|Guten Tag Herman!|
I had an interesting day today because I was lucky enough to meet Herman. You’re probably asking yourself “who the hell is Herman?” which is the exact question I asked myself when my cousin’s fiancée Inca text me this morning to tell me she had “Herman the German” for me to look after.
Herman the German is a sour dough Friendship cake which you pass around to family and friends (which in my opinion is a million times better than those stupid chain mail letters we used to do as kids). You must nurture him for ten days before dividing him into four, passing three parts onto your friends and keeping one piece to bake yourself. You can add different things to him to make him personal, since it’s only day one I’m still yet to decide what flavour Herman I’m going to make.
He arrived today as pure goo that stunk of yeast in a tupperwear box with a sheet of instructions. For day one I simply had to transfer him into a large bowl and cover him with a towel which I have done. Tomorrow I have to stir him well and I have little else to do until day four!
I did a little research online to find out more about Herman and I came across this Herman the German Friendship Cake website which even has some inspiration on what to flavour mine with as well as a copy of the instructions..
Hello, my name is Herman.
I am a sourdough cake. I’m supposed to sit on your worktop for 10 days without a lid on.
You CANNOT put me in the fridge or I will die. If I stop bubbling, I am dead.
Day1: Put me in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.
Day 2: Stir well
Day 3: Stir well
Day 4: Herman is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.
Day 5: Stir well
Day 6: Stir well
Day 7: Stir well
Day 8: Stir well
Day 9: Add the same as day 4 and stir well. Divide into 4 equal portions and give away to
friends with a copy of these instructions. Keep the fourth portion.
Day 10: Now you are ready to make the cake. Stir well and add the following:
- 1 cup of sugar (8oz or 225g)
- 2 cups plain flour (10oz or 300g)
- Half tsp. (teaspoon) salt
- 2/3 (two thirds) cup of cooking oil (5.3oz or 160ml)
- 2 eggs
Mix everything together and put into a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with a quarter of a
cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes at 170‐
180C. Test the middle with a clean knife; you may need to cover in tin foil and bake for a further 20 minutes to make sure your Herman is cooked properly in the middle.
When baked, Herman can be frozen.
The website also has some history of Herman the German as well as conversion so I could understand what a cup was. It even has the starter recipe in case anyone wanted to start a Herman cycle themselves! I have to admit I’m sort of excited to see how he turns out! I’ll keep you updated!