Herman the Friendly Cake

March 7, 2011 · 12 comments

Have you ever heard of Herman the Friendly Cake before? No? I hadn’t either but a couple of weeks ago a friend gave me a tub of doughy mixture that I was to talk to, stir and nuture for ten days before passing on to four friends and cooking the remains. So instead of chain letter, think chain cake. Sharing is caring and what a lovely gift to give away. Do you want to know more? Then read on…

Herman is a friendship cake that you cannot buy but give away. Heman is alive . He grows slowly because of the yeast process. It also takes ten days before you can eat him. Herman shouldn’t be put in the fridge and also requires a lid or to be covered by a tea towel. He grows at room temperature.

I did a little googling and came up with the starter recipe for Herman so if you fancy starting your own little chain then you can.

Ingredients

  • 460g flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 230g sugar
  • 90ml warm water
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  1. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over the warm water
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over this and leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes to double in size
  3. Mix the milk, sugar, flour and yeast mixture in a large bowl, stir using a wooden spoon
  4. Cover loosely
  5. Place in a warm place and stir every day.

The following is the instructions that you give each of your four recipients of the cake mixture but first you need to go through the process before parting with the little Hermans.

Day 1 Today Herman is given to you. Congratulations you have a friend. Pour him into a bowl as he will continue to grow.

Day 2 Stir Herman 2-3 times a day with a wooden spoon

Day 3 Stir Herman, talk to him!

Day 4 Herman is hungry. Feed him 200mls milk, 200g caster sugar and 250g sifted self-raising flour

Day 5 Stir Herman

Day 6 Stir Herman

Day 7 Stir Herman

Day 8 Stir Herman, don’t forget to talk to him

Day 9 Feed Herman as for day 4. Then split into 5 little Hermans and give 4 away with these instructions

Day 10 Feed your remaining Herman with 150g Self raising flour, 3 beaten eggs, 150g caster sugar, 2 tbsp cinnamon powder, 100g chopped nuts or dried fruit, 2 finely chopped apples, 100ml of oil.

Cook Herman in a lined 7″ cake tin for about an hour at 180ºC . Then eat!

On day 10 I changed the recipe slightly, I added to the original Herman: 150g self raising flour, 3 beaten eggs, 150g caster sugar,100ml rapeseed oil, 2 large grated carrots, 100g dessicated coconut, 50g chopped walnuts and a tsp of vanilla extract. It cooked in about 1hr 10 minutes and then once cooled I decorated with glace icing. you really can be inventive with this part.

Let me know if you decide to do this and how you get on.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cass Dyer May 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Hi it says to cook herman for about an hour, but what temp is that at please, thank you.

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2 Nova May 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Hi
Sorry I forgot to put that in. 180 ºC . I hope that helps! :)

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3 Cass Dyer May 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm

thank you x

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4 mymumdom March 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm

And how did Herman taste?

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5 Nova March 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Actually I was expecting it to be heavy and stoggy but it wasn’t and was delicious. :D

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6 scribblingmum March 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm

No way! That’s mad. I love the thought of that. Your photos just always make me envious of your kitchen ware ;)

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7 Nova March 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Hehe, it’s a sweet thing to do isn’t it. :)

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8 Yvonne March 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Wow, that looks really yummy! Save me a slice.

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9 Nova March 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Ooops, sorry. All gone. :)

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10 Gigi March 8, 2011 at 12:01 am

I remember doing something like a long while ago – although ours didn’t have a name like Herman. I think we just called it a “starter.” If I recall it was really good! Yours, of course, is gorgeous – as is all your sweets.

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11 Emma Cossey March 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Wow, quite a high maintenance cake, but I love the concept of a ‘chain cake.’

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12 Nova March 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I know but was worth it. :)

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