Last week a lovely friend gave me a small amount of bubbling cake mixture in a little pot, together with a page of instructions.
This was Herman, my German friendship cake. After something of a tricky start – he nearly exploded all over the office and then I nearly spilt him on the bus journey home – he soon settled down to a daily routine of stirring with the odd flurry of activity in the form of cups of ingredients being added to the bowl. (As an aside, I’d just been to buy essential oils as part of my stress management routine, and so must have had a rather ‘unique’ aroma of cedarwood and sourdough yeast on the bus…)
Anyway, I am now in the point where I’ve had him for the required number of days, stirred in the required number of cups of flour, sugar and milk and divided it up into quarters.
The kids have really enjoyed doing the daily stirring and adding mixture. We do a lot of baking together, but usually with measuring scales. They rather liked the American way of using cup measurements instead of weighing things and it’s a bit easier for them to manage, so it’s something I will do with them again. I do have a great looking Magnolia Bakery book with recipes using cups. So far I’ve not tried any of the recipes, and it’s about time I did so that’s where I’ll start.
As far as Herman goes, it’s time to add the final ingredients and put him in the oven. I’ll let you know how I get on, and if you’re local and you fancy some starter mixture, come and get some! If you fancy making your own starter, there are loads of recipes online if you just do a web-search. I find the idea of sharing this cake starter really heart-warming. When times are tough, friends and cake are two very important ingredients for making things ok again.