Herman died - was it murder or suicide?

The failure of a friendship cake

by Carol Muskoron

My son's music teacher got me into this. Two weeks ago she handed me a bubbling mixture and some instructions. 'This,' she said, 'Is Herman the German. Look after him.' Herman is a yeasty friendship cake that you nurture for several days before dividing into four and giving to three friends - keeping one quarter yourself to bake. The instructions said that if Herman stops bubbling he has died. My Herman bubbled beautifully. All was going well until I baked him - and baked him - and baked him...

The thing would just not cook through. I had him in the oven for two hours and he was still wet inside. Plus he was flat, very flat. I swear I followed the instructions. My son's music teacher was shocked to hear of my failure. She handed me a slice of her light and fluffy and fabulous friendship cake. Where did I go wrong? Has anyone out there ever made a Herman the German? Want to have a go and make an amazing cake that'll hopefully be better than mine? The instructions for this apparently Amish tradition are online here. Good luck. I have concluded that my Herman committed suicide. I had nothing whatsoever to do with his demise.

Meanwhile here are our apple cake recipes - you don't have to find people to give your mixture to, and hopefully they're easier than Herman to make.

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About The Authors

Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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