"Read this and pass it on..." We have all heard of chain mails where we pass on an email to our friends to spread the word about something. Well the Herman Cake is the same but instead of an email, its a cake!
I found out about this when my friend Karen asked me "Would you like some Herman Cake?" to which I quickly replied "Oooh! Yes please!", never one to turn down cake. To my suprise, she hands me a Tupperware box containing some runny yeasty smelling liquid and a set of instructions which read as follows:
Herman is a friendship cake which you cannot buy but can give away. Herman is alive and grows slowly but surely because of a yeasting process. It takes 10 days before you can eat him.
DO NOT put in the fridge as he grows at room temperature. You do not need a lid, just cover the bowl with a tea towel.
DAY 1: Today Herman is given to you. Congratulations, you must have a friend. Pour him into a big bowl so he can grow. Cover him with a tea towel.
DAY 2: Stir Herman 2 or 3 times each day using a wooden spoon. You can leave the spoon in the bowl.
DAY 3: Stir Herman and talk to him.
DAY 4: Herman is hungry! You must feed him with -
- 200ml of milk
- 200g of self raising flour
- 250g of sugar
DAY 5: Stir Herman
DAY 6: Stir Herman. He really appreciates your visits.
DAY 7: Stir Herman.
DAY 8: Stir Herman. Are you still talking to him?
DAY 9: Herman is hungry again! Feed him as Day 4. Having been fed, he now needs to be split into 5 equal little Hermans. Give away 4 of the little Hermans and a copy of these instructions.
DAY 10: Your remaining little Herman is absolutely starving after all that! This time feed him with -
- 150g of Self raising flour
- 150g of Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 2 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 100g of fine chopped nuts, mixed fruit or chocolate chips
- 2 Grated Apples (optional)
- 100ml of oil (corn or sunflower)
Herman would now like to go to a hot resort, the oven will do. Preheat it to 170 degrees Celsius (which is between 3 and 4 on a gas mark oven). With everything mixed, pour him into a 7'' cake tin. Leave him at the resort for about an hour. After all this care, attention and nurturing ... eat him!!!
...Not quite what I expected! but I'm always up for a challenge and love to try new things, so Joshua and I took Herman home, popped him in a bowl and covered him with a tea towel. He was quite little on day 1...
We stirred him on days 1, 2 and 3 as instructed and fed him on day 4. We continued to stir him on days 5, 6, 7 and 8...
By day 9 he had grown considerably!
Time to feed him again and split him on day 9 and split him into 5 parts. One we would keep and bake and the other 4 we would give away...
Day 10 arrived! We were ready to feed him for the last time and bake him! Joshua learned how to crack eggs for the first time...
We decided to go for the traditional Herman cake with apple, cinnamon and raisins...
Off goes Herman to the hot resort...
And after an hour he was ready!
He was delicious!
I loved doing the Herman cake - even though it took up room on my work top and smelt a bit yeasty it was a great thing for me and Joshua to do together.
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