Those of you who have been following my progress with Herman may have noticed that I haven’t posted about Herman for over a week now. This is because Herman and I had a bit of a disagreement in the week. I was trialling another new flavour; Marmalade and Pecan which as usual I was quite excited about. I think I have said before that I am not that keen on nuts in cake, I don’t know why I just like a nice soft cake and to have crunchy bits in it sort of spoils it for me. Anyway, this cake was for my husband, it being Fathers Day this weekend and I thought he would absolutely love the Marmalade Pecan combination.
I measured the ingredients for the basic cake, added 1/3 jar of marmalade and 100g pecan nuts and put this in a large loaf tin and into the oven. Covered it over with foil at 30 minutes and then checked at 1 hour to see if it was cooked. It wasn’t! What’s more, the middle had already sunk even though I hadn’t moved it or taken it out of the oven and the edges were blackened and burned to a crisp! I put it back in for 10 more minutes, then, as it seemed cooked I took it out to let it cool on the rack. I then came to take the cake out of its tin and it just collapsed into a heap on the rack. At this point I did taste a bit and got a mouthful of nut and very odd tasting cake so promptly tipped the rest of the cake in the bin!
I did feel so guilty after and feel like I should have given poor Herman a chance but on this occasion I was in no mood to be nice!
After a lot of wondering why my Herman cakes keep sinking and often burn I have come to the conclusion that there is too much sugar in the mix (making it burn) and also not enough flour (making it sink). At the same time I remembered that I had bought a book (secondhand off amazon) that I had originally got out of the library and was thrilled to see it had a recipe for Herman the German Friendship Cake in it so had to have my own copy. Since it arrived through the post I haven’t really had a chance to look through it so thought I should compare notes on the recipe that was going round in the early 1990s to this one that is going round 20 years later (yes, I can’t believe the early 90s was 20 years ago either!).
The recipe from the book is different so I decided to remove one Herman from his bowl and start again with this new version (I have kept a bit of the old one too to compare notes). Below are photos of the book and the recipe for Herman the German Friendship cake.
As you can see from this recipe there are differences from this and the one that I have. There is slightly more flour and slightly less sugar in the recipe from The Bread Book. Also Herman goes days without needing to be stirred and he is fed on Days 1 and 5 but is not baked until Day 10! I don’t like to assume things but I have a feeling the instructions for Herman that I originally received have been Americanised as many of the measurements are in cups. I will have to wait a whole two weeks before I can try out the recipe from the book but I have a feeling that the results may be better than the ones that I have been getting from my Herman experiments and hopefully I will end up with much more of a cake like result rather than a rather sticky pudding like result.
Which version of Herman are you using? Is it the measuring by cup version?