Herman the Friendship Cake

Do any of you out there like to bake? Of course you do! Who doesn’t like to bake every now and then?

Well I like to bake, too.  And the other week I was given something pretty cool by my friend Dee.  She popped round with a sourdough cake starter called Herman.

Bear with me.  This is a real thing.  You can google it.  His name is actually Herman.

Anyway, this is no quick cake fix.  You have to look after Herman, nurture him, feed him, stir him, dare I say, love him, for 9 days.  Herman lives in a bowl, under a tea towel, somewhere warm.  He smells somewhat yeasty (not surprising since one of his ingredients is active yeast) and he comes with a set of instructions that at least involve a stir, and at most involve bunging in some milk, sugar and flour.  In short, Herman is a labour of love.

After a week or so, the bubbly mixture is divided into four new starter mixes, three of which are then distributed to deserving folk who will enjoy him, and the other one is combined with flour, oil, eggs, sugar, and a few other ingredients, and then baked into something magical.  Or, do as I did; gift one, bake two ad keep the final quarter as a new starter mix and repeat the process all over again… and again, and again.

There are only two problems with Herman, and that is that he’s a little too delicious.  He never ever lasts long in my house, and he’s really messing with my Weight Watchers mojo.  And he’s a little too versatile, I’ve tried apple and sultana (it tasted American, and is my husband’s firm favourite), carrot and courgette (work with me here, people, it was truly amazing), double chocolate (oddly, not so good, much to my dismay) and tomorrow I’m going to try making a carrot and pineapple Herman.

And then, that really has to be it. Herman has to go, his cakey goodness is far too tempting for me and my waistline.

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