Meet Herman

It doesn’t look very appealing now, does it? Well, looks can be deceiving. Let me explain…

Herman is a friendship cake. I googled and found that it’s known all around the world. Not necessarily as ‘Herman’, but the friendship cake itself.

It’s a batter that will ‘grow’ by natural fermentation. Although some people think it’s not healthy, having the batter sitting outside the fridge for 10 days, I can assure you it is. It’s a natural process and no one got sick after eating it (at least not to my knowledge :p)

If you want to start Herman up from scratch, here’s what to do.


– 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
– 1 ounce warm water
– 1 tablespoon white sugar
– 1 tablespoon vinegar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 3 cups milk

  • Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1 tablespoon white sugar, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup of the flour, and 1 cup of the milk in a non-metal bowl and stir with a non-metal spoon until creamy. Cover bowl with a clean tea towel (it has to be able to breathe) and let stand in a warm place for two days to ferment. It will become bubbly and have a sour odor. Do not place in refrigerator.
  • On second day, third day, and fourth day: stir.
  • On fifth day, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, and stir.
  • On sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth day: stir.
  • On tenth day add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Devide into 5 equal cups. Keep 1 cup for yourself, to make a cake; pour remaining starter, 1 cup each, into 4 containers to give away to friends, along with the recipe (they can skip the first part and just stir on day 1, 2, 3 and 4).

To make the cake:

– 1 cup starter
– 2/3 cup vegetable oil
– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 3 eggs
– 1 cup white sugar
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 cup chopped nuts
– 1 apple, grated
– 1 cup chopped chocolate
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a loaf pan (or any other baking tin).
  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bananas, dates, coconut or raisins can be added for variety.
  • Serve warm or cool as is, or add your choice of topping (I used powdered sugar).

And here’s the result, now don’t you think it looks delicious? It was! I gave away 3 cups of batter to 3 friends, used 1 cup to make the cake and kept 1 cup to start another Herman. You’ll never know how long it takes for Herman to get back to you, so better safe than sorry 🙂


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2 Comments so far

  1. I was surfing around the blog community and thought I would leave a note saying hi. Hope your day is going well, Antoinette. I liked to read about Herman, thanks! 🙂 Greetings from Scotland.

  2. Kia on September 30th, 2008 at 12:20
  3. Wow! This is clearly a case of the ugly duckling turning into a swan Antoinette. That cake looks delish.

  4. Karen (karooch from Scraps of mind) on October 2nd, 2008 at 01:18

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