Thursday, 21 August 2008

The Great Cake Porn Tour

The Great Cake Porn Tour
New York - Limited Cake Porn but Plenty of Sugar Pushers
New York Part 2 – Another Sugar Pusher and Cake Security Threat
Las Vegas - Supreme Cake Porn and Absurd Food Labelling
Yosemite National Park - More Blood Sugar Capers
San Francisco Part 1: Stretching the Definitions of Natural and Healthy

If you are a regular to this blog you will have gathered that I am not in favour of sugar as food ingredient; however, I reserve most of my wrath for food manufacturers who pollute healthy foods with sugar or use it to disguise otherwise bland and nutritionally barren products; but I can't help feeling less animosity towards cake-makers. Say what you like about drug dealers - they don't usually pretend that what they are selling is good for you.

As a former cake and chocolate fiend I find it hard not to admire the beauty of well-made cakes; and as with a number of things, they just do cake better in the US. Okay, the subtle ornamentation of the finest French patisserie might not be there, but for me, that is not what cake is about. It’s about cream-smothered slabs of cheesecake and vast wedges of gateau.

Since the US is where Mrs Methuselah and I will be taking our holiday for the next two weeks, this presents an opportunity. I have not eaten cake since 2006 and don’t intend to start now; but to celebrate the fact I can look but not touch and because I just know we will encounter some great cakes on our travels, I plan to post photos of the best ones. Don't worry - all photos will be tastefully done and the cakes will in no way be exploited.

It won't all be frivolity though - your comments suggest that the problem with 'health' food stores selling sugar-laden products is as common in the US as in the UK, so I'll be looking out for this too.

The Series:
The Great Cake Porn Tour
New York - Limited Cake Porn but Plenty of Sugar Pushers
New York Part 2 – Another Sugar Pusher and Cake Security Threat
Las Vegas - Supreme Cake Porn and Absurd Food Labelling
Yosemite National Park - More Blood Sugar Capers
San Francisco Part 1: Stretching the Definitions of Natural and Healthy

See Also:
The Worst Sugar Pushers of all: Health Food Stores
We're all Junkies
Why (Refined) Sugar is Bad: Some References

2 comments:

Anna said...

I think you are right about the US cakes being better, without regard to the sugar content. I have a German friend who lives in So California (she hates American cakes, though- yet is a complete sugar fiend) and I hate her cakes - dry, very plain, and not very rich or decadent. She's a very good cook, and I like her hazelnut shortbread cookies very much, but her cakes are nearly all a variation of some fruit surrounded by a dry bisquit-shortcake dough. Not what I think of as cake. Even her dark chocolate cake is dry and, um, boring. Not at all decadent. I stick to coffee for desert at her house, which is healthier anyway.

My husband grew up in England and insisted on *not* having a traditional English wedding cake - fruitcake! He hates it and prefers American cakes, preferably moist chocolate cake with chocolate or mocha frosting.

My South African-born mother-in-law is the best cake baker, but she exclusively makes an American-origin recipe - Chiffon cakes, which are high and airy, with a rich butter cream frosting. Now that's a cake! Her Norwegian-American MIL shared the recipe (from an old Betty Crocker book) in the 50s and gave her the special high tubed pan (angle food cake pan). My MIL loves making these for her friends in Europe and the UK because they are so unusual. Plus, when admirers ask for the recipe, I suspect she enjoys (more than a little) saying she'll share it gladly but it won't do any good unless they get also the special pan from America.

Except for homemade low sugar cheesecake with a nut-meal crust (after I make ricotta cheese), I don't indulge in cake very much anymore (sigh).

Methuselah said...

Anna - your husband and I are definately on the same page there - I loathe the traditional UK wedding cake and our Christmas cake is exactly the same. It's more suited to the construction industry than anything else; and I'm not surprised your German friend produces cakes like that - my recollection of Germany was that the cakes and the bread were at times indistinguishable.

We actually found some great cheesecake on Wall St today but they would not let me take a photo for security reasons! More on that in a post I will make later...

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