Posts filed under Cakes

Gender Cupcakes Grow in Popularity as Kate and William Await Baby’s Birth

Currently all of England is involved in waiting for the birth of Britain’s newest prince or princess

And while Kate and William may be occupied with getting the nursery ready, England’s bookmakers are taking bets on everything from the baby’s sex to the baby name chosen by the royal couple.

In olden days, to borrow a phrase from Cole Porter, everyone would be wishing for a boy as only a male could ascend the throne to become the future royal ruler.

Thankfully that male-only tradition has faded away and now the first child born, regardless of its sex, can step into the line of royal succession.

But it’s still fun to guess: Will it be a prince or princess? And that has resurrected a charming English culinary tradition not seen since the birth of Diana’s own beloved sons, Princes William and Harry – Gender Cupcakes.

Hidden by frosting inside each cupcake is a sweet insert of pink (it's a girl!) or blue(it's a boy!) frosting.

When mixed and served at afternoon teas and birth wait parties, each guest declares their internal cupcake color and a tally is made. According to tradition, the winning color number will predict the child’s sex.

Truly a charming and very sweet custom – as enduring as Kate and William’s baby is sure to be.. 

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2013

Easy as Sliced Bread!

This week, 85 years ago, in 1928 O.F. Rohwedder delivered his newly invented slicing machine to the Missouri’s Chillicothe Baking Company and bread has never been the same since.

The uniform slices not only delighted many a weary housewives and legions of fatigued chefs, it also brought cheers from the companies that produced toastersThe standardized slices produced by Rohwedder’s marvelous new machine insured that irregular slices would never get stuck again (and horror-of-horrors never burn) in the toaster.  

As a result, toaster sales soared, resulting in a nearly endless variety of designs. Today collectors rejoice when they can locate these unique units. But the impact of sliced bread didn’t stop there.

The production of lunch boxes, especially those designed to catch the eye of school children, equally exploded and standardized to match the size of the newly standardized commercially produced sliced loafs of white bread.

Soon breads such as Wonder Bread constituted the key component of the “wonderful” sandwich Jack and Jane ate in their school lunch room – with few noticing at the time the vitamins missing from the bread.

Today school lunch programs are far more aware of nutrition – or at least should be.  From Michele Obama’s White House Garden to chef led programs such as those proposed by Jamie Oliver and Charlie Trotter, insightful school cooks are shifting from a commercially baked bread centered diet to one of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.

Yet old habits (good or bad) die hard and America STILL has an ongoing love affair with sliced bread, even including such phrases as “the easiest thing since sliced bread “ and  “as easy as sliced bread” in everyday speech.

So what’s the latest expression of affection for the grand ol’ loaf? It’s a birthday cake shaped like a beloved peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

A special novelty baking pan, entitled the "Cakewich Pan", shapes the cake into sliced bread shapes and fruit frosting mimics the traditional sandwich jelly.

Only in America!

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2013