Cakes Of The World

Have you ever wandered around your local supermarket or patisserie eyeing up the delightful display of cakes and pastries? You may find that a lot of these originated in specific locations around the world. It has become a favourite pastime of ours now to hunt out the local culinary delights including cakes and pastries. To wet your appetite here are some examples of cakes we have discovered on our travels…

During our road trip of southern France in 2020 I discovered the Tarte Tropézienne whilst enjoying the buffet breakfast at the Villa Gallici Hotel in Aix-en-Provence. This then prompted a stay in St Tropez followed by a full scale tour of all the bakeries! Since then these have become a favourite of mine which I try to track down at every available opportunity.
A Tarte Tropezienne is a cream filled brioche which is lighter than a traditional brioche in terms of quantities of egg and butter and is flavoured with orange blossom water. The surface is completely covered with pearled sugar and delicately sprinkled with icing sugar. It was created by Alexandre Micka, a Polish pastry chef who moved to St Tropez after World War 2 and opened up his first pastry shop in the main square in the town of Saint Tropez. Among the pastries he offered, Alexandre created a cream-filled brioche inspired by one of his grandmother’s recipes. Brigitte Bardot discovered this creamy brioche whilst filming “And God Created Woman,” and proposed to Alexandre to call it Tarte Tropezienne. They are still made to this day to the original recipe and are absolutely delightful!

Another first for me was when we did a road trip down the Florida Keys to Key West and I had my first ever taste of Key Lime Pie at the Key Lime Pie Bakery in Key West and suffice to say I loved it!
It reportedly originated in Key West, Florida in the late 19th century. It is made from the juice of limes, egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk and topped with a meringue topping or whipped cream. The name originates from the fact that it was originally made with Key limes which grew naturally in the Florida Keys. Key limes are more tart and more aromatic than the common Persian limes seen year round at grocery stores. Key limes have not been grown commercially in the USA since the 1926 Miami hurricane, and they are generally now imported from central and South America. The use of sweetened condensed milk is probably because fresh milk and refrigeration were uncommon in the isolated Florida Keys until the 1930’s.

Whilst visiting San Diego in California we decided to get away from the hectic rush of city life for a couple of days and visit a charming place called Julian which is located in the beautiful Cuyamaca mountains with shop stores housed in historic buildings dating back to the 1870’s. Julian as we then found out is famous for its apple pie. I am not usually one for queuing but thought seen as we had come all this way that we should queue for around 45 minutes to sample this apple pie and I am so glad that we did because WOW! This is the best apple pie I have ever tasted and John agreed. I cannot remember how many we bought exactly to take back with us but it was a lot!! As we finished the last one from the freezer I said to John we need to go back now to buy some more and so this summers travels should hopefully include another fabulous visit to Julian.
The Julian Pie Company became a reality for Liz Smothers in September 1986. It all started when she and a neighbour began peeling apples for a local pie shop where she was soon employed to bake and sell pies. Recognising her expertise, two other pie shops hired her to bake for them. Whilst Liz enjoyed baking for the pie shops she had a desire to be creative on her own and with the assistance of a friend the Julian Pie Company began.

We first discovered Tortuga Rum Cake when we visited Bermuda and have since also purchased it in various Caribbean islands such as Barbados and Jamaica and also in the Bahamas and Florida. The original is still our favourite but there are now many flavours such as chocolate rum, banana rum and now even Blue Mountain coffee rum cake to name but a few. The cake is delicious and moist with a lovely strong rum flavour. If you get the opportunity to sample one and you are a rum lover then these are a must try.
It all started back in 1984, while working for Cayman Airways, Captain Robert Hamaty and his wife Carlene, an in-flight supervisor, founded the Tortuga Rum Company, Ltd. They introduced the first rums of the Cayman Islands, primarily to appeal as a souvenir to the growing tourist and cruise passenger business. In 1987, they opened the first Tortuga duty free liquor store and later that year introduced the now world famous Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cake. For years Carlene had baked rum cakes for special occasions, using a four-generation old family recipe and friends in the food business encouraged her to make it part of the Tortuga line. The Tortuga cake was first offered at a local restaurant and was an instant hit and by 1990 the demand was so great that the company expanded with a bakery, making their cake the Caribbean’s first commercially produced rum cake.

