The History of Popular Cakes
Have you ever wondered where our delicious cakes originated from? Here, we explain the history of some of our most popular cakes to date. From the cake fit for a queen, Victoria to be precise, to the ever-indulgent black forest gateau. Now, let's get our teeth stuck into where these cakes originate from and how they have evolved over the years.
History of Victoria Sponge
The Victoria sponge cake originates from Spain during the Renaissance era. Although this is where the simple sponge was first created, it took centre stage in 1843 when Alfred Bird invented the key ingredient we all know as baking powder which was added to the cake, creating the sponge we know today. Alfred Bird was an Englishman who was involved in food development and manufacturing. Adding baking powder to the original sponge cake elevated it and allowed for a much higher rise.
We now refer to this cake as the Victoria sponge cake because Queen Victoria would often enjoy this cake as part of her afternoon tea ritual. Not only is a Victoria sponge cake enjoyed during afternoon tea, but it is also a firm favourite for Royal celebrations.
This year, Her Majesty the Queen marks her 70-year reign as the United Kingdom's Queen. To celebrate this, activities and initiatives will take place throughout the year to commemorate this historic occasion, concluding in a four-day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday, June 2nd, to Sunday, June 5th. This truly is the perfect occasion for a Victoria sponge cake!
History of Carrot Cake
Carrot cake is believed to have originated in England during World War II when housewives utilised sweet ingredients, such as carrots to naturally sweeten their baked goods. This was because sugar was rationed during World War II. Carrots contain more sugar than other vegetables hence they were used as a workaround at a time when imports of sugar beet were restricted, and home-growing encouraged. Necessity really is the mother of invention.
As we move further into the present day, carrot cake has come a long way. It is now the deliciously sweet treat we know. The modern-day version contains carrots mixed into the batter before baking. A white cream cheese icing is used in most carrot cake recipes. Nuts, as well as spices including cinnamon and ginger, are sometimes added to the cake mixture to add flavour.
History of Red Velvet Cake
Velvet cakes have been around since the 1800s. Cocoa was suggested as a way to soften flour and generate finer texture cakes in some recipes. Resultingly, velvet cakes got their name from their smoother texture.
During World War II when food was rationed, bakers used boiled beetroots in their cakes. Beetroot juice added colour, which also kept them moist and served as a filler. Velvet cakes progressed and we now enjoy the Red Velvet cake loved by so many.
Our Patisserie velvet cake has a vanilla flavour which is rich and moist, with a hint of chocolate from the cocoa powder. The mildly acidic tinge of the cream cheese frosting balances off the sweetness of the cake, resulting in its delicious taste.
History of Black Forest Gateau
According to some historians, the black forest gateau dates all the way back to the 1500s, when chocolate became widely available in Europe. The gateau itself originates from the Black Forest region of Germany, which is noted for its sour cherries. Perfect for a black forest gateau!
Many wonder what the difference is between a cake and a gateau, to put it simply, a gateau is a light sponge cake with a thick icing or filling, whereas cake is a sweet confection composed with flour, eggs, sugar, and butter or oil.
Our Patisserie Valerie gateau is made of rich chocolate sponge, whipped cream, and dark cherry filling sandwiched between layers of cake. Dark vermicelli is used to coat the cake, which is then topped with amarena cherries, dark chocolate shavings, and hand-piped whipped cream rosettes.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the history of some of our most popular cakes as much as we love baking them!