My adventure with Herman started one day outside the school gates when I saw one of the other mums passing on a strange bowl of gloop to someone and, curiosity piqued, I had to ask her what it was. She told me that it was a German friendship cake and that if I wanted she would “grow” me one but that it would take a week or so.
I forgot all about it but 10 days later she duly handed over Herman with a printed sheet of instructions and off we went. I decanted my Herman into a bowl, covered him loosely with some cling film and pushed him into a corner in the kitchen. Although other people say it is great to involve your children, I have to say my six year old wasn’t that bothered about stirring him daily (remind me never to get her a hamster or something that needs daily care) but I didn’t mind as I enjoyed the stirring and watching him bubble away in a very satisfying fashion.
When the time came to bake him, I followed the instructions adding apple, raisins and almond flakes. I had difficulty getting him out of the tin and he broke apart but that could be that I was too impatient and didn’t wait until he was fully cold or that I didn’t line the tin with greaseproof paper which would have stopped it sticking. As a result I wasn’t able to get many presentable “fingers” but in all honesty who cares! The crumbs tasted just as delicious and that way I didn’t know how many pieces I actually ate and so didn’t need to feel too guilty!
I passed my “sons of Herman” on to some friends and started growing my own Herman Junior. This time when it came to baking I was more adventurous with the ingredients and added apple, cranberries, white chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. I’m not sure if I slightly undercooked this Herman or whether the marshmallows made it slightly gooey but it was delicious – I donated half of it to my son’s nursery cake sale and had lots of nice comments back.
After Herman the Third, I put the next batch of batter in the freezer as an experiment. I plan to take it out sometime and see if I can resurrect him. But in the meantime, I am about to embark on my next Herman adventure: attempting to create a gluten and dairy free Herman so my other half can enjoy Herman as much as I have. I will be following the instructions on this great website to create my own Herman from scratch and will report back at some point as to whether gluten free flour + soya milk work.
To be continued …