Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Friendship + Cake = Yummy ...

A couple of weeks ago my friend Barbara handed me some gloop in a container, with instructions about how to look after this gloop and a recipe for a ‘friendship’ cake. She assured me that said cake would be delicious!

I dutifully followed the instructions and Barb was right it was delicious, although better warm than cold. I kept some of the by now even bigger bubbling pile of gloop and passed some on to friends Linda, Debbie and Gill. Gill, I could tell, was more than a little wary and Rory was dispatched to put it in the front porch!

I brought some of Herman junior with me to France and today made another friendship cake, this time substituting the Bramley apples with rhubarb – I love rhubarb, but mostly because we have tons in the garden!

As I type it’s baking in the oven and the smell is wonderful. Tim is drooling but has been promised a slice of the warm cake with a cup of tea.

The instructions and recipe are as follows-

Herman The German Friendship Cake

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.
Day1: Put me in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.
Day 2: Stir well
Day 3: Stir well
Day 4: Herman is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.
Day 5: Stir well
Day 6: Stir well
Day 7: Stir well
Day 8: Stir well
Day 9: 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 fourth portion.
Day 10: Now you are ready to make the cake. Stir well and add the following:
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • half tsp salt
  • 2/3  cup of cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cooking apples cut into chunks OR 6 sticks of rhubarb cut into small chunks and cooked with a tablespoon of sugar for a couple of minutes to soften.
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tsp ginger (optional but we are a ginger loving family!)
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
For the top of the cake
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
Mix everything together and put into a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and flaked almonds. Bake for 45 minutes at 170 180C. You may need to cover in tin foil and bake for a further 20 minutes to make you’re your Herman is done in the middle.
When cold cut into finger pieces. The cake freezes well and is also delicious warm with cream or icecream.

The recipe and full instructions can be found here, a website devoted entirely to Herman and his variations!

If you are due to see me in the next couple of days shout if you DON'T want your very own 'Herman' or shout something different if you do....


  1. Hello Gaynor:
    Surely the perfect way to cement a friendship.....share a homemade cake over a cup of tea. Friends who recently came to stay with us brought us a portion of a similarly designed friendship cake. The perfect gift, in our view!

  2. What a wonderful idea, and the apple and rhubarb variation sounds perfect.

    1. Hi Tracey,
      I preferred the rhubarb as the apple was a bit too moist for my liking.

  3. Tim looks pretty happy :-)

    1. Hi Susan,

      He was, but then he loves cake - any cake!

  4. Sounds like fun. I can have a go at making my own Herman starter :) Diane

    1. Diane,
      The starter mix is on the website. Some of the variations look interesting, too.

  5. I'm impressed! you managed to take a pic of Tim before he bit into the cake! Well done ;-)

    1. Hi,
      I think he knew that if he didn't do as he was told the cake could be whipped away! Luckily it wasn't Tom; a cake never survives for long with him around...