Thursday, 22 March 2012

Cake is my friend

I'd like to introduce you to someone. He's an affable European with a crusty exterior and a sweet heart.

He's also a delicious cake.

This is Herman the German! A 'German friendship cake,' a rich apple and raisin cake that you grow from a fermented mixture similar to sourdough. He lives in your home for ten days, after which he is divided and shared with friends; I got ridiculously attached to my Herman during this time. I almost started talking to it. Almost.

This cake has a deeply spiced and fruity flavour, topped by a sugary, nutty crust that comes from the combination of muscovado sugar and melted butter that is poured over just before baking (and if that doesn't tempt you, I don't know what will!). A quick word to the wise - use lightly salted butter. I used whatever was biding its time in my fridge, and it was a bit too salty.

Full details of Herman's origins and the starter recipe can be found here, if you aren't lucky enough to have a neighbour or friend with baby Hermans to pass on!

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