... The German Friendship Cake.

My sister gave me a bubbling pot of goo, told me his name was Herman and that I had to care for him for 10 days. I thought she'd lost the plot until she explained he was a sour dough cake, and like a chain letter he gets passed on to friends and family.

My little pot of bubbling goo was the starter mix and these were the instructions I had to follow:
  1. "Hello, my name is Herman. I am a sour dough cake. I'm supposed to be on a worktop for 10 days without a lid. Do not put me in the fridge.

  2. Day 1: You get Herman. Put him in to a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.

  3. Day 2: Stir well

  4. Day 3: Stir well

  5. Day 4: Herman is hungry! Add 1 cup of plain flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of milk. Stir well.

  6. Day 5: Stir well

  7. Day 6: Stir well

  8. Day 7: Stir well

  9. Day 8: Stir well

  10. Day 9: Hungry again. Add 1 cup plain flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. Stir well. Divide in to 4 equal amounts and give 3 away to friends with a copy of these instructions. Herman 4 stays with you.

  11. Day 10: Herman is very hungry. Stir well and add: 2 cups plain flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup cooking oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 heaped tsp baking powder, 2 tsp vanilla essence, 2 chopped cooking apples (or other fruit). 

  12. Mix together and put in to a large greased roasting tin. Sprinkle the surface with 1/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes at 170-180°C(check after 35 mins)."
At first I wasn't sure about Herman, he smelt a bit funky and hogged precious space in my little kitchen, however I proceeded to care for him on my sisters word that he was tasty. On day 10 I was not disappointed. Herman was so delicious he didn't stay whole long enough for me to get a picture, but Mr Chris did get a snap of this slice before it disappeared with my cup of tea.

On day 9 I gave three Hermans away to Louise, Darren & Steph and John. Surprisingly they were all rather enthusiastic about him. From what I've heard Lou's didn't end well but I don't think anyone was surprised (sorry Lou). I believe the other two were enjoyed. Darren and Steph's certainly looked tasty:

If you don't want to wait for a Herman, you can start your own with the following:

5oz plain flour
8oz caster sugar
1 packet of active dry yeast
Half a pint of warm milk
2 fl oz of warm water
  1. 1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes then stir
  2. 2. Add the flour and sugar and mix thoroughly
  3. 3. Slowly stir in the warm milk
  4. 4. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth
  5. 5. Leave in a cool dry place for 24 hours
  6. 6. Now start from day one of the 10 day instructions

Give him a go, he is a little stinky but friendly :)


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