Has the world always been as obsessed with cake as we seem to be these days or is this a new phenomenon?
Since the miraculous rise in popularity of cupcakes, the floodgates seemed to have opened. Cupcakes, known as Fairy Cakes in the UK, were small but fairly plain cakes and had a reputation similar to that of your average wallflower at a dance. Boring. Transformed by some snazzy icing and glitzy cake toppings, they instantly became popular. Read into that what you will!
Baking books and tv shows have got onto this bandwagon and now we are inundated with a whole range of baked goods that our lives would be incomplete without. Or so we’re led to believe.
It’s had an incredible effect on people. Everyone loves a cupcake and because they’re relatively easy to make, people who’ve never baked before are having a go. Lots of people love baking for a myriad of reasons. It’s creative, some find it relaxing, parents like doing it with children as an educational activity. Others do it because they like the end product or are extremely competitive!
Usually when I get together with a friend, there tends to be alcohol involved and when I suggested getting together with my friend, instead of making it an evening drink with a glass or two of wine, my mouth worded an invitation for afternoon tea.
This was quite an out of of character thing for me to say. I don’t eat a lot of cake but my husband does and we’d been watching The Great British Bake Off on tv with a great deal of interest, both in the baking and the contestants. During one episode, he turned to me with his big brown eyes and dolefully told me that I don’t bake him cakes anymore. Well what’s a girl to do?
I stopped baking for several reasons: lack of time, watching the calories, fewer of us at home to eat the cake and I personally don’t have a particularly sweet tooth.
With the visit from my friend imminent, and with the expectation of something sweet on the menu, I set to with my rolling pin and mixer and conjured up a few sweet things: Lavender Scones, Cherry Jam Tarts and a Passionfruit, Cream and Coconut Cake. All went down very well with my visitor over a few pots of Earl Grey tea. I gave her a stash of the goodies to bring home to her family and kept the rest for my husband and daughter. All were gratefully and well received.
A few days later I had to bin the remaining Jam Tarts and a quarter of the Passionfruit cake. We couldn’t finish it all.
If someone offers me a piece of cake that they’ve baked themselves, I’ll swoop on it but I think it’ll be a while before I bake again.