Tag Archives: cake

A History of Cake

shakespeare

The first mention of cake appears in a Shakespearean sonnet in 1592.

Shall I compare thee to a summer cake?

Thou art more lovely and more decadent.

In 1755, the Earl of Earlingstone-Hamshire-Winthropp (nicknamed “The Earl of Earl,” for obvious reasons), on the eve of his 100th birthday, received a lovely layered dessert made of boozy pound cake, whipped cream, and sweet brandied plums. Baked by Mrs. Eleanor Peavey, longtime cook of the Earl and his family, it was cake‘s first public appearance in 150 years. The centenarian clapped his hands in surprise, knocking over a candelabra; within seconds, the brandied plums burst into flames over six feet tall, overtaking The Earl of Earl before engulfing the room completely. Everyone at the residence perished that night.

Two cake traditions from that tragic evening continue to this day:

1. Providing flame-retardant sweets for every special occasion.

2. Adding candles to birthday cake to raise awareness for the aristocracy.

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Baked: Chocolate Heaven Cake

heaven3

I ate this cake for breakfast. If there’s any left in three hours, I’ll eat it for lunch. And later on,  I’ll pledge my life to it in a private civil ceremony.

The Chocolate Heaven Cake hails from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook. I think the only other cake I’ve made that was more decadent than this one was literally called a chocolate decadence cake.

This is worth making for a special day or a cathartic cake occasion (but not as a space cake). Use the good chocolate – the one I call Sharffenblarfer – and follow directions and then vigorously decorate with sprinkles. One day you will look back and say the diabetes was worth it.

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