Herman - A Wandering Friendship Cake

Herman is a very likeable acquaintance, he is bubbling so cozy in just over a week and then spreads a scent of homemade cake in the neighborhood. In addition, he tastes excellent with a little touch of homemade bread.

Herman is by another reason especially welcome in my home, since Herman is a family name on my father's side. My grandfather and great grandfather's name was Herman in the first name and my father, brother and his son is named Herman as second names.

If you don't know someone who has a Herman, just simply make your own by starting day 1 with mixing the ingredients shown in day 4 and then follow the instructions as usual.

Day 1
You receive Herman from a friend

Day 2 and 3
Stir a few times per day

Day 4
250 ml milk
250 ml sugar
250 ml flour

Day 5 to 8
Stir a few times per day

Day 9
250 ml milk
250 ml sugar
250 ml flour
and then split the batter in 5 parts (approx. 200 ml). Bake with one part, save one part and give away three parts.

Day 10
Bake a cake with one part Herman batter using one of the following recipes.

Recipe A:
  • one part Herman (approx. 200 ml)
  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 ml sugar
  • 300 ml flour
  • 150 ml oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Add if you like: 200 grams raisins or 2-3 grated carrots
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Grease and flour a springform pan. Preheat the oven to 175°C or 350°F. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Recipe B:

  • one part Herman (approx. 200 ml)
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 ml sugar
  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 350 ml flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 100 grams chopped nuts, e.g. hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds
  • 2 grated apples
Preheat the oven to 175°C or 350°F. Grease and flour a baking pan. Peel and grate the apples. Chop nuts and chocolate. Beat the eggs and sugar fluffy with an electric mixer. Add the oil dropwise during beating on high speed. Add the Herman batter, flour, baking powder, nuts, chocolate, cinnamon and apples and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the lowest part of the oven 45-50 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Allow to cool.

Note: If you exclude the cinnamon, allow to add another spice, e.g. cardamom, otherwise the cake will taste more like a sweet homemade bread instead of cake.

Jansson's Temptation

This is a very common dish on swedish christmas and easter smorgasbord. It is a potatoe gratin with a slightly salty taste from anchovy fillets.

  • 1 kg peeled potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 200 g anchovy fillets (2 cans), save the liquid
  • 300-400 ml double cream
  • butter
Cut the potatoes in french fries sized strips. Peel the onion, cut it in halves and slice it. Put the potatoe strips, onion and anchovy fillets in layers in a baking tray. Pour the liquid and double cream over and put some pieces of butter on top. You can sprinkle some bread crumbs on top to avoid the potatoes from getting burnt but it's not necessary.

Place the baking tray in center of oven 200°C/390°F and bake for approx. 45-60 minutes. The "temptation" is ready when the potatoes are soft.

Jansson's Temptation taste the best with a glass of beer.

French Toast / Poor Knights

"Poor knights" (Fattiga riddare) is what we call these fried egg toasts in Sweden.

  • 4-5 slices of toast bread
  • 600 ml milk
  • 100 ml plain flour
  • 2 egg
  • 2 tbsp castor sugar
  • 0,5 tsp ground cinnamon
Whisk milk, flour, egg, sugar and cinnamon together in a wide bowl. Cut each bread slice diagonally in two halves, put half of them in the liquid and soak for a couple of minutes.

Heat a frying pan on medium heat with some butter and fry the toasts until golden brown on each side.

Sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top on each slice. Serve with strawberry jam.

Hot Carrot Soup

A simple but still very tasty easy-to-cook soup. Serve with some newly grated cheese that each person can sprinkle over their bowl of soup, and bread.

  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 liter of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 250 g coarse grated carrots
  • 100 ml red lentils
  • 0,5 tsp sambal oelek
  • 200 ml double cream
  • salt, pepper
Heat butter in a pan (larger than 2 liters) in just over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and paprika and cook while stirring for a few minutes.
Pour in the broth, crushed tomatoes, carrots, lentils and sambal oelek. Stir around, put on a lid, lower the heat slightly and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir a few times because the lenses like sticking to the bottom. Just before the soup is served you pour in the cream and season with salt and pepper.
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