You may or may not have heard of the famous Herman friendship cake, but for the uninitiated, it is the culinary equivalent of a chain letter.
You or your friend makes a mixture and gives others a jar it and a set of instructions! It really is the cake that keeps on giving.
The name Herman is taken from the Amish sweet, cinnamon-flavoured bread the American pioneers have baked for years, and is a gesture of friendship and love.
Here’s how to make a Christmas version of the traditional sourdough.
- 140g plain flour
- 230g castor sugar
- 1 packet of dry yeast (about 7g)
- 240ml warm milk
- 60ml warm water
- Dissolve the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes then stir.
- Add the flour and sugar then mix thoroughly.
- Slowly stir in the warm milk.
- Cover the bowl in a clean cloth.
- Leave in a cool dry place for 24 hours
- Proceed from day one of the 10 day cycle.
Tip: You CANNOT put this mixture in the fridge or it will not work!
10 day cycle
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 sugar
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/5 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup of cooking oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 cup mixed peel
- 1/4 cup sultanas
- 1/4 cup glace cherries
- 2 heaped tsp cinnamon
- 2 heaped tsp baking powder
Mix everything together and put into a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with a quarter of a cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes at 180C.
When cooked, spike with some brandy then decorate with marzipan and dust with icing sugar.
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