Tuesday, 17 April 2012

My Friend Herman

He is a german friendship cake. Have you heard of this? You start with a sour dough starter, and basically stir it each day with a couple of days of adding a couple of extra ingredients. Then you split the mix into 4 and give a share of the starter dough to some friends, then the next day add the rest of the ingredients and bake him into a cake, and your friends get to tend to their starter dough and split to more friends and so on. It keeps on giving - a bit like a naff chain mail but with FOOD!

So guess what friends? Three of you get to be inflicted blessed with this friendship cake! Are you going to be one of them? I'm not saying who I am choosing (heck I don't even know yet), but it will be 3 people who live local so I can easily get it to you lol.

Here is Herman's website

It has all the instructions on there but they are all old school, so I have done some converting to get better measurements to use. Copy and pasting from his website, with conversions in purple

The Herman Starter Mix

If you have never been given a starter mix for a friendship cake, it is very easy to make. This way you can start your own Herman and get sharing right away. Here’s how:
  • 5oz (140g - slightly less than 1 cup, or just do 1 cup if it's easier!) plain flour
  • 8oz (about 225g - roughly 1 cup) castor sugar
  • 1 packet (about 2.5 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
  • Half a pint (1 cup) of warm milk
  • 2 fl oz (1/4c) lukewarm water
What to do:
  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes and stir.
  2. Add the flour and sugar then mix thoroughly.
  3. Slowly stir in the warm milk.
  4. Cover the bowl in a clean cloth.
  5. Leave in a cool dry place for 24 hours
  6. Now proceed from day one of the 10 day cycle.

German Friendship Cake Instructions

Hello, my name is Herman.
I am a sourdough cake. I’m supposed to sit on your worktop for 10 days without a lid on. You CANNOT put me in the fridge or I will die. If I stop bubbling, I am dead.
  1. You get Herman and put him in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.
  2. Stir well
  3. Stir well
  4. Herman is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.
  5. Stir well
  6. Stir well
  7. Stir well
  8. Stir well
  9. Hungry again. Add the same as day 4 and stir well. Divide into 4 equal portions and give away to friends with a copy of these instructions. Keep the 4th one.
  10. Herman is very hungry. Stir well and add the following:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • half tsp (teaspoon) salt
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2/3 (two thirds) cup of cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cooking apples cut into chunks
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
Mix everything together and put into a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with a quarter of a cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes at 170-180C. When cold cut into finger pieces. Cake freezes well and is also delicious warm with cream or ice-cream.

Or if you follow this link here it takes you to different variations of Herman cakes you can make. Do you fancy a double chocolate Herman? Maybe a Ginger Herman? Have a look for ideas.

I'm thinking I might do the original recipe minus the raisins because there is a fusspot in my house who doesn't like them! I do quite fancy apple and cinnamon.

So... will keep you updated as to how my Herman turns out! This is what he looks like today:

Im a lil worried about Herman because he isn't bubbling yet, is he dead before he even started??


  1. Good luck with Herman! ;) Will be interesting to see how it turns out.

    1. I have heard he's not very nice lol. Shall have to see!