Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Herman the German Friendship Cake


So today’s post is a little different. I’m writing about the German Sourdough Cake called Herman, I think recently this has become a big thing. I’d seen people referring to their cake as Herman on Facebook and wondered: “Why the hell are people naming their cake?!”. All was revealed to me a couple of weeks ago when my colleague presented me with a Tupperware of cake batter and instructions to take care of him over a period of ten days.

It is a food equivalent of a chain letter effectively, but a very yummy chain letter at that.

 Herman is ‘fed’ so much that by the penultimate day you split the batter into 4 equal shares, give three to friends for them to start the 10 day cycle all over again and then you bake your share the following day, usually with fruit (I’ve tried it with apple and with blueberries and colleagues of mine have tried pineapple and raspberries too).

It’s time consuming but it’s quite a nice thing to do, as it is a sourdough cake, there is a smell to the batter as it ferments – a bit like a beer smell which isn’t too overwhelming (or to myself at least)

These are the instructions that you’ll be given together with a little pot of batter:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Half teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • Two thirds of a cup cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 cooking apples cut into chunks (or other fruit if preferred)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder

The end result is a pretty large cake which is also good to share. If you ever get given Herman I would recommend doing it, the only difficulty I found was finding people to give it to, and I’ve ended up doing two cycles.

If you don’t want to wait to be given a Herman, you can start one from scratch and you can find the instructions here (Page 2).

Unfortunately I don't have a photo of my cakes, but I can assure you they were delicious. I also discovered this weekend that they can come under another name, my boyfriends parents were given one called 'Oscar' on Sunday, but looking at the instructions, it looks as though they've renamed it each time it has been passed on (judging by the scribbled out names on the instructions)

Have you been given Herman before?

Kate x

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