Cakes

Since I spend a lot of time baking cakes, and photographing them when I’m travelling, I thought I’d look into the history of the term CAKE.(look at this)

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According to Alan Davidson in The Oxford Companion to Food, the word cake is a Viking word and so has a long history. The definition of cake, is usually a baked flour mixture sweetened with honey or sugar; eggs are added, and often but not always, milk and fat. It is porous in texture because of the mixture rising during cooking.In Jewish cooking, especially that coming from the Sephardic Jews, flour is often replaced by ground almonds, so their cakes are flourless and have no additional fat added due to the oil content of the nuts. The distinctions between Cake and bread, bun and biscuit is a bit fluid.The ancestor of all of these was a simple type of bread. Baking techniques changed and rising agents developed, also eating patterns evolved, what was originally bread, changed into different forms of their own. As did their names, such as bun, biscuits, bread. The shape of cakes in early times was round and flat, and so developed the naming of completly different foods, like pancakes, fishcakes, potato cakes. Countries like France and Austria, Germany do not make the same kind of cakes as the English-type cake,found in N. America England and Australia. French Gateaux often have higher butter and egg content and are more pastry than cake in style. Baba, which is Eastern European in origin is different again and falls into the category of a sweet bread made with a rich egg based dough.

Baba with crystalised Angelica on top,a specialty of the Charente Maritime.

GetInlineIn China and Japan and in fact all of the Asian countries there is little tradition of western style cakes.Often pastry shells filled with purees of beans and jellies, most famous of which are Mooncakes from China. These extremly colourful and festive cakes were in a cake shop in Soho’s Chinatown in London. Adapting to Western tastes?

D:DCIM100DICAMDSCI1146.JPGD:DCIM100DICAMDSCI1145.JPGRecently, Cup Cakes have become very fashionable, even being made into Wedding cakes.Cup cake bakeries have sprung up everywhere. Here is one in Spain.

D:DCIM100DICAMDSCI0476.JPGRichly decorated and needing their own “furniture” to display them, they sure have changed from the “white wings” packet mixs we use to make for school parties in the 60’s.

This was a cake I did for a bread making cooking class, as it used breadcrumbs. So we had bread for dessert.!!!!!

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D:DCIM100DICAMDSCI0498.JPGChocolate Chestnut cake. Recipe in Blog on Venice.

D:DCIM100DICAMDSCI1258.JPGD:DCIM100DICAMDSCI1200.JPGWindows in pasrty shops in Spain, more biscuits than cake.

Angel food cake

constatAngel food Cake. The Ultimate American Cake. The ability to bake a good cake was (and is, with the revival of baking on t.v. shows) a prized skill among housewives in the early to mid 20th century. This recipe comes from a 1957 Betty Crocker Cookbook. A great time for a good cakemaker.

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