A few years ago I hopped onto the fermenting wagon with enthusiasm. Perhaps too much enthusiasm as bottles of water kefir and kombucha took over the fridge followed by milk kefir and kimchi. Production far outstripped demand and we ended up having way too much so I have scaled back my efforts. Currently I am only making milk kefir as it is a wonderful product to have on hand for baking. I use it in place of yoghurt, sour cream or buttermilk. I do have yoghurt, sour cream and sometimes buttermilk in the fridge but they are “earmarked” for other things and I can always rely on having milk kefir to use up.
This cake started out as a plain chocolate cake made with butter and yoghurt with a banana cake variation. Along the way I have discarded the butter, using an oil/milk mix instead. My dairy-free daughter can tolerate some diary in that she seems to be able to eat a little bit of yoghurt or milk kefir without it affecting her. I haven’t done any research but assume the probiotics/fermentation process are doing something to the dairy to make it tolerable for her.
I have another recipe in my favourite recipe collection for a banana chocolate cake that makes a very nice cake (you can find the recipe here). However it is a ‘cream the butter and sugar’ type method and so far, I’ve not come up with a satisfactory butter-free alternative. Out comes my trusty dairy-free cake recipe and I start swapping out flour for cocoa and play around a bit with sugar and banana. In this instance, I have used diary-milk kefir so the cake isn’t dairy-free. To make it dairy-free, either make kefir using non-dairy milk (there are some really good ideas here and here) or use a dairy-free yoghurt instead. Another option is to use non-dairy milk and add vinegar or lemon juice to make a cheat’s buttermilk (such as this one).
This cake is moist, dense, fudgy and really really easy to make. I don’t usually ice it (it just gets a light dusting of icing sugar) but you could ice it with a light chocolate icing. I don’t know how long the cake will keep for, around here it is demolished the day after it is made.