Me and cake…let’s just say, we have a history! My first ‘cake’ was more of a tray bake – a simple gingerbread cake poured into a large flat tray. It was a cake that we always used to make with my brother and didn’t even need a recipe to make it. It was that simple!
I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me, that later in life my own business would include cakes too. My main business – Cocoa & Heart – started originally as a bakery with bread, cakes and simple birthday cakes. For few years, I’d bake bread for local farmer’s market and take orders for celebration cakes decorated in fondant flowers. At the time it was a nice shift from just ‘eating cake’ into ‘making cake’ and I’ve loved every minute of it.
What are the benefits of eating cake and why eating cake is just what we need on a hard day?
Cake is packed with energy
Although most people think about cakes as empty calories, they are not. If you think of just a simple vanilla cupcake, the butter, eggs and flour is full of protein, which is what we need to keep us going.
Sugar will also give you a fast surge in energy, but it’s true that the quicker your energy goes up, the quicker it goes down. That’s why is good to use alternative types of sugar like honey, agave syrup or maple syrup or reduce sugar as much as you can. If you are not sure about reducing sugar in cake, try my sugar free pancakes first and see what you think.
Cakes are our link to history, family and tradition
Cakes, like other food triggers emotional response. When was the last time you tasted that cake? Who made it best? How does it feel eating a cake that was first made in renaissance times? Or how about a cake that you’ve tasted when you last traveled? You see, cakes are linked to history, places and deeply rooted in tradition. Every time I bake my Traditional Czech Kolache I think of the times we spend together as a family, long Sunday mornings when my mum would read us books and our breakfast stretched beyond lunch time.
Homemade Cakes are so much better for you
When I talk about the benefits of eating cakes, I’m always thinking about eating homemade cake or cake that’s been baked by a traditional bakery using a real ingredients. Unfortunately, most shop bought cakes have list of ingredients that resemble a shopping list of a slightly mad scientist from some horror movie. No disrespect to the scientists, of course… But the more E numbers, stabilisers and additives your cake has the more complex the cake is and the more difficult it is for your digestive system to process it.
My lemon drizzle cake has always been a great crowd pleaser and it’s not because I would be the most amazing baker (which I’m definitely not!), but because I’ve used real and fresh ingredients. That’s what makes the difference!
Cakes make you smile and make everything feel better
Meeting a friend for a coffee? No doubt you will have a cake with your favourite coffee and why not? Having a cake is a part of getting together, enjoying your time and have a joint experience. We can’t always have what we want, but we can easily have a cake! I find that having a slice of cake with coffee made with freshly ground coffee beans is the intimate treat.
Cakes turn normal day into a special day
One of my biggest cake challenges came in a form of making a 3 tier chocolate wedding cake with chocolate collars, chocolate roses and salted caramel truffles. Each cake tier was baked with a different type of chocolate and filled with different chocolate ganache. I was flattered to be asked, but equally petrified in taking on such an important task. I don’t think I’ve slept properly the week before the wedding, knowing that everything has to go right.
Unlike fondant cakes, where you can correct minor problems (mini dents, collapsed flowers etc.) with chocolate, you have just one go. It either works or it doesn’t. I’m only saying this to give you an idea how a something like a cake can turn a ‘normal’ day into a very special one. I was really happy that everyone loved the cake and that in some small way my cake helped to make the day extra special.
So even if you are having your family round for a tea, bake them a simple loaf cake or muffins with fresh fruit. It’s not just the cake, it’s the thought behind, it’s the tasty ingredients you use and it’s eating the cake together as a family that makes it special.
Baking cakes is a great activity and a therapy in one
Baking cakes brings everyone together. I remember we wanted to help to bake, not only because it was fun, but also because we knew we can then eat our cake. Baking cakes is a great therapy as Nadiya from the Great British Bake Off admitted and I think she is not the only one that realises that. I remember baking rye bread on the days when I felt stressed at my office job and as I kneaded the bread dough, things were starting to come together and felt a little clearer.