Healthy spelt digestive biscuits

Week (23) of cakes and celebration! And could you be a food historian?

Cake news and fun

This last week has seen some cakes and desserts on the crest of a creative heatwave with flavours from around the world.  Week 23 of cakes

The Black sesame and yuzu ice-cream petits fours were a lovely sugar-free fusion dessert where exotic ingredients met healthy spelt digestive biscuits aka Graham crackers.  If like me you can’t get your hands on fresh yuzu fruit then use the bottled juice from Oriental supermarkets.  It’s worth hunting down, with its delicate flavour and floaty tangy quality hovering behind the nutty warmth of the sesame seeds.

Healthy black sesame and yuzu ice-cream biscuits

Talking about tangy, another experiment was some mini Saffron and lime tartlets with coconut cream and honey, naturellement.  Recipe coming soon.  Then there was the savoury Tuna and egg crêpe cake, delicious with gluten-free white sauce layered between tasty spelt crêpesYum!

Time to celebrate

Crémant sparkling wine in ParisFinally, on July 14th I was seized by the sudden impulse to drown my healthy sugar-free and dairy-free apricot ice-cream in a glass of cava (Spanish champagne) and raise a toast to French Independence Day.  This Apricot ice-cream and cava dessert was a cross between a Bellini and Spanish traditional Lemon sorbet and cava, but with a vivid apricot flavour highlighted by orange blossom water.  So pour a little sparkling wine over some ice-cream in a glass!  There’ll be fizz, bubbles and some serious oohs and aahs.  And possibly some giggling and fireworks, like last year in Paris on Bastille Day with friends, a view and a bottle of bubbly!  🙂

Week 23 july 14 fireworksNo fireworks for me in Barcelona this year, but some lovely frozen treats on my balcony relaxing with a friend who left with some extra ice-cream in a takeaway jar!  She was surprised and charmed by the multi-layered tastes of the sesame-yuzu and vivid apricot ice-creams, and the berry nice banana ice-cream cake reminded her of breakfast.  I was happy she loved it all and could help diminish my stock of frozen treats, leaving room for me to make new stuff!  🙂Three ice-creams take-away jar

Can I be a food historian please?

A bit of a change of topic I know, but have you noticed a rise in the number of food historians appearing on TV?  I don’t remember seeing them around when I was younger.  They often turn up on the Great British Bake Off, where you can learn some interesting food facts like the history of the Digestive biscuit (youtube video clip).  Did you know the recipe is top secret and this biscuit was invented as a cure for flatulence?

Food history is enthralling, after all food is one of the most important things in life.  I remember reading a classic Everest book and being fascinated by the detailed lists of food they took on their first summit attempts in the 1920s.  Their dietary needs were taken very seriously and changed when their altitude training was so successful they found themselves craving more than just liquids and light dehydrated snacks.  At least until they reached higher altitudes.

The Everest diet

To see a report on the modern Everest diet click on the drawing.

I’m no expert but food history seems to cover a wide range of topics, including people’s eating habits, nutritional processing, religious and scientific ideas, and what’s being cooked in the kitchen.  And according to Rachel Laudan you don’t need a degree in food studies or history to write about it.  Although loving your food can be an advantage (yay!), you should carry out organised research, take notes and know which relevant question you’re answering in your writing.  Her detailed online article:  Getting Started in Food History is a really useful guide.  A very good point she makes is that instead of focussing on the exact date when a ‘first dish’ was created, you learn more by asking why and how certain dishes came about at certain times.  Which I’ll try to do with the few random facts on my draft cake history timeline, set mostly in Europe and the USA I’m afraid and based on information at Food cakes. cake history timelineIf I found myself transported back in time to careers day at school I’d be tempted to announce

‘I’d like to be a food historian!’

Wouldn’t you?  It’s never too late to dream!  If not, just sit back and enjoy some food historians on TV or the web.  Or bake. 🙂

Well sweet food reader, nice to see you as always and it’s time to bid you farewell.  Happy baking, cooking, eating and food dreams! 🙂 x

P.S.  Don’t forget to join our soufflé party/challenge if you can!  You have till August 6th…A soufflé challenge












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Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthier ones. Yes, love cakes!!! Hope you'll love them too and have fun baking. :)

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