Tuesday, 24 August 2010

herman: the friendship cake

hey everyone! i hope you have been having a wonderful summer. i have been very busy, gallivanting here, there and everywhere across the UK and even as far as Paris!

before i share with you some pictures from the past month or so i wanted to show you Herman...

Herman is a friendship cake. he travels around to different people, a little part of him always carried on...

i was round a friends house when i noticed a big bowl of mixture out on the side - naturally i wondered what it was, since when do you leave cake mix out instead of baking it straight away? she showed me the instructions for looking after Herman and making him grow, and explained the concept of the 'friendship cake'.

awesome idea! weird to have milk left out for so long fermenting and growing things in it, but the final result was incredibly tasty and moist.

basically what happens is that you get a cup of starter from a friend, feed it milk, sugar and flour and after 10 days you divide the mix up into four, give 3 lots to 3 friends and add a bunch of flavourings to your own part before baking it. the starter is sort of like sourdough, it works with natural living yeasts in the air (i think) and therefore turns into something quite wonderful - it needs to be kept warm to allow the yeast to grow.

if you want to know how to start a friendship cake of your own, check out this post here and this one here. it's a great thing for kids to get involved with and it's a really delicious cake. i don't think it's the most healthy cake as it's got ridiculous quantities of sugar in there, but perhaps the effort and happiness that Herman brings is worth a slice or two for tea?!

currently listening to: hills and valleys by the rocket summer


  1. Hi Alissa. Could you post some more English recipes?

    thanks! :)

  2. "wild foraging" sounds like sooo much fun!

    ceecee from "withinthekitchen"

  3. well herman sounds GREAT!!!
    but how do you make one in the first place ?!?!
    because i would LOVE to start herman the frenchip cake with my freinds !!!!!!

  4. Starting Herman is easy. Mind you I'm from the Netherlands so I use grammes instead of cups. Also use a wooden spoon and a plastic or glass bowl.

    100 gram of sugar, 250 ml of warm water, 7 gram of dry yeast and 225 gram of flour. Mix the sugar with 1/2 cup of the water leave it for 10 minutes, Stirr in the water and the flower. Cover with a semi wet towel and leave it for the first day.

    Day 2 and 3: Just stirr it
    Day 4: Feed: 250 ml Milk, 200 gr. sugar and 125 gr. Flour
    Day 5-6-7-8: Stirr
    Day 9: Feed again and divide in 5. 3 parts you give away, 1 part is baked on day 10 and 1 part is to start all over at day 2.
    Day 10: Feed Herman: 250 gr. Flour, 200 gr. sugar, 15 ml oil, 2 or 3 eggs, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoon cinnamon. 1 teaspoon salt and a filling of your choice: 2-3 apples, 100 gr nuts 100 gr raisins is normal but I also like to use only bananas or only apples. or instead of the raisins 100 gr. chopped dark chocolat

    Bake in oven for about 60 to 75 minutes depending on your oven at 170 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


  5. I have just recieved Herman thought i would look him up and see if he's really safe to eat! lol seems ok so i start stirring! x

  6. I have just finished making one of these. And I must say it's a very good cake. I stuck to apples and raisins. But i'll go for chocolate next.

    Will . UK

  7. I added almonds cranberries raisins and sultanas- absolutely delicious! Kept a portion of the mix when i shared it out for myself and am about to cook it with choc chips -cant wait!

  8. I’ve just been given a starter today and thinking of starting a family tree for mine on http://www.gluttonclub.co.uk

  9. I have a Herman and it is day 10 tomorrow.Can't wait to try it ,I am going to do apples this time but maybe it will be different next time.

  10. I have a herman, but i want to keep it forever.
    If you do, when you give 1/4 of it away to friends, keep your making cake and another 1/4 then you can make it again and again! Simples eek hahaha

  11. amazing thnkyou! i hve bvivid memories of mking this with my children 30yrs ago!(a cinnamon danish just evoked it so i came here to look it up!) tbh i thought it was only us called it"herman" but obv not once again thnkyou so much!

  12. I have had my Herman since September, He has had lots of children and is a favourite at cake sales and tea time. Some of my favourite combo's- Rhubarb,ginger and ground almonds; Whiskey soaked sultana and nut; Apricot soaked in Armangac and ground almond; Chocolate and Banana; Banana and walnut; experiment its great fun. Also can feeze cake or mixture. If you put the glop in the fridge it slows the process so you can go away for a few days with out needing a babysitter!


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