My adventures with Herman continue…
Having made two cakes and feeling guilty at the thought of potentially cooking a third, I decided to look around for other Herman recipes. I found this one on the All Recipes website.
I paid attention to the comments & used 2 tsp of salt instead of the 1 tbsp suggested. I also needed to add more flour as they suggest.
Our flat was cold, so it took forever for the dough to rise! I thought the finished loaf was going to be much denser than it actually was. It rose more in the oven than bread usually does for me. I use a silicone bread pan and it even bowed out slightly at the sides.
It took less time to cook than suggested, so best keep an eye on it if you give it a go!
The finished results were very tasty. Slightly sweet with a definite sour dough flavour. In fact, it was so tasty that I started to want another loaf of it! Thankfully, I’d experimented with freezing the two left-over Herman portions I had from the last time.
Herman came back to life without any problems. I took him out of the freezer yesterday and followed the advice I’d seen & fed him today as if it were day 4 of the process. I might treat him now more like an ongoing sour dough mix & just feed him every now and again – and scoop out a cup or so the following day to use for a loaf or something else.
It struck me that the Herman bread recipe looked very much like a regular bread recipe with added Herman, flour and salt. With that in mind, my urge to experiment is prodding me to try making Herman cinnamon rolls… Not just yet though – I should probably leave it a bit longer after all that cake!
I made my second Herman last night.
I wanted to try a different recipe and my husband voted for a ginger Herman over a chocolate one. There’s a recipe for a ginger Herman on the Herman website but it didn’t sound quite like the type of cake I was looking for.
So, being me, I decided to play with the ingredients! I took the ginger flavouring mix from the All Recipes Big Soft Ginger Cookies recipe and decided to add rhubarb as the fruit.
The resulting cake batter was more liquid than the last one I made, possibly because of the molasses/treacle, possibly because I ran out of oil and had to guesstimate how much soft margarine to use to top up the oil I had. I added about a third of a cup more flour to help but the batter still took quite a while to cook, hence this Herman being a bit darker in colour than the last. I definitely needed the foil again!
It turned out well. The ginger flavouring is very subtle, so if you like a stronger ginger flavour, then you might want to up the spices, or add some decent crystalized ginger to the mix. I wanted to add crystalized ginger this time, but could only find a brand that I already know to be extremely wussy when it comes to flavour.
Here are the ingredients I used:
- 1 portion of Herman
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of plain flour (plus a little extra that may not be needed if you use oil rather than estimated quantites of margerine!)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 heaped teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 60ml (approx two tablespoons) of treacle/molasses
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup cooking oil
- 4 medium sticks of rhubarb, washed & cut into small chunks
Plus of course, the yummy (yet calorie laden) topping of 1/4 cup of brown sugar & 1/4 cup melted butter.
As before, I lined my tin with greaseproof paper & baked Herman on a low shelf in a 170-180 degrees celsius oven. After the initial 45 minutes I covered him with foil and kept baking until a skewer inserted into the middle came out clean.
I think he turned out very well. I like both the Hermans I’ve made so far. My preference is probably for the apple version, but my husband prefers this one.
We visited some friends the other weekend and came home with a Herman. http://www.hermanthegermanfriendshipcake.com/
Having tasted the one they cooked, I knew he’d be worth it. When I first got him, it seemed very odd to be talking about a sour dough starter/cake as if it were sentient. However, if you try it, you’ll probably find that by the time you bake the cake, you’re calling him Herman too!
I went with the basic recipe but I left out the raisins and added an extra half a cooking apple, chopped up to raisin size. He took a long time to cook. Nearly two hours due to the extra moisture from the extra apple & the fact I had him on a low shelf. Still, the end result was very yummy!
I gave away two of the three spare starters & have kept the third so that I can try one of the other recipes and pass a starter on to my mother-in-law. My husband has voted for the ginger cake!