Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A cake called Herman

I've never heard of this before, but there is a container of mix you may one day receive from a friend that has an instruction sheet (recipe) with it and they tell you it's called Herman.  The mix doesn't smell great, in fact it's a bit sour, but when you read the sheet you learn that after 10 days you can use it to bake a cake.  Mental, I know.  Here's the mix, see it bubbling?  That's the sourdough (or technically, it's more likely to be the yeast).
You leave it on the worktop (definitely not in the fridge) and 'feed' it with various ingredients (mostly flour) on certain days over the next 10 days.  Then divide it into four, give three away and bake up the last portion yourself.
Just like it says on the sheet, ha ha.  However, I told my friend that I wouldn't be around for the next 10 days and thus couldn't partake.  She thought about it for a bit, then texted me to say I could just skip to day 10 and bake it up now.  Righto then, here goes!
Mini-2 is getting rather adept at cracking eggs.  We do it over a little bowl, so if any shell gets in we can remove it before adding the egg to the cake mix.  And did hers have any shell in it?  No sireee, it did not.  You go girl!  We added in all the ingredients as listed, except the raisins because a) we didn't have any and b) I don't remember a time when I ever liked them.  The girls do, and did, but we haven't bought any for quite some months now and no-one seems to mind.  It was a very very solid mix, and nearly broke my little hand-held electric mixer (not the Kenwood) but I perservered so at least all ingredients were mixed.  We managed to scrape it into the prepared 8" springform cake tin, then covered it with 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Then into the oven.  Well, it took quite a bit longer than the recipe suggested.  So much longer, that I ended up having to do the school run by car, in order to leave it in the oven while I nipped out but also to ensure a speedy return.  (When we walk, we're easily distracted by the play park or the woods on the way home).  It was fine on our return, so was taken out of the oven a total of about 25 minutes later than recommended.  The top was very crispy (so much so that Mr Becca elected not to take it in to work the next day, as they didn't have chisels in the staff room.  Oh ha ha) and the interior rather solid.  Moist and tasty, but solid.  It's not my preferred cake texture, but we all tried some, gave some away and nibbled at the remainder.  And now we've met Herman.