A Glossary Of Gateaux: Around The World In 12 Indigenous Cakes
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CAKES have been a staple in culinary traditions across the globe, each culture adding its unique touch to this universal delight. Historically, cakes have evolved from simple bread-like pastries to the complex and rich desserts that grace our tables today. From festive celebrations to daily snacks, cakes in various forms continue to be an integral part of cultural expressions worldwide.

Glossary of Indigenous Cakes

  • Bebinca - India - A multi-layered dessert made from coconut milk, sugar, butter, and eggs, traditionally baked layer by layer during Christmas.
  • Bibingka - Philippines - A traditional Filipino cake made with rice flour, coconut milk, and eggs, typically cooked in a banana leaf over charcoal.
  • Bolo de Rolo - Brazil - Thin layers of sponge cake rolled with guava paste, often served at celebrations and family gatherings.
  • Dundee Cake - Scotland - A rich fruit cake topped with almonds, traditionally made with currants, sultanas, and Scotch whisky.
  • Khanom Chan - Thailand - A steamed layered cake made from tapioca flour, coconut milk, and sugar, often flavoured with pandan and eaten during festivals.
  • Kow Teng Kueh - Malaysia - A traditional Nonya steamed cake known for its colourful layered appearance, made with rice flour, tapioca flour, and coconut milk.
  • Lamington - Australia - Squares of sponge cake coated in chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut, often served at fundraisers known as "Lamington drives".
  • Mooncake - China - Dense, round cakes with a rich filling of red bean or lotus seed paste, encased in a thin pastry, eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
  • Panettone - Italy - A tall, brioche-like cake filled with candied fruits and raisins, popular during Christmas and New Year celebrations.
  • Sachertorte - Austria - A dense chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam under a dark chocolate icing, traditionally served with unsweetened whipped cream.
  • Simnel Cake - England - A light fruit cake covered with a layer of marzipan, traditionally made for Mothering Sunday and Easter.
  • Tres Leches Cake - Mexico - A sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream, often topped with whipped cream or meringue.

In exploring these cakes, we encounter a delightful mosaic of flavours that reveal the depth and diversity of global culinary traditions, inviting us to taste history one slice at a time.