Archives for posts with tag: cake



At the end of October, we popped by my father in law’s house to pick up the ‘bushel’ of apples. Waiting with the apples outside of his house was a plastic container of what looked like batter and a recipe attached. The recipe was for Herman – The German Friendship cake.

Since the 30th of October, Herman has lived on our kitchen worktop feeding and growing, as well as feeding us and our friends. I have made five batched of German friendship cake and passed on six ‘starters’ to friends and family. Herman has served us well. Today, I say goodbye to Herman. He’s been a very good friend, so this blog post is in his honor.

If you want to make your own ‘Herman’ see the recipe below.

1 cup flour
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 package dry yeast

Mix starter ingredients in a large bowl and let stand at room temperature undisturbed for 24 to 36 hours.

Friendship cake starter

Once the starter has, well started, the cake process takes around ten days.
Keep the starter batter on the kitchen work surface for the duration, do not refrigerate, or it will die.

On the first Day and fifth Day add:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar

On the second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth day stir well.

And on the tenth day, divide the batter into four equal parts. Give three away to friends and keep the fourth to make the cake.

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F and grease a large roasting tray or 13″x9″ pan.

To make the cake, add the following to the remaining batter:

2 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla

The batter will be stiff, but do not add any liquid.

Optional additions:
2 large apples – cored and roughly chopped
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple , well drained
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts


Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the cake batter.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour

Spread across the lined and greased roasting tray, sprinkle the topping and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. (check after 35 minutes).

I used apples in my first go at the cake. It created a moist, cakey bread like consistency.

Friendship cake with apples

I left the apples out of the second go and it was like a dense cinnamon bread. Both are very tasty and ideal for breakfast or a snack.

Friendship cake finished

Goodbye Herman. We’ll meet again, I am sure…

There are four fathers in my life. My dad, my husband, his dad and his step-dad. Each play an integral role within our family. This post is dedicated to them.

This morning while driving home from London, Martin and I were discussing the distance from where we live to London and that it wasn’t that much different than driving from Roseville (where I grew up) to San Francisco. Since it was Father’s Day, that conversation made me think of the trips my dad and I used to take to The City to take photographs. We’d wake up really early, stop and get donuts and drive 120 miles to the magical city. My first excursion was when I was about five or six years old and according to legend, I took a whole rolls worth of photos of a stop sign at the bottom of a hill. Although my medium and subject matter has changed since then, my interest in photography has not. Thanks Dad, Happy Father’s Day!

Me and Dad

My husband is a fantastic dad. There aren’t enough words to express his amazing qualities as a dad. Patience and humour are the first to spring to mind, lots and lots of patience. Happy Father’s Day, honey!

Martin and mini G

Poppy plays an important role in our lives. He entertains the silliest of whims that Mini G throws his way and we appreciate everything he does for us. Happy Father’s Day, Poppy!

Poppy and mini G

This is one of my favourite photos of my dad and my son.

Pop and mini G

And while we don’t see them as much as we’d like, Martin’s Dad and his Dad – also Pop – (oh that’s five fathers!) are also very important to us. Happy Father’s Day, Mick and Tom!


Daddy and mini G

To celebrate Father’s Day, we had tea and chocolate cake. It wouldn’t be a celebration in our house if there wasn’t cake. We also challenged each other to River Rafting on the Xbox Kinect Adventures. I let Martin win, since it’s Father’s Day and all…

Chocolate cake for father's day

This post is a bit different than the rest, even a bit sappy, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to recognize the Fathers in our lives.

I invited some friends round to our house so that our kids could hang out together.  The boys are best mates at pre-school, but are now in different classrooms. Mini G  and his friend went upstairs to play with Lego® and cars while the adults got to hang out downstairs and enjoy grown up conversation with coffee, tea and cake.

A is wheat intolerant so I experimented with a new recipe for Flour Free Almond Sponge Cake out of Eric Lanlard’s Home Bake.  (This book is amazing and hasn’t steered me wrong yet!)

The secret ingredient for a flour-free cake is ground almonds.  Combining ingredients works a bit differently too from regular sponge cake.  Instead of creaming the butter and sugar, the recipe instructed mixing the eggs and sugar together and adding melted butter later.

On first attempt, I probably could have baked it at a lower temperature for a bit longer, but the results didn’t suffer from this.

I will definitely be adding this cake to my repertoire as it’s a cake anyone can enjoy.

I took the cake over to my father in law’s today for an after lunch birthday treat. As chocolate sponge cakes go, this one is at the top.  It was definitely chocolatey enough and not too dry.  I probably could have done with frosting it, but I wanted to try it au naturel the first go round to test the cake on it’s own.

I served it with a fresh vanilla whipped cream (as pictured below), which was a nice accompaniment to the unfrosted cake.

This recipe is a keeper.  Thanks Mr. Lanlard!

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