Monday, April 14, 2014

My Favorite Cakes

Expert Author Janet A Lawrence
I'm not one for too much sweet, so my favorite cakes are usually the moderate ones, nothing very sinful as a devil's food cake, but still, each one is an indulgence that is always welcome.
1. Pound cake.
I have to admit, I am a fan of simplicity, and for all the fancy cakes in the world layered with toppings, a simple slice of pound cake and cup of coffee is my chosen delight. It's so rich and satisfying in and of itself that it needs no frosting, owing to its 1:1 ratio of all ingredients, including butter and eggs. This also makes it a simple cake to whip up at home!
2. Black forest cake.
I often had this on my birthday as a child, so it's linked to many fond memories. Originating in Germany, according to Wikipedia, "Black Forest cake consists of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Then the cake is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some European traditions sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top. Traditionally, Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake." This cake sounds complicated enough that I think I will stick to cake delivery for this one, lest I make a mess of the kitchen.
3. Carrot cake.
Another birthday favorite of mine, this cake owes its wonderful moisture and texture to the carrots in the batter, which release water while it's cooked. It turns out that this practice originated in the middle ages, when sweet flavorings were difficult to come by, due to the sweetness of the carrots... But it was only really revived during the 1960s, at which point the classic cream cheese icing was added.
4. Coffee cake.
What I love most about these is not that they taste like coffee (they're not actually required to contain any coffee flavoring), but that they are rich in spices and not overly sweet, making them a good breakfast cake, or lunch cake (I don't know about you, but I can't handle anything too sweet in the morning.)
5. Cheesecake.
Though commonly associated with New York city, the love of cheesecake actually goes back as far as ancient Greece, and was adopted by the Romans. Modern American cheesecake has several varieties, and the New York kind relies heavily on sour cream or heavy creams, as well as eggs and cream cheese. When served with some fruit, to add crisp lightness to this heavy dish, you're getting a little slice of heaven. Is it little wonder that in the United States, there is actually an unofficial National Cheesecake Day? (July 30th)
Although cakes have been associated with parties and celebrations, we can enjoy it as an everyday dessert, each day having a different variety. There is no limit to the possibilities of enjoying a cake, be it a single slice, or a mini version. So what are you waiting for? As they say, go and have your cake and eat it, too.
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