Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Culture Sours

I swear Alice Medrich is stalking me via the web. Everywhere I turn, her name seems to pop up attached to mouthwatering pictures of her cake recipes. My resolution this week was to buy a kitchenaid mixer from the wonderful people at Kitchenware Direct and try out Medrich's sesame seed cake. As resolutions usually go, things just didn't get done, and I instead spent my entire weekend fairly inebriated.
Motivation finally caught up with me yesterday morning and I strolled down to the local mall to pick up some buttermilk. It seems to have burned down recently.. hmmm.. I strolled down to the next mall alongside the highway to pick up some buttermilk. When I got home (nevermind that it was 2 hours later) I began the slow process of multiplying buttermilk cultures with my store-bought starter. I used my electric blanket to incubate the bottles of buttermilk and keep them at a steady temperature during the night.
Cultured Buttermilk
1 part buttermilk
2 parts full cream milk
mason jars or glass bottles
Wash and sterilise glass in oven at 110ºC for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temperature.
Fill almost to the top with 1 part buttermilk and 2 parts milk.
Secure lid and incubate at 24ºC for 12 hours.
If successful, buttermilk should coat the glass when tilted.
Label date and refrigerate.
Some recipes use the ratio of 1 part buttermilk to 3 or 4 parts full cream milk. You could do this of course, however keep in mind that the culture would need 18 or 24 hours respectively at 24ºC to complete the fermentation process. Do not allow the buttermilk to reach temperatures nearing 40ºC or it will curdle and will separate into curds and whey. More information can be found here.
I'll get that mixer soon I swear.


  1. How cool. I like the idea of using the electric blanket to maintain temperature.

    You know, I have yet to buy myself a KA too. I'm still using a handheld mixer that used to be my mom's. It's just about giving way now (and it's olddddd!) so it's probably time for that KA to be introduced into my kitchen :)

  2. ..i just know that once i spend all that money i'll suddenly lose interest in making cakes altogether :(

  3. This is very similar to how we used to make our own yogurt at home. Mixing a little yogurt to warm milk and letting it sit for about 8-10 hrs to set. Lo and behold we have amazing home made thick yogurt.


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