Have you encountered Herman the German friendship cake?
It's essentially a starter culture that you feed over a few weeks before making a delicious apple cake.
The idea is that you make your own sourdough starter and once it has grown to a certain size, you split the mixture and share it with
friends everyone you know.
You start off the friendship cake (if you want to start your own cake dynasty) with a simple mixture of flour, water, sugar, milk and yeast.
Once you've combined the basic ingredients, Herman will sit in a bowl on your kitchen worktop for ten days, growing frothy with regular feeding and stirring. Don't put him in the fridge or he'll die.
After a few days, the mixture will start to bubble and smell yeasty. It'll look something like this:
How to make your Herman the German friendship cake starter culture
BBC Good Food has a good recipe to start off your Herman the German friendship cake, even though the description is a bit sinister: "You have to keep Herman alive for ten days then bake him and share with friends."
Day 1: Put your Herman in a mixing bowl and cover with a clean tea towel.
Day 2: Stir well.
Day 3: Stir well.
Day 4: Time to feed your Herman! Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.
Day 5: Stir well.
Day 6: Stir well.
Day 7: Stir well.
Day 8: Stir well.
Day 9: Add the same ingredients as day 4 and stir well. Split the mixture into four parts and give three away to your friends (or keep two parts if you want to keep your Herman going). Stir well again.
Day 10: Time to make your cake!
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Making your Herman the German apple cake
There are lots of recipes you can use to make your Herman the German cake, but one of the most popular recipes is this one for apple cake.
Alex and Priya of Boy Meets Girl Meets Food used the recipe to make this beautiful apple cake (pictured above). Doesn't it look great?