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    Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    Christmas Cake - Herman The German, Travels Down Under to New Zealand, Just in Time for Christmas

    Herman Meets Busy Girl
    About 2 months ago, I was given by my Grandson Joseph a plastic container full of a Starter Dough. He was given it by my daughter Katie and so it started to spread around the family

    Herman is the gift that keeps on giving. Once you receive Herman, you transfer him to a larger bowl, give him a good stir and continue to look after him and feed him.
    After 9 days, you give him his final feed, then you split Herman into four portions
    Use one for making your cake,
    Save one for the next time and give away the other two.
    (I actually used 3 portions, made Bread, Banana and Coconut Cake
    Plus This Delicious Christmas Cake).
    Day 10. Cook
    Anyone can make this... it is so so simple, moist delicious, and we have nearly finished it already. A great success.
    “Sigh” that means, I will have to make another one, oh dear

    Your giver also hands you instructions and the recipe to make the original cake, which is like an apple strudel.
    Very yummy.
    But, Stop,  there is more... if you go onto the Herman The German Website,  click here
    there is a plethora of recipes. People all around the world have got excited about turning Herman into new delights. Including all sorts of cakes, muffins and bread
    Plus 'How to Start Your Own Herman'

    I was asked to devise a Christmas Cake.
    Decades ago my friend Jeannie, found a recipe for the aptly named “Busy Girls Christmas Cake”.
    It’s a Throw everything, all in together, cake, just like Herman.

    So Why not blend the two.
    Looking through other people attempts at different cakes on the Herman Website,
    For the proportions, I decided to remove 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of sugar and replace them with my portion of Herman
    (If you want to make the cake, sans Herman, replace the flour and the egg)
    Wet ingredients, dry ingredients and fruit
    Mix together
    Easy Peasy
    Preheat oven to 160C/325F
    Line a 23 cm tin with baking paper

    900 gms/2lbs ready mixed fruit
    60gms/2 oz blanched almonds optional
    950 mls/2 pints boiling water
    225 gms/8 oz butter cut into small pieces
    3 eggs
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2cup brown sugar
    2 cups flour
    1 tsp BP
    1 tsp mixed spice
    Pinch nutmeg
    Pinch cinnamon
    1 tsp almond essence
    ¼ cup Brandy or Rum

    In a large bowl place the fruit and almonds.
    Pour over boiling water, cover with
    a large plate and leave to stand for 15 mins.
    Strain off the water and cut butter into fruit.

    Place portion of Herman into a big bowl
    In another bowl beat eggs, white and brown sugar together. until soft and creamy.
    Add to Your Portion of Herman
    Sift Flour, Baking Powder and Spices together.  
    Stir butter and fruit mixture until well mixed.
    Stir in almond essence.
    Add the Herman, eggs and sugar blend
    Lastly fold in sifted dry ingredients.  

    Place mixture into prepared tin (well lined.)
     Bake at 160C/325F  for 1 3/4 hours.
    After one hour if you feel you need to, cover cake with sheet of brown paper.
    When it is finished check with a skewer or toothpick
    Hopefully after the 1 ¾ hours the skewer will come out clean
    You may have to cook for another 10 minutes
    When cold, prick with a skewer an inch apart all over the cake.
    Sprinkle brandy/rum over and wrap tightly in plastic
    I wanted to have a taste test after only 5 days, I had Girls coming for lunch
    It was lovely but if you can wait...give it at least a week before decorating.

    I’m not fond of the Almond Icing, Royal Icing Combo
    I went for the Apricot Jam Glaze and Glace Fruit and Nut Decor

    ½ cup Apricot Jam melted
    Your choice of Glace Fruits

    I went for Red and Green Cherries, Slivered Almonds and Mixed Peel
    Go mad it’s Christmas after all
    It has been tested on Real People and Given the Thumbs Up
    It is not a dark cake but so full of flavour.

    Looks like I will be baking it again on Friday, I’ll try and make it last ,closer to Christmas
    But then again... maybe I can make another

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