By Karimah Bin Dawoud Muslim Chaplain And Well Being Writer.

Herman The Friendship Cake

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.
” Jazakalakhayrun”
“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.

Days 1-10

1.You get Herman and put him in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.
2Stir well
3.Stir well
4.Herman is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.
5.Stir well
6.Stir well
7.Stir well
8.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
2-3 eggs
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.


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