This week I have been looking after a German friendship cake called Herman. (Wiki tells me it is also known as Amish Friendship Bread.) The gist is you get given some mixture and instructions, and when the time comes your separate off more mixture and give it to friends and on it goes in a lovely vicious cycle. It’s the cake version of a chain letter and it comes with its own levels of guilt; guilt about keeping it alive, guilt about not enjoying the process as much as you should when a loved one has given it to you. It’s possible I took this whole thing far too seriously.
My mum gave me Herman when she was visiting last week. I can totally understand why she did. She’d made it and liked the cake, she knows I like baking, why wouldn’t I like this? And initially I did. I dutifully put Herman in my most favourite (and only) mixing bowl. I set him on my work top and covered him in a tea towel and for the next ten days fed him and stirred him and did not put him in the fridge because allegedly this means DEATH to Herman. And I only screamed a little when I came home from work one day to find he’d exploded all over my worktop/cooker. Seriously, it’s been like looking after a frickin Gremlin.
Yesterday, finally, it was the day to bake. I added the rest of the ingredients, stuck him in the oven, and waited. This is the end result:
Actually, that’s a lie. The end result is in several pieces/crumbs in a tin, since Herman saw fit to dissolve the moment I tried to get him out of the tin. Clearly I had done something wrong. He tastes ok. Ten days worth of faffing about and cleaning up after him ok? Not really. He smells amazing though and if I ever a) own a house and b) sell said house I will be sure to bake him the day we have viewings, but I am a little disappointed. He could at least have tried to hold his shit together and look presentable, just a little bit.
I handed my extra mixture over to someone at work. Hopefully they will have better luck, but if Herman tries to get in my house again, I’m not home.