only better.  Sylvia very proud of herself having a piece with a walnut even though she could taste it.  I told her that everything is better with chocolate.  She said she wished she could have dinner with chocolate.  Hmmm wonder if she would like some mole sauce.

More vegan fruity tea cakes from Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Apple fruit cake
Banana cake with maple syrup
Blueberry chocolate cake
Chocolate and coconut and date cake
Chocolate spice cake
Orange, choc chip and hemp seed cake 
Plum kuchen

Choc chip, walnut and date sourdough cake
Adapted from In Vegetables We Trust

1 scant cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ground linseeds (flaxseeds)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or milk)
1/2 cup rice bran oil (or other neutral oil)
1 cup sourdough starter, preferably room temperature
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup white flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
1 cup dark choc chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup chopped medjool dates (about 5)

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).  Grease and line a loaf tin.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, linseeds, orange juice and oil until it has melded into a glossy oily mixture.  Now mix in the sourdough starter until well combined.  Gently mix in the flours, bicarb and salt until you have a fairly thick batter.  Fold in the choc chips, walnuts and dates.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 60 to 90 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly.  Rest 5 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  Eat warm or room temperature.

On the Stereo:
Tempest: Bob Dylan

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food September 2014.  This year for Vegan MoFo my theme is The Letter S.  Today is Same Same Tuesday where I bring you a recipe that is quite similar to others I have made before on my blog.  (Yes sourdough in a cake is new but I do love baking these sturdy honest tea cakes with lots of fruit and nuts.).  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my 2014 Vegan MoFo posts. 

26 comments:

  1. Another cake of yours I bookmark! I made that apple slice the other day and as anticipated I ate it pretty quick...

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    1. glad you were as good as your word on gobbling up the apple slice - sorry to be such a bad influence :-)

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  2. I've never heard of sourdough cake before...very intriguing.

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    1. thanks Robin - it is a way of using up sourdough starter - I guess it gives a little flavour - wish I could find a good way to convert from sourdough and back but still working on that

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  3. That looks lovely and I love how packed with choc chips and nuts it is. I bet the sourdough adds a great flavour too. I love cakes like this that you can nibble on anytime of day

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    1. Thanks Katie - I think the sourdough adds flavour but it is quite subtle with the overriding sweet flavours - unlike plainer bread - I agree about cakes you can nibble on any time of day - though I generally am not a cake person at breakfast

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  4. I love using sourdough starter in unexpected places (have you made sourdough pancakes? They're the best!). This cake looks great. I can't wait to give it a shot!

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    1. I would love to experiment more with my sourdough starter in unexpected places - this was my first time making cakes with it but I have quite a few more on my list - and I did try sourdough pancakes and they were delicious but floppy

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  5. What a gorgeous cake. I remember having date and walnut teacakes as a child, but never with sourdough starter in the mix! I really like the addition of chocolate chips - and orange juice - too.

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    1. Thanks Kari - everything IS better with chocolate, but you could probably do away with the starter

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  6. I love spreading butter on tea cakes! I think I got it from my god mother who always served hers with butter :)

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  7. Oh this looks great! Love this combo! If only I could get over my sourdough fear

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    1. Thanks Kate - it took me a long time and I am not always as nice to my starter as I should be but I just love home made sourdough bread - would give you some starter if you lived closer - if you are able to get hold of some to experiment with I am sure you would love it. But you can still do the nuts, dates and choc chips without sourdough as there are plenty of cakes out there to tweak to this combo

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  8. Nothing better than a cake (or loaf or muffins or biscuits) fresh from the oven when the chocolate chips are still gooey!

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    1. thanks linda - I think this was amazing fresh - love it later but warm and gooey from the oven always wins with me (probably because my mum always made me wait til cakes were cool when I was a child and now I don't have to!!!! though I think she is more relaxed about that now!)

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  9. I haven't seen many cakes made with sourdough starter! But I bet it's the perfect compliment to all those sweet flavors.

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  10. Oh goodness gracsious, Johanna, that is one delicious looking cake! I just had to Pin it! I wish you could pass it through to me too!!!

    You really have taken the sourdough starter thing to the next level. Just wonderful! You are such an inspiration. I've been looking forward to Vego MoFo 2014 and if this is just a sample of what's coming, I'm loving it!

    Now for that mole for Sylvia, lol...Thanks for sharing Johanna...

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  11. I've wanted to make sourdough forever but I would never be able to keep on top of the starter. This loaf looks and sounds so delicious.
    P.S. I think it's "he" not "she". (Alexander!)

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  12. I've never tried making sourdough, but this cake looks wonderful, I'll have to give it a try!

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  13. That is a really interesting cake! I finally managed to grow a new starter but it's very strong, made from whole rye flour. I'm looking forward to turn it into a wheat starter so I can make this.

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  14. What a great looking cake. I love how you used orange juice as that would give the cake wonderful flavour xx

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  15. I love the idea of a sourdough cake! I need to get my starter back up and running. Too much traveling has meant a very unhappy dead starter.

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  16. I don't think I've ever seen a cake made with sourdough starter before. Looks good!

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  17. I have never cooked with sourdough before.
    The cake looks great - dates are my favourite food so anything that features them is in my good books ;-)
    Oh where would we be without Skype these days!!!!

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  18. Mmmm this looks so good! I love the sound of the ooey-gooey chocolate chips =)

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