History of Cakes and the spirit of christmas

A derivative of old Norse word ‘kaka’, the history of cakes began since the 13th century. With the discovery of flour, the medieval European bakers baked fruitcakes and gingerbread which then assumed the form of round cakes with icing in the 17th century, and with the invention of sugar and bicarbonate of soda or baking powder in the 18th century, making cakes became interesting to bakers. The 19th century saw the evolution of cakes as we know today.

Did you know that the first cakes were smaller breads? Then came the breads, which are like the present-day oat cakes, the earliest form of which could be traced to the Neolithic villages made from crushed grains, dampened, and cooked on hot stones. I also found it enlightening to learn that cakes had different names such as plakous (Greek), placenta or libum (Roman) etc.  

Thanks to people who invented ovens for without their experimentation cakes would never have been ground-breaking and made at homes. France was known to have built an oven with bricks and tiles towards the end of the 1690s. Following the invention of cast-iron ovens by a German in 1728, the enclosed oven by Francois de Cuvillie’s, the first electric oven, which regarded as a better version than Thomas Ahean’s one, became available for use. In the 1800’s the gas oven invented by James Sharp did not become a household name as its competition, the electric oven. The 1954 microwave oven was not only expensive, but users’ fear of radiation and ignorance prevented it from becoming popular. Nowadays, oven has become affordable and the huge range to choose from has made cake baking easy and fast for people with a sweet tooth.

Cakes are synonymous with festive occasions. We buy cakes for birthdays, weddings and holidays. Have you ever wondered what is so special about Christmas cakes? This English tradition, which was originally a porridge full of dry fruits, commemorating the birth of Christ with family and friends symbolizes a new beginning. The Christmassy colours and the spicy flavours of rum, brandy, cocoa, dry fruits found in the traditional cakes reflect the spirit of Christmas and when eaten with custard or egg nog causes a taste explosion. Most of us who have had a challenging year look forward to this occasion to celebrate the survival of testing times and to embrace the spirit of Christmas which comprises peace, joy and love. Merry Christmas to the visitors of my blog site, bloggers all around the world and to all.  

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