Celebrations and cakes are complimentary. While sharing a joyous moment, a slice of this sweet delight comes as the cherry on top.
The ancient Egyptians were the world's first great bakers, with large-scale bakeries that produced unleavened breads and cakes, baked on hot stones. They were the first to discover how to use wild yeast to make their flatbreads and that is how they came up with the idea of baking cakes.
By the 1840s, baking soda had been invented, followed by baking powder in the 1860s. As ovens with regulated temperatures became available and sugar became affordable to everyone, more people were able to bake, resulting in more creativity in recipe development.
The modern cake as we know started its delicious journey in the mid-19th century. Even though sugar originated in Asia, it eventually spread to the Western world and facilitated the development of varieties of desserts, including cakes.
There are thousands of different types of cakes in the world today. Each culture has its special way of making cakes, most of which never reach our shores.
There are many different ways of dividing cakes into various categories, but professional bakers categorise cakes by ingredients and mixing method. Depending on how the batter is prepared, you will find that the final texture varies.
Any recipe for cake that begins with "cream butter and sugar" is a butter cake. After the creaming, you add eggs to aerate the batter a bit, flour to give it structure and texture, and baking powder or baking soda to ensure that it rises in the oven.
Pound cake is a relative of butter cake. It's so called because it can be measured as a matter of proportion: a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of flour.
Any recipe that contains no baking soda or baking powder but has lots of whipped eggs or egg whites? That's a sponge cake and there are several different types of it.
Biscuit cakes are another type of sponge cake containing both egg whites and yolks. The whites and yolks are whipped separately and then folded back together. This creates a light batter that holds its shape better after mixing.
Angel food cake
Angel food cakes are made with egg whites alone and no yolks. The whites are whipped with sugar until very firm before the flour is gently folded in, resulting in a snowy-white, airy, and delicate cake that marries beautifully with fruit.
This fairly recent American creation was invented by a salesman who sold the recipe to General Mills, which spread the recipe through marketing materials in the 1940s and 1950s. A classic chiffon cake is kind of a cross between an oil cake (a cake made with oil instead of butter) and a sponge cake.
Baked flourless cake
These include baked cheesecakes and flourless chocolate cakes. Often the filled pan is placed in a larger pan that's half-filled with water to insulate the delicate, creamy cake from the oven's strong bottom heat, which might give the baked cake a porous rather than silky texture.
These types of cakes are typically moulded in a dessert ring or springform pan then simply chilled before unmoulding. They include unbaked cheesecakes and mousse cakes. They often have a crust or bottom layer that's baked before the mousse is added.
If we think about the evolution of cake in our country, it is evident that till the 90s, variations of this bakery item were limited in regards of ingredients, flavour and designs. But with time, the sweet delicacy has evolved much.
Crossing the limited boundary of vanilla, fruit and chocolate cakes in the departmental stores, numerous cake and pastry shops with a myriad of flavours and designs have sprung up in almost every lane of the city.
Experiments on the cake flavours has gone a long way, even in Bangladesh. Exceeding the popular flavours like- vanilla, chocolate, fruits, strawberry, black current, cheese and pumpkin, vegan cakes are probably the most recent addition in the world of cakes as well as here, in our local market.