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The final all day event for 2012

Here are the dates for 2012 Experience days that Sharon & myself have organised.

Now Booking

Saturday 1st December at Hethersett Village Hall for the last all day event of 2012 & a Christmas Card & gift event
Theme - A whole day crafting
Cost - £25

Future Dates:

Saturday 1st December ~ Christmas gift event

And don't forget for every event you attend you will receive a FREE raffle ticket which could win you a

(Draw to take place during December's Event)


Do you fancy a catalogue party?

Did you know that you can qualify for hostess benefits without having to hold a party?

Just by showing your catalogue around to your family, friends or craft group, If you collect together orders totalling over £150 you will qualify for a free hostess benefits.

If your interested please contact me for further details.

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Stampin' Up Contact details I have set these business hours to preserve my home / work life balance.

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Or call me between 9.30 Am ~ 8Pm ~ 07092984580

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A friendship cake called Herman‏

Herman is getting everywhere. Has the friendship cake revival come knocking on your kitchen door?

Herman the friendship cake

For anyone not yet initiated into the ritual of Herman cake creation, it is the culinary equivalent of a chain letter. Someone presents you with a jar of yeasty mix and a set of instructions on when to add sugar, flour and sift or stir it. Ten days on, you divide the mixture into five, pass four jars onto friends and, with the rest, bake yourself a very yeasty and sugary but surprisingly tasty cake.

My introduction was through a conversation with a friend, until that time I was unaware of the friendship cake I now know as Herman. With a little help from google I managed to find some instructions.

The instructions that came with "him" tell me this is because "he" needs more space. Already Herman is no longer just a pot of yeast. He's a living, breathing part of the family, when you receive your very first Herman he must be moved to a more spacious home – that's a bowl to you and me. And, he must be stirred and engaged in rather one-sided conversation over the next few days until he's ready for his first meal (milk, flour and sugar) on Day Four.

He's quite an undemanding, if slightly yeasty smelling, charge. Four days of stirring and chatting later, he wants the same meal again, before being divided and potted, ready to spread a little happiness to several other families. Finally, you add more flour and sugar, eggs, cinnamon and apples and stick him in the oven. But I'm not sentimental and Herman lives on, through his four babies, 

The name Herman is taken from the Amish sweet, cinnamon-flavoured bread and the cakes have their origins in the sourdough products made by the early American pioneers. Airborne yeast was used to ferment a mixture of flour sugar and water, and then used to make pancakes, bread and cakes. What was left of original starter leavening mixture was then passed around the community for others to cook with.

These days Herman cakes are a luxury gimmick rather than a necessity and in this form they have been around for several decades. My mother remembers making and passing on Hermans before the war. I missed out on them when I was at school, though I was busy giving making ginger beer plants which are essentially the same process and sharing them around the neighbourhood.

The current Herman revival is gathering momentum with the help of internet chat forums and comes at a time when we are being encouraged to waste less and share more.

In essence, Herman cakes are a quirky fun way of doing something we're out of the habit of doing - sharing surpass food within the community rather than putting stuff in giant freezers or throwing it away. 

"There is no sell by date," which is part of the appeal. In these times of almost impenetrable packaging and obsessive food hygiene there's added pleasure to be had from eating something that has been through many hands and possibly several generations, and survived to continue the tale.

Herman friendship cake

Herman (or Hermann) is a friendship cake.  You can’t buy him, but you can be given a gift of him…then you can give him away. He’s chock full of yeast so over 10 days he’ll grow slowly but surely…and then you can eat him!

He doesn’t need any swanky fridge style accommodation…the kitchen work surface will do.  He doesn’t even need a lid…just a tea towel.  Your granny’s tea towel will do – it doesn’t even have to be new.  Just cover him and he’ll merrily grow at room temperature.

To spread a little friendship far and wide, just follow the instructions below and in 10 days you will have a Herman cake to eat and four mini Hermans to give to friends and bring a little Herman shaped smile to their faces.

That said, if you want to have your cake and eat it right now, go straight to day ten and don't tell your friends!  But we know you'll share.

If you wish to start a friendship chain from scratch follow the instructions below counting the day you begin as day zero.

