In the days before obesity crises, fad diets, celebrity weight watching and obsessive calorie counting there was cake.
In my youth, cake was somehow a symbol for wholesome, home-baked, fresh from the oven treats, but nowadays it seems to have fallen off the radar as its newer, trendier rivals hog all the limelight.
First it was muffins, then friands and cup cakes joining the extended cake family, not to mention more exotic cousins like the macaron, serving only to confuse the baking landscape.
Meanwhile, the humble cake has been given a fairly drastic make-over by the various designer cake shops that have been springing up across Sydney and doubtless other locations too, in recent years,
These establishments get away with charging a ridiculous amount for their ‘art’, generally a few bits of basic sponge glued together and then disguised with a bit of clever icing work to make it vaguely resemble something normally un cake-like.
These nouveau-cakes seem to have particular appeal to anyone vain enough to think it will somehow elevate their suburban wedding or competitive kids birthday party into something worthy of the celebrity pages.
Amidst all this cake-led madness, it was reassuring to stumble across an old-school cake-maker still plying his trade in the same way as he has done for generations.
I refer of course to Mr Kipling – purveyor of ‘Exceedingly good cakes’.
The mere mention of his name conjures up memories of traditional tea parties when either the oven (or mum) was on the blink at teatime and so out would come some of Mr K’s choice Jam Tarts, Battenberg or Bakewell Slices. Delicious.
And as the Nation looks forward to its various Jubilee weekend street parties, what could be more appropriate than the regally named Victoria sponge? Truly a cake amongst cakes.
Or as an Aussie mate of mine would say, “Nice one Kippo”.