16 April 2013

herman the german

I was recently given a Herman the German Friendship Cake starter!  So frickin exciting!

Not heard of a friendship cake before?  Neither had I!  Herman is a sour dough conconction, which when given you to, you care for and feed for 10 days, before dividing into four portions, three for friends and one for yourself to bake into a yummy cake!

If Herman stops bubbling, he dies. 

Herman's growth a day after feeding.  Aww they grow up so fast!

Herman mach 1 ended his life as a lemon cake.  I changed the basic recipe (on the instructions) by omitting the apples, raisins and cinnamon, and adding the rind of 3 lemons to the batter, and whipped up a 2/3 quantity of this microwave lemon curd recipe.  I put 2/3 of the batter into the tin, followed by a layer of the lemon curd (even then I didn't use all of it, maybe 3/4) and then scooping the rest of the batter over the top.

You need to cook this sucker for a LOOONNNGGG time!  I estimate about 2 and a half hours!  It might be my oven. 

However, the result is an extremely dense and moist cake.  Even 3 days later it was still just as good.  The top was super crunchy, and the lemon curd gave it a delicious tartness throughout the cake.

I was due to distribute my 3 Herman babies on the Thursday before Good Friday.  Nobody wanted him!  Well, 1 person wanted him!  Everyone else was going on 'holiday' and couldn't handle the 'commitment'. So I took him home to start the process again.

Herman mach 2 ended his life as a choc-berry cake.  Inspired by one of the recipies on the site, I added 1/4 cup cocoa, about 160 gr choc chips and a good couple of handfuls of frozen mixed berries.  Again the cooking time for this was astronomical (like, 3 hours!) but again, the cake turned out amazingly moist.

I brought this to a work morning tea, and was totally chuffed to see heaps of people going back for seconds, and one colleague pronouncing it the 'best cake ever!'  We all know how my sense of self worth is directly proportionate to the appreciation of my cookery by others, so that was a good day.

I thought the friendship cake was a totally nifty idea.  If you like it but haven't been given a Herman starter, why not make your own?



  1. Wow, it looks like you've done so much more with yours than I did with one I received last year! I just didn't like the sourdough taste to it. But yours does look yummy!

  2. I've never heard of a friendship cake before (pretty sad since I'm German but the tradition doesn't seem to exist in Germany...) but I LOVE the idea! I love what you did out of yours - especially the chocolate berry cake looks delicious!

  3. That sounds like a really fun idea ^_^ I can't believe no one wanted more Hermans though!