Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things

Herman’s big day!

on April 17, 2012

It’s about time we had the last installment of the German Friendship Cake process.  If you want to read about the earlier steps, you need to read the first one here and the second one here.  In between times the batter has been sitting on the kitchen counter in a large bowl under a tea-towel and being stirred every day.  As time goes by the bubbling becomes more vigorous and sometimes comes up as high as the tea-towel, which is why daily stirring is imperative!

By now the process has reached day 9 and, according to the list of instructions, Herman is hungry again!  As before, he should be fed with a cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk, only this time once the additions have been stirred in, the mixture should be divided into 4 equal portions.  These should be given away to restart the process (in which case today becomes day 1 for the new little Hermans), frozen for future use (we’re still no further on with our investigations into why the batter can be frozen but not fridged) or made into a cake on day 10.

The cake-making is relatively simple, as all you have to do is add various extra ingredients to the large bowl and stir together.  I added them in two lots for the sake of the photo but actually if your bowl is big enough you can put them all in at once before stirring.   First of all 1 cup of sugar, 2 cups of plain flour and 1/2 tsp of salt, 2/3 cup of cooking oil, 2 eggs and 2 tsp of vanilla essence.

Herman cake added ingredients 1

The first lot of ingredients

After that, 2 cooking apples (or 3 ordinary apples if you don’t have any Bramleys to hand) cut into chunks, 1 cup of raisins, 2 heaped tsp of cinnamon and 2 heaped tsp of baking powder.

Additions to Herman 2

The rest of the ingredients

Once it’s all stirred together you pour it into a large greased baking dish or tin and sprinkle with 1/4 cup each of brown sugar and melted butter.

Herman pre-baking

Herman, about to go into the oven

Then bake at 170-180C for about an hour (the original instructions say 45 minutes but even in the O-Z O it benefits from longer!).  It comes out nice and brown and smelling delicious.  When I was a girl there was an American lady at our church and whenever we went to her house it always smelled just like this.  Every time I’ve baked this cake in the last couple of months it’s reminded me of her!

When it’s cooled a bit you can cut it into squares and serve warm or cold, or warmed up again with ice-cream or cream!

Herman baked

The finished product!

There are full instructions, including a recipe for how to make your own Herman starter, on this website.  However, I have read that the flavour is not so good from a freshly started Herman, as it’s a monoculture, rather than the polyculture the friendship batter has become over time (if you are of a squeamish disposition, try not to think about that last statement for too long!)

PS I’ve just previewed this post.  It will be lovely if it actually appears that way when I publish.


One response to “Herman’s big day!

  1. northmum says:

    **Please note that when I say 1/2 tsp or 2/3 cup, I’m expressing fractions rather than alternatives!! I don’t know how to add fractions into the editor so I’m using the / as the only thing I can think of!

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