Hermann didn’t quite make it to Siberia. He received a last minute reprieve after repeated requests to bake a chocolate version. I was a bit dubious at first about adding chocolate to Hermann. In my mind Hermann was best suited to soft fruit and mixed spices. I finally relented and I’m glad I did. Here he is. All gooey and chocolate-y. My best Hermann yet.
In the short time I have known Hermann he’s taught me a great deal about his particular preferences and idiosyncrasies Here are my current top tips for what I like to call the feeding and breeding programme and of course the final steps to baking of an amazing cake.
- Always use a glass or ceramic bowl. Hermann is an old fashioned soul and prefers a natural habitat over artificial or man made.
- Use a wooden spoon, not metal, for the daily beating. Hermann loves to be whipped into a frothy frenzy. Every single day.
- Use a clean tea towel to cover Hermann’s bowl. The natural fibres allow him to breathe easily and absorb any errant moisture. Cling wrap and foil are the enemy. Remember his preference for a natural habitat? We don’t want him to get all sweaty and smelly.
- At warmer temperatures Hermann will breed quickly and prolifically. The warmer it gets, the hungrier and thirstier Hermann becomes. And the faster he grows. As summer approaches I have truncated the feeding and breeding programme to seven rather than ten days with great success.
- After seven to ten days of following the feeding and breeding programme, one quantity of starter dough will yield enough batter for four baby Hermanns. One quantity of starter dough means one and a half cups of an undisturbed, frothing Hermann or one cup of a deflated Hermann once he has been whipped or beaten.
- Hermann needs soft fruit added to the batter to deliver a beautifully moist result. So far I have used apples, pear, peaches, banana, mango or berries.
- Hermann is infinitely adaptable and makes great muffins and cakes. Only this morning I had a conversation about whether a gluten free version would work. To be honest I can’t see why not. I would begin afresh with a brand new starter dough (to learn how visit www.hermanthegermanfriendshipcake.com ) and use gluten free flour in the feeding and breeding program. Try almond or hazelnut meal with 2 teaspoons of baking powder when making a cake. If anyone tries this I would be curious to learn of the result.
That said here is my very last Hermann for the year. All my remaining baby Hermanns are spoken for. I have reluctantly banished Hermann from my kitchen for a little while to concentrate on other things.
I do love to hear how his progeny are faring. So if you have inherited a Hermann from either me or someone else, or even started one yourself, drop me a line. I’m so very pleased to hear that Pipster is attempting a very festive Christmas Hermann this year and has very generously agreed to write a guest post. I’m looking forward to it. Thanks Pipster!
For anyone who is interested in breeding, feeding or baking a Gluten Free Hermann. It has been done. Here’s a link!
Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Raspberries and Almond Meal
Makes 12 large muffins
1 quantity Hermann starter
1 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup almond meal
1/3 cup dutch cocoa
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, partly thawed
100 g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
PREHEAT oven to 180 C.
LINE a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
COMBINE starter, eggs, sugar, salt, flour, bi-carbonate of soda, almond meal, vegetable oil, cocoa and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
BEAT well with a wooden spoon.
STIR in raspberries and chocolate chunks.
POUR batter into prepared muffin cases.
BAKE in 180 C oven, centre rack position, for 25 – 30 minutes.
Would you like to follow the entire Hermann story on this blog? Click on these links to my previous posts: