Julia Child once said: "A party without cake is just a meeting". How true, Julia, how true!
The history of cake dates back to ancient times. The first cakes were very different from what we eat today. They were more bread-like and sweetened with honey. Nuts and dried fruits were often added. According to the food historians, the ancient Egyptians were the first culture to show evidence of advanced baking skills. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the English word cake back to the 13th century. It is a derivation of 'kaka', an Old Norse word. Medieval European bakers often made fruitcakes and gingerbread. These foods could last for many months. credit: foodtimeline
By the middle of the 18th century, yeast had fallen into disuse as a raising agent for cakes in favor of beaten eggs. Once as much air as possible had been beaten in, the mixture would be poured into molds, often very elaborate creations, but sometimes as simple as two tin hoops, set on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. It is from these cake hoops that our modern cake pans developed. credit: whatscookingamerica
Wedding cakes were traditionally fruit cakes, and in early times they were crumbled over the head of the bride so the gods would bless her with abundance. This has turned into tossing grain (or confetti) at a bride and giving slices of cake to guests. If young maiden sleeps with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow, it is said she will dream of her future husband!
These days, we are seeing more and more creativity when it comes to cake decorating! Wedding cakes are not the only medium for elaborate decor anymore! We recently had a baby shower at PCC that was a mermaid theme. The cake was absolutely amazing featuring a sleeping baby mermaid in her shell cradle on top!
The one place people always think of having cake is indeed at a wedding. Wedding cakes have gone from simple white confections with maybe a flower or two to over-the-top pieces of art! Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's 7-foot tall wedding cake cost $6685, Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky's Gluten Free wedding cake cost $11,000, but NOTHING can beat Prince William and Kate Middleton's cake which had 17 different flowers atop it symbolizing nations in the world and cost a jaw dropping $80,000!
the royal cake!
elaborate peacock wedding cake
This cake called 'the skyscraper' was created by an Indonesian bakery
Cake decorating has become entertainment as well! With shows like Cake Boss, Cake Wars, and Ace of Cakes, watching what goes into a confectionary masterpiece has become mainstream. It seems the possibilities are endless when it comes to cake, and the sky is the limit for both the height and the COST of a cake!
MY dream cake? It is featured below...but here is a hint: appeal to my inner nerd and I am a happy girl! Just make sure your cake isn't too beautiful to cut...because you want your cake, but you should want to EAT it too!