© 2012 Lars IMG_1064

our kind of cake

To be utterly honest, this is something that we should have done long ago. It borders on embarrassing in retrospect. I am sure that the idea has fluttered past our intuition as we ruminated on other flickering possibilities while absentmindedly snacking on bits of our fermented barley.

Yes, that’s what this is- our barley that we have carefully inoculated and cajoled into a lovely firm matrix of taste augmenting mold. Taste transforming.

The barley grains are still intact, but the mold has fully penetrated and the primary metabolite, amalaze, has broken down the complex carbohydrates, producing a slight sweetness. All the other wonderfulness of the grain has also been subsequently released and enhanced.


Better. Smarter. Faster.

So we merely sliced our “loaf”, yes it does slice like a cake, and fried a piece in a pan for a bit of maillard. And to warm it through of course.


It was amazing.

Sweetness, with a palatable umami. Still a proper flavor from the barley.

René found traces of iberico fat- and it is certainly does have a intense nutty luxury.




The process is relatively simple:

Soak organic virgin barley for 24 hours.

Steam for 1.5 hours.

Cool to room temperature (or at least 30c)

Mix in Aspergillus orzyae.

Place in a 30c full-humidity environment. This is almost 100% humidity and is rather like a bathroom after a shower.

Mix well after 8 hours.

Leave alone for the next 28 hours.

We hope some one out there gives it a shot-

We would like to thank Kunal Chandra for the photos, he stopped in to say hello and spend an enjoyable day with us.


  1. Posted 10. februar 2012 at 09:41 | #

    Wow. Barley tempeh. What a great idea. Are you planning to reselect your Aspergillus to get a strain that does well on barley?

  2. Mustafa Hussain
    Posted 10. februar 2012 at 14:27 | #

    I was wondering if these are hulled barley grains or unhulled? Thanks. They really look amazing and I’d love to try to make them.

  3. Posted 10. februar 2012 at 22:55 | #

    Excellent work. In the past I’ve made tempeh with Field beans (Vicia) and peas as well as the usual soya beans. One query – isn’t this strictly koji rather than tempeh (Rhizopus)?

  4. Daniel
    Posted 11. marts 2012 at 21:02 | #

    How much Aspergillus orzyae for how much barley do you use?

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