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to think that those "friendship" cake things are disgusting?

(149 Posts)
Helenagrace Tue 05-Jul-11 10:23:02

There's a craze in these parts for "friendship" cakes. For those blessed enough to be ignorant of this craze basically someone hands you a horrible, yeasty, festering culture which you grow in your kitchen for 10 days and then make into a cake. Before you make the cake you remove some of the culture and hand it on to other people.

Am I the only one who thinks this is just disgusting and finds the thought of eating something that has been growing in my kitchen for 10 days simply dreadful?

I seem to be offending loads of people by turning down their offers of cultures - the last one actually told me that this mixture was called Herman as it was alive (she is clearly insane).

I'm not BU am I???

MsTeak Tue 05-Jul-11 10:24:22

i have no idea what you are talking about. But if you think that is disgusting I suggest you never eat any proper bread, like sourdough.

Panzee Tue 05-Jul-11 10:25:03

I have never heard of this before, so I googled it.

Ewwwwwwwwwwww! It's grim! I live in a hovel but even that's too much for me.


bruxeur Tue 05-Jul-11 10:25:43

Or yoghurt.

peggotty Tue 05-Jul-11 10:25:43

WTF!! I have never heard of this abomination!!! What kind of fucked up 'cake' would a 10 day old fermented goo make?! Where are you in the country?

GwendolenHarleth Tue 05-Jul-11 10:25:43

It sounds bonkers

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 05-Jul-11 10:25:51


hatwoman Tue 05-Jul-11 10:26:07

yab a bit daft to be honest. I'm not sure what kind of cake uses yeast - sounds more like bread to me. all bread - every slice you eat - has yeast in it - horrible yeasty festering cultures, as you put it. yoghurt has live cultures in it too.

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 05-Jul-11 10:26:52

I am blessed. I've never heard of this. It sounds rank.

busymum34 Tue 05-Jul-11 10:27:09

is this still going? i remember it from when i was a kid!!

BornInAfrica Tue 05-Jul-11 10:27:13

Sounds kind of like a sourdough 'starter' to me - I'd be very grateful to receive some! It's not some ectoplasmic entity that will suck your soul you know!

AtYourCervix Tue 05-Jul-11 10:27:31

Don't be so bloody ridiculous. What do you think yogurt and beer are?

Herman is completely delicious.

going Tue 05-Jul-11 10:27:53

It's wild yeast they are giving you, usually for making bread. I thought it was an Amish sentiment.

Lizcat Tue 05-Jul-11 10:27:54

As MsTeak said don't eat sourdough bread then as really good bakeries will having been using their starter cultures for years. Also live yoghurt too.

AtYourCervix Tue 05-Jul-11 10:28:10

honestly. warm from the oven. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

seeker Tue 05-Jul-11 10:29:18

Why on earth is is disgusting? Do you drink wine? Or beer? Have you ever had sourdough bread? Or yoghurt?

I thought you were going to talk about the emotional blackmail people use to make you take them "Or it'll die!" I could rant about that - just as soon as I've off loaded the 5 plastic pots of culture currently in my fridge.

The cake is delicious by the way - put lots of cinnamon and lemon peel in.

TheRhubarb Tue 05-Jul-11 10:31:24

Helenagrace - where are you? Only our old neighbours the other day gave me this mixture and a sheet of paper introducing us to 'Herman'. She has no idea who started it as none of her friends have been on holiday to Germany (where it originates from) so goodness knows how long this cake has been passed around. However she had baked hers and I must admit it was delicious.

I think that the reason it is baked to be so soft and light is because you are allowing the yeast lots of time to grow. Like bread I suppose, the longer you take making the bread the softer and lighter it is.

I've now had Herman in my kitchen for 5 days. On the 8th day I'm supposed to divide him into 4 and give 3 portions away to friends who will follow the same instructions and will presumably divide theirs in 4 and so on - so this blasted cake gets around a bit! Since I've gone this far I'm going to carry on and give the 3 other portions to my neighbours. It's quite easy so far, you just stir it every day.

And if there is any bacteria in there you'll be cooking it so it'll all be killed off. smile

It'd be funny if both our cakes were traced back to the same source Helenagrace!

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 05-Jul-11 10:32:03

Hmm, I seem to be revising my opinion. I am sure that if I scrape lighly rub our kitchen worktop, I could find much nastier stuff.

Helenagrace Tue 05-Jul-11 10:40:35

I'm in the North West.

I don't have a problem with sourdough bread and live yogurt. Or beer, actually especially not beer. I naively trust that they have been kept in a clean industrial kitchen environment. It's the fact that this one has been festering in goodness knows how many kitchens for goodness knows how long. I don't even want to think about what state some of the kitchens are in.

It's wrong, just wrong.

Nixea Tue 05-Jul-11 10:41:31

It may make you feel even queasier to know that the only bread we eat at home if from my starter that's been happily living on the worktop/fridge for the last 9 months so far and hopefully has lots more life in it yet!

Nothing wrong with a bit of healthy bacteria. We'd all die without any you know.

TheRhubarb Tue 05-Jul-11 10:43:30

Hmmm, yes I know what you mean but as I said, you are cooking it so I doubt you'll be poisoned.

Whereabouts in NW?

Most people who can be arsed to look after a sodding cake for 10 days without killing it I reckon would be the kind of people with a clean kitchen. In fact anyone who can be bothered baking would more than likely have basic hygiene rules.

going Tue 05-Jul-11 10:44:15

There is a recipe ]] here]] if anyone wants to start a Herman! SOunds like it would need a while to get a proper sourdough taste as it's sarted with dried yeast.

going Tue 05-Jul-11 10:44:56

purits Tue 05-Jul-11 10:45:54


Herman cake has been around for a long time.
Does anyone have any statistics for how many people have died from eating Herman cake. No? I thought not.

OddBoots Tue 05-Jul-11 10:49:24

What about us horrible festering humans? Over 90% of the cells that make up us are non-human, mainly bacteria. Very odd, slightly creepy but amazing at the same time to know that fewer than 10% of our body cells are actually our own.

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