Sevilla’s barefoot Carmelites’ cake



DESSERTS | When you love cooking, you often have many friends who also love cooking. In my case, a very good friend of mine not only loves cooking, but most of all loves baking… She’s really the kind of friend you need to have, especially since for her, making this kind of cake is not a chore but a leisure activity laden with pleasure:


If you want to see more, just go and visit her Facebook page named Mon Petit Atelier! You’ll be impressed by what you can do with sugarpaste! A real moment of !waow! and !yum!, especially for kids’ or big kids’ birthdays…

My friend offered me a cup of a bizarre dough together with some instructions on how to make the Sevilla’s barefoot Carmelites’ cake. But what is it exactly? If you’re about my age (hum), you’ll probably know about those letter chains we used to write when we were kids. When you received that kind of letter, you’d have to copy it and give it or send it to a number of persons for luck. In this case, it’s a pastry chain, based on a naturally fermented “mother dough” that needs to be fed chain after chain. That’s probably the way cakes were baked a long time ago, when we had no fridges. A mother dough produced through natural fermentation was used for cake, while keeping a portion aside each time in order to make the next cake. A little bit like yogurt or kefir.

I thought it so unusual and amusing that I thought I’d share the recipe with you… Of course, you’d need a good friend to offer you a portion of this mother dough one day to get hands-on experience of the real cake! In the meantime, here are the instruction you get together with the dough:

It’s a very old way to bake a cake.

Legend has it that the person who offers you the mother dough wishes you luck and health.

You need 10 days to make this cake without any  modern electrical appliance (blender, fridge…).

According to tradition, the mother dough has to be offered and preparation starts on Thursday for the cake to be ready by next week’s Saturday.

Thursday: put the mother dough in a big bowl and add :

  • one cup flour
  • one cup sugar

Don’t mix

Friday: mix with a wooden spoon. Cover and keep at room temperature in a drought-free place.

Saturday: don’t touch

Sunday: don’t touch

Monday: add:

  • one glass of flour
  • one glass of sugar
  • one glass of milk

Don’t mix

Tuesday: mix with a wooden spoon

Wednesday: don’t touch

Thursday: don’t touch

Friday: don’t touch

Saturday: based on this mother dough, set aside 3 cups and offer them to 3 persons to wish them luck and health.

To what remains of the dough, add:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil or butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pack baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 150 gr ingredients of choice (optional: chocolate, apples, pears…)

Mix well with a wooden spoon and bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 1 hour.

And that’s it! I added some pears and chocolate chips in the end! I was so pleasantly surprised by the light fermentation flavour and the incredible softness of this cake… With all the dough, I could fill 3 small 20cm-moulds! Since baking it in 3 different moulds made it bake faster, I had to take them out the oven after 50 minutes though.

What would you add to this cake?



One thought on “Sevilla’s barefoot Carmelites’ cake

  1. Pingback: Gâteau des Carmélites aux pieds nus de Séville | d'anis et d'étoiles

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