May 16, 2012

HERMAN CAKE an Alphabakes recipe.

A couple of weeks ago a friend gave me a little box of something frothing and faintly smelly, and a sheet of instructions.

HERMAN 1Meet Herman.

You keep Herman warm for ten days, stirring every day and feeding him with flour, milk and sugar every few days.  Then you divide him into four, make a cake with one part and give three parts away so that other people can enjoy his company and the world gradually becomes populated with little Hermans.

HERMAN 2 HERMAN 3 HERMAN 4 HERMAN 7

I sussed out that this was effectively a kind of sourdough starter.  It was smelling rather interesting by the time I made the cake.  You add flour, sugar, eggs, chopped apple, cinnamon and raisins, spread into a very large baking tin, sprinkle with more sugar and bake.

HERMAN 6 Once it was in the oven I realised I had forgotten to put the raisins in – they were still sitting on the worktop, all weighed out and ready.  Oh heck.

It didn’t seem to matter.  As Herman was baking the smell in the kitchen was nothing short of absolutely divine.

HERMAN 5 So my Herman turned out to be an absolutely delicious, moist and yummy apple cinnamon cake.  I gave away two parts of Herman and kept one for myself to keep it going.

Herman is actually otherwise known as a German Friendship Cake.  You can read all about him here and see the instructions and the recipe.  My little Hermans are now spreading all over Derbyshire as little boxes of the dough get passed around.

If you are lucky enough to be given a mini Herman I would very much recommend you suspend all misgivings about whose kitchen worktop it has been fermenting on, and whose kids have been poking it, and give it a go – you will not be disappointed !!

For the first time I am entering a new baking challenge, ALPHABAKES, arranged by Caroline Makes and More than the Occasional Baker.  This month the challenge is hosted by Caroline and you have to bake something beginning with the letter H.  Herman turned up on my doorstep at just the right time for this !!

16 comments:

  1. Mmm.. delicious recipe. Great with a good cuppa! Yum!

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    1. Alida, it was fun to see Herman "grow" and dead easy to make. Kids would love it.

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  2. Thanks for entering this to AlphaBakes, a great entry for 'H'! I've seen this doing the rounds on the blogosphere recently. Great to see the revival of the friendship cake :)

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    1. Baking Addict, I had never seen or heard of it before, until a little Herman turned up at work for me !!

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  3. Welcome to Alphabakes and thanks for entering a cake with such a cool name! I love the idea of a friendship cake and Herman makes me smile every time. I'm quite curious about what it tastes like now as well!

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    1. Caroline, it tasted yummy!!

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  4. My Herman is languishing in the freezer. I baked one cake then put him to bed in the cold. Must get him out and warm him up.

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    1. Choclette, the instruction sheet suggests that Herman would die if you let him get too cold, but the two books I have that talk about sourdough starters suggest that freezing is an option. It will be interesting to see what happens.

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    2. Certainly sourdough starter can be frozen, so I don't see why this shouldn't be. As you say, I'll see what happens. But I thought the instructions were a bit suspect anyway - if it's sourdough, you shouldn't really need baking powder. My little Herman rant over!

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  5. Hi there, I know you are on a break but I was wondering if you would like to put up a link to this apple recipe in my Food on Friday Series.

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    1. Thanks for the invitation, will do that asap.

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    2. thanks for the link, Jean. I guess you aren't going totally blog free during your break! I put the recipe title in for you.

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  6. Love your hermen :D! Would love to have a piece with my morning tea.
    Bookmarking this recipe for future.
    Have a nice day!
    Anuja
    P.S. M your new follower :D

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    1. Welcome, and thanks for the comment !!

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  7. I first made 'Friendship Cake' back in High School, and I'm not mentioning how long ago that was! A couple of years ago I started making it again, although my recipe is different to yours. Mine has walnuts and crushed pineapple in it, as well as spices. The recipe is here http://melbrennan.com/cooking/friendship-cake-recipe/ if you would like to try a different version of Herman. :-)

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    1. Melinda, walnuts and crushed pineapple sound lovely, will check out the link, thanks !!

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