on the matter of cakes

February 17, 2007

Why is cheesecake so much better than other cakes? No, please, I will not hear your objections. The phenomena has been documented thoroughly in Warne’s Miscellany (see Peter and The Hare), and while I do express somewhat less admiration for that book than for the excellent Roget’s Menagerie, written of course by the inestimable Jeremy Corrigate McLozenge OBE (Order of Brighton’s Elkvendors), on the subjects of milk and cheesecake it is a veritable 8-ball oracle.

Strawberry cheesecake it must be, a landscape painting of a cake, descending through sunset, cloud and then earth, and always allowing one the option of concentrating on one layer at a time, either as a novelty or to attempt to gauge which layer is at fault. I especially recommend the cheesecake one can purchase in most Italian Coffee Shops. Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackcurrant, and even Chocolate varieties are also available. But no one has ever made a cheesecake with menthol or plasticene, and if you can prove otherwise you are still incorrect.

Other lesser but still renowned cakes:

Date and Walnut Loaf (cake? Well if Christmas cake is a cake then this is, ok?)

Carrot Cake

Um, what was it? That one with the nuts and the caramel. And the raisons. Might be a biscuit.

Missisipi Mud Pie

Jamaican Ginger Cake

(you were waiting for it weren’t you? It gets silly now…)

Italian Tipsy Cake

Spanish Bar Cake (ouch)

Singing Hinnies


German Chocolate Cake (it’s really American!!!)

and additionally, I thought it just worth noting that the Wikipedia entry for Swiss Roll, on its ‘List of Misleading Food Titles’ page, actually says:

Swiss Roll – This cake is unknown in Switzerland.


In my estimation, the most sensible name for a cake is pancake. It is an exact description – with some trial and error, one could probably work out the entire recipe from the name alone. Probably. But there is a serious message here for cake inventors: try to match the lyricism of your cake titles with practical information for the cook.

I may search for an interesting cake related link for you to peruse in the near future.



One Response to “on the matter of cakes”

  1. […] posted his response to the Warne’s Miscellany entry on Cheesecake. Which is just as well because that particular page is missing from The Hare’s copy. Follow […]

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