And what, exactly, is a Herman? Well, I hadn't heard of him either until a couple of weeks ago and when my friend told me about him, I had a feeling I'd be receiving a little pot of Herman soon, and so I did!
Herman is a German Friendship Cake based on a sourdough starter which you have to love for ten days before turning into a cake. So, on the first day, you transfer your little pot of starter (sugar, flour and milk...and presumably the first person added yeast too) to a large bowl and leave on the kitchen surface. You are reminded that if you put him in the fridge he'll die. You'll know this if he stops bubbling. Now, I have a knack of killing most indoor house plants, so was a little worried he might not last very long. However, I've successfully got to day 5, fed him with more flour, sugar and milk, and he's still bubbling away so I know he's breathing. Thank goodness for that.
The idea is that when I next feed him, I split the mixture into four, keep one and pass the other three to friends (who I'm sure will be over the moon to have a Herman to look after for ten days.) I then add the rest of the cake ingredients, including apple and cinnamon, and they begin the tending process until their little monster also grows into a cake!
To find out more about Hermans, look here.