Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Herman (or The Blessing of Cake)

I received this from my friend Debbie...
For ten days, Herman 1 lived on our kitchen work-top, covered by a tea-towel. 
He received daily attention, as in the instructions.  On Day 4, I fed him, on flour, sugar and milk.  The rest of the days, I stirred him, so he continued to bubble and grow.

On Day 9, as per instructions, I fed Herman again, then divided him into four Hermans. 
However, I didn't give away 3, like the instructions say.  I gave away two and kept two.

On Day 10, I baked one of the remaining Hermans.  But I still had one left. 

I took care of the New Herman for 9 more days, before separating him into four once again, giving a double portion to my niece (so she can bake one straight away and keep one for next week).

Today was Day 10 again...
I added sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, cooking oil, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon...
and fruit - this is a mix of apple, pears and banana (we fancied a bit of variety).
Herman was put in a large baking tin and sprinkled with brown sugar. 
He remained in the oven for 40 minutes...
until he became the Miracle called Cake!

DS ate Herman-Cake with custard, for dessert.  I ate a slice plain, with a fresh cup of coffee.  

Friendship Cake is a wonderful thing and we now have a home filled with the scents of baking, cinnamon and brown sugar!

* * *
Erm, forgot to say that this is a late entry for Sian's Storytelling Sunday this month!


  1. I've forgotten about this old "friend"! This used to get passed around a lot where we lived when we were first married!

  2. It makes a lovely cake. The only problem with it, is that once you give someone a "Herman", they don't usually want another (or not straight away). Either they do what I did - keep a portion for the next cake - or they have had enough of stirring and feeding for 10 days and want a rest!
    At least it will freeze well...

  3. What a great idea! But, going into summer here ... would he be okay left out on the bench in the warmer weather?

  4. I have never heard of this! It reminds me of making sourdough bread, where you have to keep the 'mother' to make the next loaf. It looks delicious! xox

  5. Yes, it's just the same principle as sourdough bread - except it's sourdough cake!
    Amy, I don't know for sure - perhaps if it was very warm, the yeast would ferment too much. But the point is that it stays fairly warm and "grows". I don't even know how to make my own sourdough "starter" from scratch - only from using one I already have. Perhaps Google would turn up something about it all.

  6. I've never heard of this either! the closest thing I can think of is a ginger beer plant (mind you I haven't ever tried one of those either). a story with something to learn. Thank you!

  7. I had forgotten about these cakes but the smell came instantly I read your story. An Aunt in Liverpool always had one 'on the go' when I stayed with her in the summer holidays. Thanks for a trip down memory lane!

  8. I've never heard of this either, but like Sian, remember the ginger beer plants being passed around!

  9. The last time I had one of these was about a quarter of a century ago! Lovely to know they are still on the go ...

  10. Funnily enough I had never heard of Herman cake until about a month ago when a friend of mine had one and told us all about him but I wasn't lucky enough to get a portion! Nice to see what 'he' looked like! Thanks for sharing the story.

  11. Herman The German. Never made the connection in my head. Glad to say that he tastes better than you 'originally' made him sound. Not generally a big fan of centuries old cake x

  12. Oh, and maybe you need to tell Alexa that it's STILL the SAME cake!

  13. Oh Clair you make me laugh so much! X


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