Saturday, 21 April 2012

My week with Herman

Followers of the Busy Betsy Facebook page may have seen this picture last week. 

I got a number of emails and texts after this as I had mentioned I was looking after Herman and friends were curious to find out who or what it was. I had not heard of this 'Herman' before I received a bowl and a piece of paper describing what it was. Anyway in the bowl was a bit of sourdough: 

Between the monkeys and myself we looked after Herman for 10 days with the following instructions : 

German Friendship Cake (Herman)

Hi my name is Herman. I'm a sourdough cake. I'm supposed to be on the worktop for 10 days without the lid on. You can't put me in the fridge or I will die. If I stop bubbling I am dead!

Day 1 : You get Herman and take the lid off, put me in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel
Day 2: Stir well
Day 3: Same as yesterday
Day 4: Herman is hungry! Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk and stir well
Day 5 - 8: Stir well
Day 9: Hungry again! Add the same as day 4. Then divide into 4 equal portions and give 3 away to friends with a copy of these instructions. Herman stays with you for day 10 when he is very hungry indeed. 

(I thought I had something unusual when I went to give these three away to friends. However it seemed that I was the only person in the road that didn't know about 'Herman'!)

Day 10: Stir well and add the following:
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of plain flour
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence (I didn't have this)
2 heaped tsp cinnamon
2 heaped tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup cooking oil (I used sunflower oil)
2 apples peeled and cut into pieces

Optional: 1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, 
Optional: 1 cup raisins, chocolate, pineapple or cherries
(I didn't add the optional ingredients)

Mix everything together and put in a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Bake for 45 mins at 180C (check after 35 mins).

After 45 mins I took out the most delicious cake I've had in a long well. We ate a couple of pieces still warm and it had a beautiful most taste. I would love to get a Herman back and make this again. I might try some of the optional ingredients but probably wouldn't put the sugar on the top as it was sweet enough by itself. Even two days old today I polished off the last yummy piece. 

If anyone knows how to start the Herman I would love to hear that as I might not get one back for a while and really like to make this again. 

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