Herman cake sour dough starter

2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 tbsp or 2 packets active dry yeast
Today is day 0. Record the date/day on calendar.

Sprinkle 1 tbsp of the sugar over the warm water. Sprinkle yeast over this and leave in a warm place for around 10 minutes so it doubles in size.

Mix the milk, remaining sugar, flour and yeast mixture in a large plastic or glass container and stir using only a wooden spoon.

Cover loosely or place plate over top of container so Herman can breathe and leave in a warm place.

The next day is Day 1 and you now proceed with the following instructions as if you’d been given a friendship cake mixture to grow. Try to stir at least once each day.

Instructions for the Herman cake

If you would like to spread a little friendship follow the instructions below and at end of 10 days you will have a cake to eat and four starter kits to pass on.

If you cannot wait to have your cake and eat it, go straight to day 10 but you will forego the opportunity to pass on the cake to friends.

Day 1: Today Herman is given to you. Put him in a big bowl (at least 4pt capacity). Cover Herman loosely so he can breathe - a tea towel or loose lid is ideal.

Days 2 & 3: Stir Herman 2-3 times a day with a wooden spoon  (be lazy – stick to wooden so you can just leave it in the bowl without troublesome corrosion issues)

Day 4: Herman is hungry. Give him the following:

200mls milk
200g self-raising flour
250g sugar
Days 5, 6, 7 & 8: Stir Herman 2-3 times a day.

Day 9: Herman is hungry again. Give him the same ingredients you gave him on Day 4. Stir well then divide him into 5 equal parts. Give 4 baby Hermans away to friends or family with a copy of these instructions. Keep the 5th portion to bake, it's yours for the eating.

Day 10: Herman is absolutely starving. He needs a holiday. He likes to go to a hot resort. The oven is his favourite. Pre-heat oven to 170ºC (150ºC fan-assisted oven) and grease a cake tin generously. Prepare him for his holiday using one of the following:

150g self-raising flour
100g finely chopped nuts/raisins/mixed fruit
100 mls oil
Half a teaspoon of baking powder to help him rise.
2 teaspoons cinnamon for extra spice.
3 eggs
2 grated apples to keep things moist
Mix everything together and pour into a very well greased loaf tin or 9” x 9“ cake tin. Bake for 1-1 ½ hours, depending on your tin. Cool in tin for 10 mins then turn out.

Right i'm Now off to the kitchen to give life to my first Herman offspring

Herman Variations

Ginger Herman:

Here is recipe for ginger Herman. It was a rather sloppy mix but have to say its the lightest cake yet.

Ginger Cake : 150g self-raising flour, 1½ tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp bicarbonate soda, pinch of salt, 125g golden syrup, 60g finely chopped stem ginger, 1 tbsp ginger syrup from stem ginger jar, 2 heaped tbsp sultanas, 75g dark muscavado suger, 2 eggs, 150 ml milk, 75 ml butter at room temp/softened in microwave.


Apple & Choc Chip:

I thought I would give you some feedback on my version of the Hermann with the apple and choc chips. The taste is actually very good and the blend of cinnamon, apple and chocolate works well. I do however intend to make it again with a slightly amended mix. The centre and base of the cake ended up to ‘wet’ and the whole thing was a little too sweet. I will probably reduce the amount of apple and choc chips to stop the mix dropping to the base and also maybe reduce the olive oil. Regarding the sweetness I think I will reduce the sugar in the last part of the mix – that should help. 

Chocolate & Honeycomb:

Mine was divine. I didn’t use any of the ingredients on the list, just the basic ones like sugar, oil, etc. Then, instead of apples and cinnamon I added chocolate and honeycomb… Wow, it was lush!!!!  

A nice idea at Christmas:

Baking mine tomorrow, going to make the starter mix 10 days before Xmas and hand them out for Xmas pressies, as well as bake mine on Boxing Day. 


Christmas Herman – A festive variation of this popular cake:

Try glace cherries, stem ginger in syrup, a small amount of mixed peel, sultana’s and some mixed spice. Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake. When cooked spike with some brandy then decorate with marzipan and dust with icing sugar. 

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