My first was our Vegan gluten free banana cake a traditional Sierra Leonean dessert, it is made of banana, rice flour, sugar and oil and has a very moist, dense texture. This was only ever made at parties and big gatherings so not eaten too often. What is unusual about this cake is – I don’t like bananas, but I could eat this all day long! Low in sugar and missing most allergens – this was our sweet treat as very young children.
Next was Madeira cake – a good solid butter cake with a dense texture. I remember there was no frosting, no icing or frills, just good vanilla cake – for which it made no apology. When Mum would share it out, I would hold onto my piece carefully, take small bites, chew slowly and relish the taste. Mother didn’t give us cake every day, so I believed one should savour and not rush the experience.
More of a dessert, there was a sponge pudding in a tin (Heinz) which you boil for about 40mins, open and out would slowly plop a cake covered in strawberry jam or a chocolate cake covered in a rich chocolate sauce. Rich, satisfying and served with custard – this was a Friday night delight.
I then remember Artic Roll – a dessert which has disappeared from the dinner crowds of today! For those of you who have not had the pleasure of eating it: it was a thin layer of vanilla sponge spread with strawberry jam, wrapped around a cylindrical roll of vanilla ice-cream and voilà! An eight year old’s idea of heaven!
After that I remember Victoria Sponge that came in a box, a light airy sponge made with buttercream and strawberry jam. With this cake my challenge was as an imaginary lady in Queen Victoria’s court, to eat it daintily without the buttercream squirting out of the sides. A few years later when I tasted a Victoria Sponge with fresh cream, the one in a box was forgotten, as was the etiquette. This became and still is my all-time favourite cake (especially with raspberry jam…mmm).
A Rich chocolate cake with milk chocolate frosting – one of my indulgent pleasures. On those days when you want to reward your good behavior – or not: eaten slowly, this satisfies on so many levels. There is a reason why chocolate is the world’s number one sweet treat.
After this so many cakes were introduced to me, and I welcomed them all.
I hope you enjoyed my trip down 'Cake' memory lane. Now comment below, what is the first cake you were introduced to? What is your favourite now?