Hermann Loves Coconut. Mango and Banana Muffins. Raspberry and Apple Cake.

It has been a very warm week and Hermann has been so very active breaking free from his bowl on the kitchen bench every other day. I’d almost started to think of him as a recalcitrant child.

On Sunday I decided that even though I was only in Day 8 of the 10 day feeding and breeding cycle, I was going to break the rules. Divide the dough into four portions and bake two that very day. I have saved one to bequeath to Amanda tomorrow and am considering banishing the fourth Hermann to Siberia. The freezer that is. I figure that after all those holidays in a hot climate, the oven, he might appreciate a change of scenery.

In the short time that I have known him Hermann seems quite resilient. I’ve seen the dire warnings not to put him in the refrigerator or he will die, but am supremely confident of my ability to resurrect him from the dead with a gentle thawing, a good feeding of flour and sugar and a warm glass of milk. Or if all else fails start a new Hermann from scratch.

Since acquiring my Hermann I have discovered that he is so very popular he has his own website. You can check it out at www.hermanthegermanfriendshipcake.com. Browsing through this rather large and enthusiastic website I came across this: Start your own Herman. So simple a child can do it!  For anyone who wants to take up the challenge I’ve adapted the recipe, using Australian metric conversions. Just scroll down to the very end of the post.

As many of you know, Sunday afternoon means baking in my house. For school lunches and the boys in my son’s dorms. Those boys form a very useful test kitchen. Last week I sent in my very first Herman studded with dried cherries and almonds. He received very favourable reviews.  This week I wanted to experiment with fresh fruit and coconut. Two portions of Hermann starter yielded a lot of baking. Eighteen Mango and Banana Muffins with Coconut and one very large Apple and Raspberry Cake with Coconut. To be honest the fresh fruit and coconut lifted this cake to an entirely new level of deliciousness. My favourite combinations so far.

Christmas is only six or so weeks away so sadly these will be my last Hermanns for a while as I turn my attention to festive Christmas baking. I’m thinking gingerbread houses, puddings and mince pies.

Hermann Mango and Banana Muffins with Coconut
Makes 18 muffins

1 ripe banana, mashed
1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1 quantity Hermann starter, see note below
1 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cups self raising flour
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

PREHEAT oven to 180 C.
LINE muffin tins with paper cases.
COMBINE banana, mango, coconut, lemon zest and juice in a large mixing bowl.
ADD starter, eggs, sugar, salt, flour, vegetable oil and vanilla.
BEAT well with a wooden spoon.
POUR batter into prepared muffin tin.
BRUSH muffins with melted butter and finish with a sprinkle of brown sugar.
BAKE in 180 C oven, centre rack position, for 15 – 20 minutes until brown.


Hermann Cake with Apple, Raspberry and Shredded Coconut

1 quantity Hermann starter, see note below
1 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cups self raising flour
2/3 cup cooking oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 cooking apples cut into chunks
1 cup frozen raspberries, partially thawed
1 cup shredded coconut
1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice

1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

PREHEAT oven to 18O C
COMBINE all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat well with a wooden spoon.
POUR batter into a large baking tin.
BRUSH top of cake with melted butter and sprinkle brown sugar on top
BAKE in 180 C oven, centre rack position for 45 minutes until golden.
WHEN cold, dust with icing sugar and cut into fingers or squares.

Make Your Own Hermann Starter Dough

Just one important detail to note. This process needs to be started 10 days before you would like to bake a cake. On day 10 the starter dough is divided into four portions. Traditionally one to bake, one to keep and two to give away. Hence the moniker Hermann the German Friendship Cake.

7 g active dry yeast, 1 sachet or 2 teaspoons loose yeast granules
1 cup plain flour
1 cup castor sugar
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup warm water

Dissolve the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes then stir.
Add the flour and sugar then mix thoroughly.
Slowly stir in the warm milk.
Cover the bowl in a clean cloth.
Leave in a cool dry place for 24 hours
Now proceed from day one of the 10 day cycle, as described in my earlier post From Daylesford With Love. Hermann the German Friendship Cake.

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3 Responses to Hermann Loves Coconut. Mango and Banana Muffins. Raspberry and Apple Cake.

  1. pipster says:

    One of Herman’s babies made it over to the Inner West last week and spawned a new generation of Herman’s with delicious results that I wwnated to let you all know about. In the warm Sydney spring our Herman has been very active and for my first cake I decided to say traditional and stuck with the apple, mixed fruits and cinnamon (also largely because Mum has all those ingredients out for her annual christmas fruit cake bake off). The fresh fruit gave it a wonderful moistness while the cinnamon, vanilla and mixed fruit gave it a real festive, christmas feel. In fact it tasted more like a pudding than a cake, but much lighter thanks to the sourdough. So much so that we’ve decided to forego the annual plum pudding and have this version again on Christmas Day, further enhanced by some Vanilla Bean ice cream (we may lash out and go down the Maggie Beer path for that). In the meantime we will try a tropical version of Herman very soon. The inner west foodies thank you Paddington Foodie.

  2. Pingback: Double Chocolate Hermann Happiness. Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Raspberries and Almond Meal | The Paddington Foodie

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