Cake: A Slice of History

Pegasus Books
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Cake can evoke thoughts of home, comfort someone at a time of grief or celebrate a birth or new love.  It is a maker of memories, a marker of identities, and delicious!

It was the year 878 A.D., and a man claims sanctuary in a small village home in Wessex.  To the surprise of the villager, the man is not a passing vagabond but Alfred, King of the Anglo-Saxons.  The village homemaker is happy to hide him from the marauding Danes, provided he keeps an eye on the cake she has baking in the oven.  Preoccupied with how to re-take his kingdom, Alfred lets the cakes burn, and the incident passed in to folklore forever.

From these seemingly ignoble beginnings, not only was Alfred able to reclaim his spot in history, but the humble villagers' cake has ascended in world culture as well.  Alysa Levene looks at cakes both ancient and modern, from the Fruit Cake, to the Pound Cake, from the ubiquitous birthday cake to the Angel Food Cake, all the way up to competitive baking shows on television and our modern obsession with macaroons and cup cakes. 

Along the way, author Alysa Levene shows how cakes are so much more than just a delicious sugar hit, and reflects on how and why cakes became the food to eat in times of celebration.  Cake reflects cultural differences, whether it is the changing role of women in the home, the expansion of global trade, even advances in technology. Entertaining and delightfully informative, Cake: A Slice of History promises to be a witty and joyous celebration of our cultural heritage.

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About the author

Alysa Levene is a social historian at Oxford Brookes University and an enthusiastic amateur baker. Visit her website at www.sliceofcakeandapocketofpins.wordpress.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Pegasus Books
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Published on
Mar 15, 2016
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781681771083
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Language
English
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Genres
Cooking / Courses & Dishes / Cakes
Cooking / History
History / Social History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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With all the recipes for the bakery’s most beloved desserts—along with ones for savory baked goods that take a page from Chang’s Asian-flavored cuisine, such as Kimchi Croissants with Blue Cheese—and 100 color photographs, Momofuku Milk Bar makes baking irresistible off-beat treats at home both foolproof and fun.
Paul Hollywood is Britain's favourite master baker. His new book is all about bread - how to make it and how to use it. But while it's all very well making a lovely loaf of bread, can you guarantee that it won't be wasted? You know those times when you have a lovely crusty loaf, fresh from the oven, and you have a horrible feeling that after the initial excitement is over, half of it's going to get pushed aside and not eaten...? Well, maybe it's time to bring bread back into mealtimes for real. Not only does Paul teach you exactly how to make a variety of breads, but for each one there is a spin-off recipe that shows you how to make a fantastic meal of it.

The book has six chapters, each with five bread recipes - plus the spin-off recipes for main courses. Not only are Paul's recipes delicious but they are also foolproof, with comprehensive step-by-step photographs. Try your hand at a basic white bloomer, which can become a savoury picnic loaf; stilton and bacon rolls, which are excellent served with celery soup; fluffy crumpets, which become the base for eggs Benedict; flatbreads, which are a natural pairing with chickpea masala; ciabatta, which the Italians have traditionally used as a base for tomatoey panzanella; pizza bases, which can become home-made fig, Parma ham and Gorgonzola pizzas; or white chocolate and raspberry bread, which makes for the best summer pudding you've ever tasted.

Tying in with the BBC2 television series, Paul Hollywood's Bread is all that you could want from a book and more. Get baking!
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