About two weeks ago, our good friend Ros gave us Herman the Friendship Cake.
When she gave Herman to us, he wasn't actually ready to be a cake. He needed to do some growing first. So, for the next ten days, we carefully tended to him, stirring him lovingly a few times a day, and feeding him every few days with flour, sugar and milk.
Herman thrived from our friendship and soon enough, he had nearly outgrown his bowl and he was ready to be baked into a cake.
Now, in all honesty, before Herman is baked into a cake, he doesn't really shine out as a pretty cake. So, when you look at the image below, please don't judge him. He is still blooming.
Here's Herman after 10 days of feeding & growing. Actually this is just one fifth of Herman. Due to his brilliant growing skills, we split him into 5 parts, giving 4 away to friends (hence the name friendship cake) and baked our one part.
Is your face screwed up and are you thinking, 'eew! why would you want to eat that?!' My reaction was the same. Stay with me here...
To spice Herman up a bit, I added some eggs, sugar & flour, you know, that kind of cakey ingredients....
Next, I added some Hershey's chocolate. This was a gift from our friends who have just returned from their stateside road trip, and I have to say, it just doesn't compete with British chocolate. But it's perfectly good when chopped up and in a cake...
As I had no idea how Mr Herman was going to turn out, I wasn't too worried about adding the right things, as the recipe basically suggested that you can add whatever you like. So, to balance out the American chocolate influence I added some Quality Streets.
A little random? Perhaps. And in hindsight, it wasn't really the best idea I've ever had, as they mostly migrated to the edge of the tin, so that when I removed Mr Herman after baking, the toffee quality streets stuck to the edge of the tin! Ah well, it was worth a try.
To add a bit of a healthy element to Herman to counteract the sugar high, I added some craisins & sultanas. Yum.
May I present Herman the Friendship Cake:
As you can see, all of the little extras I added have sunk to the bottom. I'm not completely sure, but I think the only way to prevent this is to use some sort of stabiliser, and seeing as I didn't have any to hand, I settled with sunken fruit & chocolate.
I think he turned out quite handsome, considering his pre-baked state, don't you?
If you're interested in having the recipe so you can start your own friendship cake to spread some Herman love, then let me know and I'll pass on the recipe.