The cake is a type of sweet dessert dish consumed all around the globe. The word comes from the Viking word ‘Kaka’. Historically, the Egyptians were the first people to bake cakes although those were made from naturally occurring yeast. The western world caught on to the art of baking cakes over the next thousand years or so and now cakes are being made in almost every bakeries, eateries and restaurants. The invention of modern kitchen appliances and baking techniques have made it possible to bake all kinds of cakes a lot more easily and quickly.
Broadly, cakes can be divided in two categories, Butter cakes and Foam cakes. These two kinds of cakes can be further subdivided into other types based on the ingredients used and baking techniques. Angel Food, Chiffon and Sponge are three types of Foam cakes. Angel Food cakes are made out of only egg whites, Chiffon cakes use oil, egg yolk and whites, while Sponge cakes use only egg yolk and whites. Sponge cakes with ornate toppings and decorations are also called Gateau.
It can be difficult to identify a dish as a pastry, bread or cake as these food categories often overlap in their preparation. Cakes are often described according to their shapes as well. Some popular shapes include Bundt Cakes, Swiss Roll cakes, Cake Balls, Cupcakes which are also known as Madeleine in French, Conical cakes, Sheet cakes and Layer cakes.
Many European countries have a rich tradition of cakes consumed in different parts of those countries. Some cakes are specifically made during special occasions only and usually these kinds of cakes are named after the events they are associated with. Halloween cakes, Chocolate Log, Christmas cake, Passover Plava, Babka, Mooncake and Simnel cakes are some of the most famous among these.
The United Kingdom houses several different kinds of cakes that vary widely in taste, preparation and origin. Angel cake is a popular sponge cake made in almost all parts of the UK. Butter cake is also one of the premier cakes made in the UK. Use of currants and raisins is prevalent in English and Welsh cakes with the likes of Eccles cake, Christmas cake, Bara Brith and Simnel cake consumed all year round.
Chocolate has dominated cake baking in many countries since its inception as an ingredient. Cakes such as Boston Cream pie, Birthday cakes, Black Forest Gateau, Bundt cake and the famous chocolate cake are all made out of chocolate as a main leavener. But other varieties such as Vanilla, Butter Scotch and Black Currant are also used on a wide basis.
With time, bakers worldwide has changed, manipulated and customized most original cake recipes to suit their requirements and
tastes. So the different kinds of cakes have merged into each other on many conditions and these deviations have only enriched their tastes. Automatic beaters, pipes and sprinkling devices have eased the job to a large extent, while modern ovens with automatic settings for different cakes have made baking literally a ‘Cakewalk’. So keep enjoying these cakes till your heart satiates.Who does not love cakes? They are everyone’s favourite dessert and there are just so many kinds of cake that it is difficult to pick one.
All kinds of cake can be a part of one of these seven types.
Butter cakes are all the kinds of cake that make use of baking powder to rise and become fluffy.
Then we have, Cheesecakes. These kinds of cake use eggs to make them rise and become fluffy. They contain very little flour. The little flour that they do have is basically contained in their crust.
Foam cakes are exactly that. That is, they rise without the help of any fats or with the help of very little amounts of them.
Fruit cakes are the densest of them all. They contain glazed fruits and are very rich.
Spice cakes, by comparison, are lighter. They make for good snacks as they contain a variety of spices.
Yeast cakes are the oldest kinds of cake. They are basically another version of the yeast bread.
Now let us look at some of the common delicious cakes.
First up we have the Applesauce cake. This cake is a collection of dry fruits like raisins and walnuts. The key ingredient is ofcourse apple sauce. It can be served with or without frosting and is not too heavy and thus can be eaten as a snack.
Window cake is another of the many kinds of cake. It is a cake covered in marzipan. Inside the cake, there is a pattern similar to that of the checkerboard. Yellow and pink is a popular combination for the interior of the cake. This cake is also called the Battenberg Cake.
Loaf cake is a cake baked in a loaf pan. Pound cake, carrot cake, marble cake amongst others can be served as loaf cakes.
Buche de Noel is a common French delicacy. Literally it means a yule log. It is a Christmas specialty. It is basically a sponge cake that has been baked in a roll pan of jelly.
Meringue cake is a cake of obviously meringue. Meringue is a mixture of egg whites, cream and sugar. This cake is filled with mousse. Of all kinds of cake, this one is practically flour less.
Genoise is a kind of sponge cake. Their key ingredient is butter and they are named so because they originate from the city of Genoa.
Another interesting cake is the Bee Sting cake. It is also called a Bienendtich. It is a popular German dessert and is basically a cake of yeast. Inside, the cake is full of custard. The legend behind the name of the cake is that the baker who baked it covered it in a honey frosting and therefore got stung by a bee.
Torte is the Austrian, German and/or Hungarian version of a cake. These cakes are dense and smaller than most other cakes. They are generally round in shape. They are rich. A portion of the cake is made of ground nuts which is a major reason behind their density.
Gateau is the French version of a cake. It has a base of genoise. The interior is full of cream. It is decorated by fruits.