Tanya’s Blog: It’s all about the Herman!
Date posted: 29-07-2012
Have you heard of Herman?
I recently received a Herman. If you haven’t heard of this little creature where have you been?
Herman the German is a friendship cake based on a sourdough starter. Luckily, he’s relatively undemanding and easy to take care of, even if he does smell a bit yeasty.
A fellow Guide leader introduced me to my little Herman and I was intrigued to see how this would work. I was told that this tiny piece of bubbly yeasty mixture, sat in an old take away box and covered with kitchen roll, would continue to bubble and grow over ten days. In fact, he would bubble and grow so much that I’d have enough mixture to pass him on to three other people as well as cook a delicious cake from him? Impossible! Well, I was wrong.
Over my ten days with Herman I became quite attached. For the first few days all you have to do is give him a stir and leave him to bubble away merrily. Until day four that is, when I was informed by my instruction sheet that “Herman is hungry”. I had to feed him equal parts of flour, milk and sugar and then leave him to digest his meal while I just went back to giving him a daily stir.
The instruction sheet warned me that “If I stop bubbling, I am dead” and after I fed him on day four that’s exactly what he did – stop bubbling. I was in a panic – “I’ve killed him, how could I not even keep a bubbly bit of gloopy mixture alive?” You could say I was quite distraught. However, just as I was about to give up on him and throw him in the trash, I saw a bubble! And by day seven he was bubbling away so madly that I thought he was only doing it to make a point of just how alive he was.
On day nine of our journey together, I had to feed Herman his milky, floury, sugary mixture again and then divide him up ready to go to his new homes. I gathered some old pots and laid them out ready to scoop some of the Herman mixture in. Each pot was then carefully covered with kitchen roll before I set out on my delivery route to introduce Herman to his next adventure.
Day ten was baking time and, after getting past the fact that the end of my little Herman’s journey was near, I added in all the ingredients listed on the instruction sheet and put him to rest in not one, but two cake tins. Once in the oven, his demise was soon forgotten about as he smelt delicious!
So, if a Herman the German mixture comes your way – give him a chance. He’s not a bad fellow really and quite fun too. Plus, after a little bit of work you get a nice tasty cake!