November 26, 2012

National Cake Day

"Your good friend has just taken a piece of cake out of the garbage and eaten it. You will probably need this information when you check me into the Betty Crocker Clinic." - Cynthia Nixon

It's National Cake Day!

Cake has been around forever. Okay, not forever - velociraptors were definitely not chowing down on a slice of bundt. But almost forever! As long as there's been bread, there's been cake (remember, we learned once upon a blog that supposedly cheesecake was served at the Olympic games during the 700 b.c.!) and eventually turned into the sweet, baked (sometimes monstrosity of a) dessert we now know it as and serve at weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Any child old enough to walk can easily point out the differences between a cake and a loaf of bread, but even now certain foods walk the fine line between the two (like banana bread, for example. Is it a quick bread? Is it a cake? Is it a quick bread? IS IT A CAKE?!).

It seems there's a lot of cake related holidays in the food calendar. And well there should be, considering every region in the world has contributed their own version of the sweet treat. Today, instead of repeating any of the one's we've already celebrated this year, why not think outside the box (the Atlantic ocean, Canadian border, Pacific ocean, Mexican border box that is)...

Opera cake, from France: this French cake is made from layers of almond spongecake that's soaked in a coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze.

Panettone, from Italy: a sweet bread loaf that traditionally includes raisins, orange peel, and lemon peel.

Prinzregententorte, from Germany: a cake that consists of at least six thin layers of sponge cake and buttercream, topped with a dark chocolate glaze.

Budapestlängd, from Sweden: this rolled meringue and hazelnut cake is filled with whipped cream, and canned peaches, apricots, and/or mandarin oranges.

Spekkoek, from the Dutch East Indies: colorful, multi-layered, cake containing cinnamon, clove, mace, anise, and a variety of dried fruits and nuts.

Bibingka, from the Philippines: a type of rice cake made of coconut milk, clarified butter, sugar, and flour.

Red bean cake, from Japan: made from adzuki beans and red bean paste.

And now you're all the wiser, foodies!

Happy National Cake Day!