There are innumerous cake recipes coming from age-old history and the generations. It is one of the oldest recipes or popular food widely used in Europe and spread across multiple countries. From weddings to birthdays, it has strengthened its popularity and gained traditional value. The baking industry can be called one of the highly popular and skilled food industries spread all over the world to date. The presence of cakes can be seen in the ancient history of Romans, Greeks, Persian and British.
Cakes: History, facts, and more
In ancient Greece, the cake was called ‘plakous’ derived from the Greek word ‘plakoeis’ meaning flat.
Another cake was made called ‘satura’ which was a heavy cake. The main ingredients used were eggs, nuts, milk, and honey. The cheesecake was invented by the Greeks again made with goat’s milk. The cake was called placenta in ancient Rome and a pastry was used in baking. The ingredients used were eggs, honey, butter, and flour.
The cakes earlier made in England were essentially bread. While the difference between cake and bread was in the process of baking. Cakes were round and flat shaped and were turned during the cooking process while the bread was left unturned during the baking duration. The sponge cake was invented during the Renaissance assumed in Spain. This was a light cake prepared with sugar, egg whites, and flour. Baking powder or eggs were used to leaven the eggs. Victoria’s sponge was created using baking powder invented by English food manufacturer Alfred Bird in 1843. Egg whites are whisked with caster sugar and gently folded with flour to make a light and fluffy sponge cake. Potato flour is also used to make sponge cake which retains moisture.
There are various types of cake as per their ingredients and making. Some of them are as below:
- Butter Cake
Butter and sugar together are creamed with an electric mixer and is the main ingredient in Butter cake. Dry and wet ingredients are added after making the butter mixture and baked with all the ingredients together. Yellow butter cake is another recipe in this variant.
- Pound cake
Pound cake is made with a pound of main ingredients, flour, butter, and sugar. This cake is dense in texture and heavy. Multiple flavors are used to make this cake-like cocoa powder and vanilla.
- Fruit cake
Fruit cakes are the delicious and nutritious version of cake highly popular in the category of birthday cakes or wedding cakes. This is popular among kids to adults equally. Spices, fresh or dry fruits, and nuts are used along with flavored icing, cream, or sponge cake.
- Red velvet cake
This is a classic cake where the red color comes from the combination of cocoa powder and buttermilk. Along with other ingredients, butter or oil is used. Nowadays red food colours are used to get the same colour.
- Flourless cake
Flourless cakes are made in two ways, baked or unbaked. Examples of unbaked are no-bake cheesecakes or mousse and baked cheesecake or chocolate torte. Sometimes they have a bottom crust, and they are generally high in fat content.
Important facts for making a cake
Flour plays an important role in making a spongy cake. Low protein, starch to gluten ratio, and fine-textured wheat are good for cake baking for best results. Compared to all-purpose flour, cake flour is bleached, lighter, and less dense. All-purpose flour is also used in case of denser cake recipes.
- · Baking:
Baking a cake may look easy but sometimes a small detail makes it lose the desired results. It is called falling or sinking when a cake fails to bake properly. Every ingredient, mixing, and baking temperature should be as per the recipe or details for best results.
Cake decoration or design
Nowadays there are many products to use for cake decoration such as icing, frosting, fondant, candies, and more. A lot of amazing artworks are involved in the process of baking with a personal touch for loved ones. Icing sugar, milk, cream. Various flavors, fruits, and extracts make them colorful and flavourful. Some of the widely popular flavors are mango, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, blueberry, cherry, lemon, red velvet, and more. Various tools are used to create various designs or patterns like flowers, leaves, petals, etc. Moulds are used for different shapes and piping bags help create designs or patterns on the cake with cream or icing.
There are food colors and preservatives used in cakes that can be toxic. Precautions should be taken during the selection of these products. It is advisable to pick edible and safe products to avoid any health hazards. In the case of packed commercial cakes also precautions should be taken, and the expiry date or condition of the cake should be noted before consumption. Cakes have a certain lifetime and develop bacteria or mold growth which are toxic to health.
Special occasion Cakes
Cakes are an important part of various cultural functional or traditional occasions. Ancient Roman marriage had the ritual of sharing a cake. There are various types of cakes as per the occasion like birthday cake, wedding cake, Christmas cake, Halloween cake and more. Nowadays cakes are selected on many other occasions for celebrations and designed accordingly for a personal touch.
There are a lot of other varieties which are in smaller portions or sizes, popular, and used as dessert or side dishes with meals during lunch or dinner. They are popular with tea or snacks as well. Some of the varieties are as below:
- Swiss rolls
- Cake balls
- Bundt balls
- Cake pops
- Jaffa cake
There is an enormous amount of cake recipes all over the world. Every country has its unique ingredients, style, and design for making a cake. As an integral part of any occasion, it helps to celebrate and enjoy our happiness with people or bond over a cup of coffee. It is always good to bake a cake and relish it on a special day but of course, there are other days when you can enjoy it just like that and without any reason.