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Monday, November 15, 2010


This is Herman.
Herman is a friendship cake. It is a mixture of water flour and sugar that is left to the open air for wild yeasts. Fermentation takes place forming a natural leavening agent. This is stirred about four times a day and fed more flour and water and sugar on the fourth day. Then stirred and stirred and on the eighth day fed again.
At this point Herman is divided into five portions; one you keep, one you cook and three you give away with the recipe.
That is why it is called a friendship cake. I like to think also that all that stirring imbues the cake with lots of love and good the old tradition of all the family members having a stir and a wish while making the Christmas Pudding for luck and prosperity.
My Herman has the traditional flavours of grated apple and cinnamon and walnut. I also added cranberries.
The smell in kitchen had a decidedly Christmasy smell and I thought how wonderful the shared starter and recipe would be for friends at Christmas.


  1. I remember participating in one of these friendship cakes when I was younger. It was great fun!

  2. I'm all for any thing called Hermann ;)

    Haven't made a friendship cake for about 15 years - what a brilliant reminder.

    As a pathetic first year uni student i managed to let my jar of goop die - it was sadly missed. I did the same to my gingerbeer starter too :(


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