Tuesday 27 September 2016

Why cake's image has gone stale

Clarissa Waldron

Published 16/05/2015 | 02:30

Irish Independent journalist, Clarissa Waldron tucks into some chocolate cake. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 15/5/2015
Irish Independent journalist, Clarissa Waldron tucks into some chocolate cake. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 15/5/2015

Every Halloween my mother buys a barmbrack and every December she prepares a Christmas cake.

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She's a wonderful baker. I never indulge, though.

For my mother's choices are steeped in tradition and associated with days of yore - desserts my grandparents no doubt offered up to their own families.

Her madeira cake - a golden-yellow loaf with the long crack down the middle - always strikes me as nostalgic rather than appetising.

My cake interests rather have been shaped by a whole new world of baked goodness, one unearthed online.

The rise of Instagram has seen the term 'foodie' prevail, while the hashtag 'instafood' has facilitated culinary experimentation and normalised trends such as 'dairy-free', 'gluten-free', and 'vegan baking.'

Young people are naturally adventurous and open-minded. A dessert stalwart from decades past faces stiff competition against trendy recipes and those you have to taste to believe: courgette and lemon, rose and pistachio, even beetroot and dark chocolate cake.

Boutique cafés also offer a choide that does nothing to help classic options. Cinnamon rolls, friands, duffins (donuts and muffins), townies (tarts and brownies) and crookies (crossaints and cookies) are some of the sugary hybrids that have shaken up the market and are now popular with young people.

In a society obsessed with image and trends, the traditional cake will need a facelift if it is to shake off its dated image.

Irish Independent

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