Monday, 17 October 2011

Dotty About...Friendship Cakes

Last week, a very good friend of mine gave me the start of a German Friendship Cake or Herman as is apparently his name!

It came in the form of a Sourdough batter which I have had to keep on the work top for the last 10 days. It works like the old fashioned friendship letter, only it's end result is a yummy cake!

Today, day 9, I finally got to separate my cake batter (having followed all the instructions so far day by day) into 4 parts and give 3 of them away to friends.

Tomorrow I get to bake!

If you would like to be involved or start a friendship cake of your own, then follow these simple instructions:

Sourdough Starter

(please visit this page on for more information and further instructions about this.)

Day One

Mix one tablespoon unbleached flour with one tablespoon of luke warm water

Day Two

Add another tablespoon flour and water (24 hours later)

Day Three

Add two tablespoons flour and two tablespoons water

12 hours later

Add 40g flour and 60g water 2 - 3 times a day. The starter should look like its bubbling now

Then, the instructions I got with my friendship cake:

Hello, my name is Herman. I’m a sourdough cake. I’m supposed to be on the worktop for 10 days without the lid.

You can’t put me in the fridge or I will die :( If I stop bubbling then I am dead!

Day 1: You get Herman and take the lid off (and put me in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel

Day 2: Stir Well

Day 3: Same as yesterday!

Day 4: Herman is Hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well

Day 5 to 8 Stir Well

Day 9: Hungry again. Add the same as Day 4

Divide into 4 equal amounts and give 3 away to your friends along with a copy of these instructions (or keep one if you want to continue with a new cake). Herman 4 stays with you for Day 10.

Day 10: He’s very hungry. Stir well and add the following:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla essence
  • 2 heaped tsps cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tsps baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cooking oil
  • 2 cooking apples (cut into chunks)
  • ½ cup walnuts / almonds (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • Other options: pineapple, chopped chocolate, cherries etc
  • Mix everything together and put into a large greased roasting tin.

    Sprinkle with ¼ cup brown sugar and ¼ cup melted butter. Bake for 40 mins at 170 – 180 °C (check after 35 mins).

    When cold, cut into fingers. This cake freezes well. It’s also delicious warmed up with cream, ice cream or custard.


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