The Modern Day Friendship Cake that is not a cake….

picture of baked friendship cakeWho remembers the friendship cake?
My recollection is from university days when my aunt Bibi first gave me a ‘starter kit’ with the live and fermenting cake mix base, that I kept in my room, feeding regularly with……was it flour, sugar and milk……, made lovely moist cakes with in my electric frying pan (I didn’t have an oven in those days) and shared with friends. And they then made their own versions of cakes from the live yeast portion I gave them, adding flavourings in competition for who could make the best cake.

And, do you remember the instructions on the live ‘friendship’ portion?
“Don’t put me in the fridge because I will die!”
He was also known as Herman to some…. here is a link for those who have not met him.

Nowadays, when we are avoiding sugar and white flour, what better self-sustaining gift can you give your friends, than a live and edible sample of your own live Kefir culture?
picture of spoon with kefir grainsNot only is it a lovely sharing idea, but it is also in direct support of their healthy living: Full of good bacteria and yeasts that multiply and will happily produce a gut-soothing and health-promoting yoghurt-like drink. A delicious base for a smoothie or a nutritionally superior alternative to bought yoghurt or probiotic supplements, and, if you make it yourself, it is fresh every day of the week. That is; assuming you (or they) do not kill it by putting it in the fridge for too long or heating it. Mine even recently survived happily on a trip in the car with us to Germany, Belgium and back to the UK!

If you want some of mine, please ask. If you want to start your own, there are plenty of on-line suppliers of the Kefir grains with easy instructions of how to get going. And within a week or two you will have sufficient healthy ‘grains’ to pass on a friendship batch to your friends.

A big THANK YOU to Sarah and Bill for giving me some of their kefir cultures and thereby launching this idea!

4 Comments On “The Modern Day Friendship Cake that is not a cake….”

  1. What a fantastic idea, – love it! I have ordered my granules from Living Probiotics via Amazon, which should be with me today or tomorrow – I can’t wait to get started!

    I’d love to subscribe to your blog, Heidi – how do I do that, please?

    • Goodness – I am not at all sure. I will ask my IT expert David. I thought you just needed to like it on Facebook, but that assumes I post every blog there, which I don’t. I will get back to you and in the meantime, I will try to remember to share the blogs with you via email if I don’t post them on Facebook. Well done for ordering the granules! Have fun! xx

  2. Hi again, Heidi,

    Just a quick question about my brewing kefir please…. The instructions I received stipulated a plastic sieve and plastic/wooden spoon to stir….. Is this essential? My sieves are stainless steel so I’ve used them to get started but am now worried it may be the reason the mix doesn’t seem to be thickening 18hrs after I started it off…. (It looks as though the “culture” bit is growing, but the liquid remains very milk-like in consistency? Thanks!

    • I don’t have a plastic sieve or a wooden spoon at the moment and that has not caused me any difficulties. The concern and warnings not to use materials such as aluminium, copper etc are because of the leaching effect the acidic kefir will have on these metals – but that only happens with prolonged contact. Stainless is fine. However, short contact with the said metals is unlikely to cause any problems. Just don’t store the kefir in an aluminium or copper container.
      Growing kefir is an acquired activity and what you are seeing is probably fine. It sometimes takes a bit of time to get going. You can give it a stir, to help the grains mix a bit with the rest of the liquid, or just leave it. If you leave it long enough, the thick milky/cottage cheese like part separates from a clear liquid. I sometimes sieve off some of the clear liquid, so the kefir I get to use is not too runny.
      Hope this helps and keep me posted. Thank you so much for your comments and for sharing your experiences.

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