Blowing my own crumpet
It’s been a cardamom filled week, so why not carry on the theme with my most favourite of my recent recipe creations. Affectionately called crumpetimimina after the East African fried rice cake they are loosely based on (mkatemimina), this is another one of those - used to eat as a kid, never made them at home, supply dried up, have tried to recreate using a random recipe book bought in Tanzania 15 years ago and my more recently gained culinary knowhow. To be more appropriately descriptive - sourdough, rice, coconut and cardamom cakes. I cook them in a crumpet ring and style, hence the name.
They are pretty unique so hard to describe - slightly crusty (often a bit burnt on one side), really sticky, super fluffy inside, sweet with sugar and coconut, and traditionally with cardamom seeds studded around here and there giving almost medicinal bursts of aroma. It’s food of my dreams.
Traditionally they’re made with raw basmati rice, which involves a whole load of soaking, grinding, fermenting, zzzzzz…
Cue one of my favourite flours, which makes sneaky appearances in a few of my recipes delivering bounciness wherever I need it, and in this case also saving a lot of my time. This recipe is a relatively simple batter, left to ferment, finished then cooked - can be done in a day, but works best if you make the batter the night before, let it sit overnight and then you can finish in the morning.
These are really seriously extremely bloody yummy. Best eaten fresh / warm, but still good once cooled. They freeze well too - you can just warm them in the oven whilst you make a cuppa.
Sourdough cardamom rice cakes
100g active sourdough starter
100g glutinous rice flour
75g white rice flour
25g plain wheat flour
150g golden caster sugar
1 can full fat coconut milk (ideally one with no stabilisers or preservatives)
A good pinch of salt
5g ground cardamom
2 medium eggs
60g golden caster sugar
Mix all the ingredients apart from the cardamom, eggs and 60g of sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined into a smooth, quite thick batter. Leave at room temperature for 6-8 hours, or overnight. It will go really frothy on the top and bubbly as it ferments.
When ready to cook, whisk in the cardamom, eggs, and remaining sugar and set the batter aside. Preheat your grill to medium.
Grease your crumpet rings. Heat a non stick frying pan and cover the pan with 2-3mm of rapeseed or other neutral cooking oil. Add the crumpet rings and leave over a medium heat so that the oil can heat up.
Fill each ring with batter 3/4 full - it should sizzle and bubble as it hits the hot oil. Lower the heat and cook gently until bubbles start to form on top and the mix starts to set. It’s easy to burn the bottoms here, a bit is fine, but keep the heat relatively low to avoid them getting too charred.
Once the cakes have set, and you can jiggle the pan without liquid going everywhere, stick them under the grill. You want to leave them there until they start to rise and puff in the middle - that way you know there is no more liquid batter inside. Don’t have the grill too hot because you don’t want them to brown.
Put the pan back on the hob, remove the hot crumpet rings (tongs are useful) and flip the cakes over with a spatula. Let them cook for a minute until they colour on the other side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and continue cooking the rest.
Eat as soon as they cool enough to go in your mouth. You can also serve them fresh but at room temp, or reheat them in the oven at 150C. Freeze in tupperware between sheets of paper and reheat from frozen if you are able to keep any past the cooling rack.