Bled cream cake which we discovered earlier this month whilst visiting Lake Bled in Slovenia. Each cafe and restaurant has its own version of it but the original source itself is from the Park Hotel (as shown in the photo above,) this stately establishment has been serving up Bled cream cake since 1953, shortly after the arrival of celebrated pastry chef Ištvan Lukačević following the Second World War. The cream cake which is characterized by delicate puff pastry atop layers of light vanilla cream and custard, it is a dish that can be dated back to the height of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. Almost all the countries under the Hapsburg’s former reign still have a version of the cake; Bosnians enjoy Krempita, Polish love kremówka, and Slovakians dine happily on their krémeš. The Slovenian version of cream cake is kremna rezina and, thanks to a recent granting of protected designation of origin status, it only comes from the patisseries at Lake Bled.
What better way to enjoy the view of Lake Bled than with a piece of Lake Bled Cream Cake.

This Black Forest Cake from Germany really tasted as good as it looks! It is the lavish dessert which is also known as Black Forest gateau. We sampled this last week at the Cafe Adler whilst in Triberg in the Black Forest. Some historians say that the cake dates back to the 1500’s when chocolate first became available in Europe. More specifically, it’s birthplace would have been the Black Forest region of Germany, which is known for its sour cherries and kirschwasser. Typically, Black Forest gateau consists of several layers of chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and cherries. It is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some European traditions, sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top. Traditionally, kirschwasser, a clear spirit made from sour cherries, is added to the cake. Absolutely delicious!

Does anyone else have a favourite cake or pastry that you have discovered during your travels?

11 Likes

Wow wow wow you are a girl after my own heart :joy:
Enjoy and thank you for sharing these delightful delicacies!
Yum yum
Oh a
Violet and rose cake with real rose petals I had a the caffe shop of the cathedral in Oxford!

3 Likes

My mouth is watering just reading this. I feel like making an apple pie after reading about Julian. My HO bring me brought me back a Tortuga rum cake from their cruise. Very moist and a strong rum flavor- it was so sweet of them.

2 Likes

These all look scrumptious. I’ll have to come back and share a few of my favorites. The photos are fantastic. Did you take them all?

3 Likes

That sounds delicious and it’s right on our doorstep so we will hunt it down thank you :+1:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

Kremepita is one of my favorite things. There is a bakery in sarajevo that i visit every time I’m in town because it’s just amazing. Ditto a bakery in krakow, for the same reason. Though I forget what it’s called in Polish. :smiley:

I would like to add Dutch apple pie to the mix. Specifically the one served at Winkel 43 in amsterdam. I’ve always loved apple pie but this is some of the best I’ve ever had in the world and I make everyone I know go there. :smiley:

6 Likes

Yes they are all our photos apart from the Tortuga cake as all the pictures I had of this delicious cake were on my previous iPhone which I hadn’t backed up and subsequently dropped in the Atlantic Ocean (after being hit by a big wave whilst filming the fish in Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda!). :sweat_smile:

1 Like

We have never tried this on our travels to Amsterdam but we will certainly try next time we visit… thank you for sharing :+1:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

oh yes. you must. a friend just went there and sent me like 40 pics while raving about it, so another happy referral. lol

2 Likes

Brilliant :smiley:

1 Like

If you are ever in Sweden you need to try princess torte…… yummy! (You can probably get it in IKEA if you’re not in Sweden!)

3 Likes

I am not too sure what the name of the cake on the right was that I had in Gamla Stan, Stockholm last year but it was so delicious. Could it be Princess torte do you think? :thinking:

1 Like

Certainly looks like it might be, there’s generally a lot of cream and it’s covered in marzipan, usually green!:rofl:

1 Like

Yorkshire fat rascals - cross between a scone & a rock cake. Betty’s in Harrogate is supposedly the #1 source but definitely not the cheapest!
image

3 Likes

They look fab! Never tried them but have visited Betty’s in Harrogate a few times :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

@Samox24 My late husband & I loved to visit Betty’s but as I’ve now relocated to Sussex it’ll be a while before I get back there. However, am working hard at sussing out the best places here for afternoon tea :joy:

3 Likes

Alexander House in East Grinstead, West Sussex is fabulous and a bonus here is you can also treat your furry friend to a doggy afternoon tea at the same time and it is beautifully served to them on a tiered stand of dog bowls :dog:

4 Likes

Ooh - am definitely going to check it out ASAP, thanks :+1:

2 Likes

I tried one of these last time I was at Betty’s. I took my mom there for tea when we were doing a quick tour of the UK. I wasn’t a fan, but I don’t generally like fruit in my scones, so it was a bit too much for me.

2 Likes

Loving this post. It makes me want to travel even more :smile:

2 Likes