Sunday, July 31, 2011

German Friendship Cake (Herman Cake)

What to do if I give you a Herman Cake

Hi, my name is Herman and I am a sour dough cake, I supposed to be on the worktop, without a lid on, for 10 days, during which time you should feed me.

If you put me in the fridge I will die and if I stop bubbling I am dead!

Day 1 is the day you receive the mixture.

Day 1: When you get Herman please take off the lid and put the mixture in a large mixing bowl (2 litres+), cover the bowl loosely with a tea towel or cling film.

Day 2: Stir well

Day 3: Stir well

Day 4: Now I need feeding! Add the following ingredients, stir well and cover again: 1 cup plain flour, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar.

Day 5: Stir well

Day 6: Stir well

Day 7: Stir well

Day 8: Stir well

Day 9 : Hungry again! Add the same ingredients as day 4 and stir well.

Now divide the mixture into 4 equal portions.

Save 1 portion to make a cake for yourself tomorrow.

Give portion 2 and 3 away to 2 friends with a copy of these instructions

Keep the final portion for your next cake and follow these instruction to grow me again.

Day 10: Make your Herman cake as follows:

Stir well and add the following ingredients:
1. 1 cup sugar
2. 2 cups plain flour
3. 2 eggs
4. 2 tsp cinnamon
5. 2 tsp vanilla essence
6. 2 tsp baking powder
7. 2/3 cup oil
8. 2 cooking apples peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
9. 1 cup raisins
10. optional extras like cherries nuts, chocolate chips, coconut

Mix all together and pour into a large roasting tin. Bake for 35 - 45 mins at 170 - 180 degrees. When cold cut into fingers.

How to get a Herman started if I've got bored of it and not given one to you:

  • 460g flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 230g sugar
  • 90ml warm water
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  1. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over the warm water
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over this and leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes to double in size
  3. Mix the milk, sugar, flour and yeast mixture in a large bowl, stir using a wooden spoon
  4. Cover loosely
  5. Place in a warm place and stir every day.


Birch Midwife said...

do you think you could do a herman cake using a dairy free milk sub eg soya milk or rice milk - we use eggs but only those that have been laid by our chickens but we don't use milk from animals

Alex Tarling said...

I don't know. though I was making it with lactofree milk and it worked fine. does soya milk have a similar level of protein in it? I think the yeast needs something to feed on. if you try it let me know how you get on.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am just starting a Herman and there is a lot of mixture. This might seem like a stupid question but does this count as day 1 in the 10 day cycle?

Alex Tarling said...

Hi Anonymous, if you're making it from scratch, the day you mix it up is day 1 of the mixture as it needs all the days to ferment.

Anonymous said...

hi, this might be a stupid question but, do you have to add apples and raisins if you do not want too and add a substitute instead?

Anonymous said...

hi, this might be a stupid question but, do you have to add apples and raisins if you do not want too and add a substitute instead, or is that what makes the cake what it is?

Alex Tarling said...

Hiya, you don't have to use apples or raisins. I made a banana and chocolate one that was fab!

Anonymous said...

I'm on my third 'Herman' One of the best cakes I know. Lovely taste and texture. I think I might be addictive.

Alex Tarling said...

Oh I know it's great isn't it! What other recipes do you like?

Anonymous said...

I've just made this cake... lovely. Do I need to pass it on on day 10 exactly and the friend starts from day 1 on that day or does it matter if I wait a couple of days to pass it on, as the yeast will keep it ok won't it? I made one years ago but can't remember how quickly I passed it on... Thanks. Del

Alex Tarling said...

Hi Del,

When you pass it on, the friend starts on day 1.

As for keeping it for longer, I think you can keep it as long as you keep feeding it on the feeding days.

Anonymous said...

Your starter recipe says to 'stir every day' - how many days do you have to do this before you start to follow the Friendship Recipe from Day 1???

Alex Tarling said...

Hello, once you've made the starter, treat it as day 1.

Anonymous said...

Just baked my cake (a christmas gift) and it is delicious. And a lovely unusual gift

Anonymous said...

hi when it says oil - is it vegetable oil and the same with the sugar granulated or caster please.

Alex Tarling said...

Hi, I've used all kinds of cooking oil to make this, sunflower, rapeseed, and olive all work well, each giving a slightly different flavour. Same with the sugar, I've used dark brown, light brown, granulated and caster. Seems to work with what ever you've got on hand.

97Annie said...

Works with wholemeal flour from day 10. Have just tried it

carla said...

Hi, does anyone know if you can make something less wheaty with Herman, like a rye or spelt loaf?

Alex Tarling said...

Hi Carla, Not tried it with a non wheat flour - must be worth a try!

annies place said...

I used wholemeal flour & skimmed milk on first feed , it was fab, my new cake I've put pears & walnuts, just in oven now.
Will add banana to next one, sounds nice.