Herman has entered our lives and will live with us for the next 10 days until we eat him!
Late in the evening whilst my OH was on the phone and I was running a bath, the doorbell rang. Two young neighbours were stood there, looking rather sheepish and just a little bit embarrassed.
“This is from our dad, can you look after it?” They then handed me a little box and a brown envelope on which was typed 'Hello I'm Herman, please can you look after me? My instructions are inside".
I must admit curiosity got the better of me. The box didn't appear to have any noises coming from it and felt quite light – was it a hamster, mice, a budgie?
Herman was just sitting there looking rather pale with the occasional bubble rising from him. Is he a goldfish then, or a frog!
No - Herman is a friendship cake. I was quite happy as one of these little creatures hadn't entered our house for the last 20 years or so. I have no idea how to start one off so was quite glad to receive it.
For those of you not in the know a friendship cake is something you receive in the form of a yeast batter entity. You stir and feed it as and when instructed to do so. Before you kill it by cooking, your mixture is divided into 5. You keep one which has all manner of things added to it to bake (if you want to keep making one for yourself keep 2 portions and carry on feeding one via the instructions).
These are the instructions (and you can call it any name you want)
Day 1 – Welcome Herman into your home. Congratulations, you have a friend. Pour him into a large mixing bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave him at room temperature. Here he is on day 1.
Day 2 – Stir him 2-3 times today with a WOODEN spoon or spatula (not metal). You can leave the spoon in him, he won't mind.
Day 3 – Stir him the same as yesterday, talk to him, he gets lonely.
Day 4 – Herman needs feeding. Add 200ml milk, 200g S.R. Flour and 250 g sugar (he doesn't mind a little less sugar if you don't want your cake too sweet!)
Day 5 – Stir as per days 1 and 2.
Day 6 – Stir as per day 5 – he really loves your visits.
Day 7 – And stir again, are you still talking to him, he loves you.
Day 8 – And stir again, pay special attention to him as his visit is nearly over.
Day 9 – Herman is hungry again. Feed as per Day 4. Once fed, divide him into 5 equal portions. Give 4 away to friends with a copy of these instructions (or 3 if you want to start off another Herman).
Day 10 - Your Herman is absolutely starving after 10 days. This time, he needs a bigger feed. Give him 150g S.R. flour, 150g sugar, 3 eggs, 2 tsp ground cinnamon*, 1 tsp baking powder, 100g finely chopped fruit*, 2 grated eating apples, 100ml oil (vegetable). * means optional.
Herman would now like to go to a hot resort – the oven will do. Preheat to 170c/Gas5. Pour him into a greased and base lined 7” tin and bake for about 1 hour or until done.