I’ve spent the last ten days looking after Herman. Who’s Herman ? Well, Herman is a German friendship cake. He was given to me by a friend in work with instructions on how to look after him, he needed looking after for ten days before I could cook him.
Day one … Herman arrived, I had to put him in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel. It was stressed that the mixing bowl had to be large because as my friend described Herman, he was “rampant”.
Day two and day three … Herman needed stirring well at about the same time each day. On day one I watched him swell to about twice his size and was a bit worried when he slumped back into the bowl on day two, but this happened each day so I wasn’t so alarmed the next time.
Day four … My instructions said Herman would be hungry and I was to feed him one cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. A handwritten note on the instructions at this point said that I could cut the sugar down to half a cup if I wanted, but hey, if you’re going to eat cake what’s the point in making it with half the sugar ?
Days five, six, seven and eight … just stir Herman again, I stirred him thoroughly each evening before I went to work.
Day nine … Herman was hungry again, this time I had to feed him the same as on day four, but then divide him into four equal portions and give three away to friends … I FORGOT ! oops !
Apparently no harm done, I stirred Herman and fed him on the Day 10 morning instead of day 9 evening so then day 11 morning was really my day ten evening …
Day ten … Herman was very hungry (especially since I’d forgotten about him on day nine). My instructions said “stir well, and add …”
1 cup of soft brown sugar (some healthy person had made a handwritten note to cut the sugar down to half a cup)
half a teaspoon of salt
2 cups of plain flour (the healthy person had added or wholemeal here)
2/3 cup of vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cooking apples, cut into chunks (the handwriter had gone for pears here)
1 cup raising (or chopped apricots, prunes, blueberries, cranberries etc.,)
2 heaped tsp cinnamon
2 heaped tsp baking powder
Mix everything together and put into large greased baking tin (10″ round or two smaller). Sprinkle with a quarter cup of brown sugar and a quarter cup of melted butter. Bake 45 mins at 170-180. When cold cut into finger pieces. This freezes well and is delicious warm with cream or ice cream.
The healthy handwriter had given me an idea, my girls aren’t too keen on cooked apples so I changed the recipe for the suggested pears here, omitted the raisins and changed the cinnamon to ginger, oh, and I cooked it on gas 4.
More from before : “Cakes and More“.