For those of you who follow me on Twitter you will be no stranger to my Hermann cake.
Just over a week ago my friend brought me some cake mix. ‘This is Hermann’ she said ‘you need to look after him; feed him, split him into four then bake him & eat him.’ Excellent! An exciting baking project.
Hermann did come with instructions, which was very helpful. When he was bubbling away it was good to know that that was normal & I shouldn’t worry about it!
After four days Hermann needed to be fed. Now I have no idea what Hermann consisted of when he arrived. All I know is that he feasted on flour, sugar & milk. He liked this & continued to bubble away!
Hermann lived on the worktop for the time that he was with us. He was simply covered with a towel to keep him protected. I checked that he was bubbling away throughout his duration and stirred him daily. This was all that Hermann needed for the majority of the time – until Day 9 when he had to be divided into four.
The aim here is that you keep one portion for yourself to bake and eat and you give the other three away. This is why it used to be called a friendship cake. I asked for some willing recipients at work & promptly poured the mixture into four bowls, photocopied the instructions & gave Hermann I, II & III away. If you wanted to keep your original Hermann going you could keep one of the portions for yourself and start over.
On Day 10 I had to add more flour, milk & sugar to Hermann, along with any other bits and pieces I wanted in my cake. A lot of people seem to put dried fruit in but my OH requested chocolate chips. In they all went. I had enough mixture for two cake tins as mine are quite small.
I put them in the oven and waited…and waited…and waited. The cake tester continued to come out with mixture on it. Then it twigged that I was putting the tester into bits of apple. The tester finally came out clean. I was very worried about whether it had cooked properly or not. There’s nothing worse than that feeling when you go to get your cake out of the tin and either it flops out or doesn’t come out! Annoying!
Anyway, a while later, when Hermann had cooled down enough I got him out of the tins. He had a lovely golden top, was moist but cooked. He was delicious! I took one cake to work & it was devoured in minutes! Nothing says baking success more than an empty plate.
I am still unsure of what was in the original Hermann mixture and have since discovered that it used to be called the German Friendship cake. Either way it was lots of fun and got us all talking at work.
If you are interested in making your own Hermann cake I have since found an excellent blog which lists the instructions and explains a bit of the original mixture. For more information go to Inexpert Crafter. I was very relieved to see that my Hermann cake resembled the tray bake one!
A fun baking experiment! x