Herman Friendship Cake is a yeast based recipe where you divide up the mixture at the end of a 10 day process and give 3 parts (of 4) away before finishing and baking your cake. It means that the cake you bake will have had many people involved in the process and may have been growing and increasing for years beforehand. Of course you can find the starter recipe online too.
Now my expectations of this cake were pretty high, the social outreach person in me really wanted to be able to make an increasing amount of friendship cake which would be cheap and easy and would mean every 10 days I could give the homeless this big slab of cake to keep them going with some yummy food. This isn’t exactly what happened and that’s a shame, but lowering my expectations it does still make quite an exciting and strange gift to give to friends.
Some of my mixture went to the Prayership in St Andrews, partly because a friend called Clem there loves cake, partly because they feed so many people that this might be expandable to the never-ending stomachs that walk through their door. Some went to student friends, again who like cake but are also going through exam season. Some went to people who really wanted to try it out, or had before and enjoyed it. The cool thing is that when I had no more to give, I could suggest someone else who would have more in 10 days. The Friendship cake chain will continue to spread the joy.
– Put him in the fridge and you kill him! Murdering a poor cake! How could you!
– If he stops bubbling he had died, you can mourn for him but I’m not that sure about whether you go straight to day 10 or whether you should throw him out – if anyone has an answer, let me know and I will update.
– Add ingredients every 5 days, stirring each day inbetween.
– Finish by adding full ingredients and bake in yumminess. You could even share cooked cake for extra friendship points.
My one real scepticism about this cake is looking at the ingredients at the end I’m pretty sure I could make a cake without having done the 10 day part which makes me think this recipe has changed quite a lot since the original recipe. The original was based off a sourdough bread would be passed around the needy and the sick. This would imply that it was cheaper than starting your own, and possibly easily, maybe it was the price of yeast? However, nowadays it is more an activity in passing interesting activities than really helping. I might try and find the original and see what I can do with that!
I am to make Herman the German Friendship Cake today and have decided to adjust the recipe. I still have 2 portions, so i should be able to make one normally according to the instructions, and swap out some of the other ingredients. I’m thinking my second could be a orange chocolate ganache one with a few nuts in. We’ll see how that comes out!
- Herman the German Friendship Cake (hermanthegermanfriendshipcake.com)