Recipe: Herman the German Chocolate and Raspberry Cake

I promise I’ll figure out an egg-free Herman next, but this Herman was made quite literally in self-defense.  You see, on Saturday while I was at choir, Herman got out of his container and went on a rampage across the benchtop, spreading chaos in his wake.  I like to think of this as Aggravated Battery – the bench was batter-y, I was aggravated.

(He is a very, very enthusiastic Herman.  I’ve fed him with barley flour, which seems to have curbed his unseemly verve a little bit, but I suspect the hot weather is only going to bring him back, bigger and batter than before.)

And, of course, my Herman is still producing far more batter than I can give away, so on Cup Eve, I decided to make another Herman cake for my colleagues and the colleagues of my husband, since both of us are working on the day itself.  We clearly deserve cake.

Also, this meant I could use up some more batter.

This Herman was, I think, far more successful.  The cocoa calms down the fermented flavour, so it tastes a bit less like eating a brewery, and I think we all know how I feel about the combination of chocolate and raspberries.  You really can’t lose. 

Actually, I’m underselling it.  This is a gorgeous, gorgeous cake.  I’m actually regretting giving so much of it away, because it was so perfectly to my taste – not too sweet, nicely chocolatey, and with plenty of raspberry goodness.

Fortunately, I have plenty of Herman left.  I can make more.

(No cake photos, because I was in a mad rush and forgot.  But here’s a portrait of Herman shortly after his eruption from the jug.  As you can see, I have removed a quarter of him, but he is already bubbling back up in a slightly alarming fashion.)


Your Shopping List

250 – 300ml Herman starter (i.e., about a quarter of your Herman on day 10 after his second feed on day 9)
2/3 cups sugar – any kind, but I used half castor and half coconut sugar
2/3cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup almond meal
3 eggs
160 ml canola oil
200 g dark chocolate, chopped
300 g frozen raspberries

Now what will you do with it?

Line a 23cm square cake tin (or a 20cm square tin plus a small loaf tin, if you plan to divide this between two workplaces of different sizes)  with baking paper, and pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Combine everything in a big bowl, and stir together well, adding the chocolate and raspberries last.

Scrape the batter into your prepared tin, and bake for around 45 minutes, or until cooked through.

Let cool for fifteen minutes in the tin, before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Share with your colleagues, to console yourselves for the fact that everyone else got a public holiday this week, and you didn’t.  Not that I’m bitter.  Or batter…


Like the last Herman, this cake is vegetarian, but has little else to recommend it on the allergy front!  Herman himself has cow’s milk in his batter – you could probably raise a Herman on almond milk or soy milk, but if you’ve received him from a friend who eats dairy, he will not be a vegan Herman.  I’m not sure if you could make him gluten-free, but he is low-FODMAP if you’ve been using a spelt-based Herman, so that’s something!  Again, you can eliminate the nuts from this by swapping out the almond meal for plain flour.  Or, if you are feeling creative and are fine with nuts, why not try hazelnut meal for that Nutella touch?

In terms of flavour, once again, I refer you to the website devoted to Herman variations

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2 comments for “Recipe: Herman the German Chocolate and Raspberry Cake

  1. filkferengi
    November 13, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I’m sure your cake was a big hit with one and all.

    Speaking of big hits, who knew catherines could be such major league baseball fans?

    Batter up, forsooth!


  2. November 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    this sounds like an excellent way to treat herman – I keep meaning to use my sourdough starter for a chocolate cake – sourdough and chocolate sounds like the meeting of two of my favourite foods – hope that herman is under control now

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