Tag: baking

Hermann Cake

The Finished Hermann Cake

For those of you who follow me on Twitter you will be no stranger to my Hermann cake.

Hermann Stage 1Just 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 Stage 2Hermann 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 Stage 3Hermann 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.

Hermann Stage 4The 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.

Hermann Stage 5On 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!

The Finished Hermann CakeAnyway, 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

Friendly Baking

Flapjack

To say I love baking is somewhat of an understatement. I will bake whenever I have the opportunity (& the energy). Imagine my joy when I had the opportunity to provide cakes for people at work.

FlapjackOkay, okay, so I signed up for it & forced others to provide cakes too but it did provide me with a chance to make something a little bit different. I wanted to try making something for people with specific dietary requirements. So these flapjacks were made with gluten-free oats & using vegan ‘butter’ so that a variety of people could enjoy them. They were delicious & super easy to make. I’ll be making them again very soon for my OH who was my chief taste-tester & gave them a big thumbs up.

Chocolate Soya Milk Cupcakes Naturally I also made my lush chocolate cupcakes but I changed one of the ingredients. Instead of using regular whole milk, I forgot to buy this and had to use soya milk, which we use in our house all the time. There was no difference in taste but the icing didn’t ‘set’ very much. It was just as delicious and gave me a great opportunity to practice my icing skills. They went down very well at work & I think they look the best out of all the ones I’ve made, especially as some of them have my very lovely edible stars on them. 

Victoria Sponge BaseTo my surprise, the cake that received the best reviews was my sponge. My first blog contained a comment on this. I think the best thing about it is that I include whipped cream & the best raspberry jam in the middle. Now I don’t like sponge but I know it’s generally loved really well. Using Mary Berry’s recipe it turned out brilliantly, even though I was worried that it wouldn’t. Oven temperatures are the most stressful part of baking. Anyway, below is a picture of it cooling. I put it all together at work so that it would look it’s best. It went it about five minutes flat. Got to be the best review ever!

Pancakes

American Pancakes

American PancakesA lazy start to the day was needed this morning. With the first F1 Grand Prix to watch & a need to take things easy after loosing an hour with the change of clocks, pancakes were on the menu for breakfast today.

The recipe for these American-style pancakes is super easy. I got it from a recipe book my sister has which is all about indulging & enjoying some comfort food.

With a drizzle of real Canadian maple syrup, courtesy of my friend Vida, these were a real treat this morning.

Nana Bread

Nana Bread

I seem to have had a very busy weekend which hasn’t left much time for getting on with projects. However, one thing that I’ve been meaning to do for some time now is to bake some bread. BY HAND. I don’t have a breadmaking machine as I don’t need one! I’ve been making this bread for years & I use my Nana’s recipe. This is why I don’t use a machine – She didn’t. And in the 30 years I knew her, she always made it by hand. In fact, I never knew her to buy bread from a shop. She always made her own.

The smell of it baking takes me right back to her house. It would be on the table at breakfast & tea time. We always had Marmite on it & to this day I find it odd to put anything else on it! Nana was a fab bread maker. While she also made cakes, they weren’t as good as my Mum’s (plus Mum would always let me lick the mixture of the beaters – something Nana would never allow!)This is one of the reasons why baking relaxes me. It takes me back to my childhood when I could enjoy eating cakes without the calorie guilt!

It’s a very simple recipe, but it’s not particularly quick. It includes a total of 20 minutes of kneading & almost 2 hours of rising. But it is totally worth it. I use a whole bag of flour & for the first time I am using local flour from Wessex Mill. It feels great to be supporting local producers – something Nana would definitely have approved of. Making three loaves at a time this will keep us going. Plus my home is filled with the smell of Nana bread. Gorgeous.

Nana Bread