By Karimah Bin Dawoud Muslim Chaplain And Well Being Writer.
After giving me bundles of natural moisturizer and body scrub, fragranced with mimosa and vanilla oils,
“Do you want a surprise?” my crazy sistar friend said.
” As long as its 6’2, I don’t mind,” was my reply.
“Well, ” a long drawn out “well”,
“It might get that big,” as she handed me a mundane looking plastic bag with yoghurt pot in it.
“you’ve not even seem it yet ” she quipped.
Still ” Jazakalakhayrun, may Allah reward you with good”, was my comment as she handed me the pot.
As I took off the bag a familiar yeasty aroma filled my nostrils,
“This is Herman”, she told me as she handed me a sheet of paper on how to look after to him and explained to me that this was the beginning of friendship cake that needed to be stirred for quite a few days, then the yeasty mixture shared before adding the rest of the cake ingredients to the mixture and baking.
What Is A German Friendship Cake?
Herman the German friendship cake apparently originates from the Amish people, many years ago. They would give out a type of sourdough bread that was passed among the needy and sick. Please contact me if you know more about this.
Herman is a sourdough cake, whose recipe dates back centuries. it’s like a chain letter but instead its a yeasty cake starter mix that you nurture for 10 days before baking as a lovley cake.
You can follow the recipe ingredient, usurp them like it did or even make a bread or pizza from the yeasty, sugary ,floury mixture.
This is what my set of instructions told me to do:
“Hello, my name is Herman.
I am a sourdough cake. I’m supposed to sit on your worktop for 10 days without a lid on. You CANNOT put me in the fridge or I will die. If I stop bubbling, I am dead.
1.You get Herman and put him in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.
4.Herman is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.
9.Hungry again. Add the same as day 4 and stir well. Divide into 4 equal portions and give away to friends with a copy of these instructions. Keep the 4th one.
10.Herman is very hungry. Stir well and add the following:
1 cup sugar, white, brown , muscavado.
half tsp (teaspoon) salt
2 cups plain flour, wheat flour , rice flour, polenta
2/3 (two thirds) cup of cooking oil
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 cooking apples cut into chunks
1 cup raisins
2 heaped tsp cinnamon
2 heaped tsp baking powder
Mix everything together and put into a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with a quarter of a cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of melted butter. Bake for 4o minutes at 170-180C/GAS 4. then take out cover with foil and cook for another 20 minutes to make sure inside is cooked. It’s is also delicious warm with cream ,ice-cream or custard.
Nearly every day I remembered to stir the cake, don’t worry if you forget but he may sue you for neglect. I remembered my sister friend who gave it to me and I remembered her with sweet yeasty bubbling thoughts, mashallah.