If you’re like us, you’ve been spending your quarantine binge-watching your favorite baking shows on Netflix. One of our top-favorites should come as no surprise—it’s the Great British Bake-Off, or Great British Baking Show as it’s known in the States. The show’s good-natured contestants, kindly judges, and amazing baking challenges have earned it enormous popularity all around the world, and it’s even thought to have sparked a revival in baking. If you’re one of the many who has been inspired to pick up your first spatula, here’s some more information about a few of the amazing cakes featured on the show.
You’ll hear the term “Victoria Sponge” mentioned a lot on GBBO if you watch all 10 seasons (don’t judge us). Named after Queen Victoria, who is said to have loved it, this classic British cake sandwiches sweet raspberry jam and/or pastry cream between two light, bouncy sponge cakes. Despite its royal-sounding name, the Victoria Sponge is basically naked, decorated only with a light dusting of icing sugar. Britain’s esteemed Women’s Institute, holder of cake-baking competitions for over a century, insists that a true, classic Victoria Sponge features raspberry jam only. However, some bakers break tradition by using strawberry jam, apricot jam, or even lemon curd.
A “Rum Baba” may sound like a cake with roots in the middle east, but Rum Babas are actually a French cake that were were first whipped up in the 1600s. These small, boozy cakes contain dried raisins or currants, and are saturated in a sweet, rum-based syrup. They are often filled with whipped cream or pastry cream. Two conflicting stories describe how the Baba got its name: one asserts that it’s named after the French word for dizzy, “baba”; the other claims that its first royal fan, a Polish king, named it after his favorite character, Ali Baba from A Thousand and One Nights. Rum Babas have become rather old-fashioned in this century, but every so often they make a comeback. A cake soaked in rum—how could they not?
Sachertorte is an Austrian chocolate cake, or torte, first created by Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Metternich. It is one of the most famous culinary specialties of Vienna, and possibly one of the most famous chocolate cakes of all time. It consists of three-layer chocolate sponge cake with apricot jam spread thickly between each layer and around the sides. Then, the entire cake is iced with velvety chocolate and served with a dish of whipped cream. It’s an incredibly delicious cake with an interesting bit of history behind it: According to legend, Prince Metternich requested a new cake he had never tried before from his kitchen, but the head chef was sick and the team of cooks had no idea what to prepare. Franz Sacher, then a 16-year old apprentice chef, created this cake with the ingredients that were on hand. The Sacher Torte and other recipes made him very famous and prosperous, and for good reason—if you’re a chocolate lover, it tastes absolutely divine.
Want to try one of these incredible bakes, or other classics from the show? Call up Sweet Cherry Bakery! Our expert cake bakers jazz up your wedding, birthday party, or other event with a custom cake that’s a million times better than boxed cake. The best part? No messy kitchen, dishes or clothes to clean up! To request an order consultation from our Raleigh baker, please click here.