Monday, May 20, 2013

Classic Australian Cakes: From Lamingtons to Swiss Rolls by Alice May.

Classic Australian Cakes: From Lamingtons to Swiss Rolls by Alice May.  Hardcover book with pictorial boards published by Allen & Unwin 1993, 64 pages with black and white and colour illustrations.


There’s a lot of cakes in this book that I’ve never had the pleasure of.  Growing up in a distinctly new Australian household, we never tasted the delights of Cream Puffs, Gallipoli Tea Cake or Ginger Sponge.  We did however have our own versions of the Vanilla Slice (Snot Block), Cinnamon Cake and Walnut Loaf, at least I think they were our* versions.  Possibly they weren’t.  One cake I do remember very well was the Swiss Roll.  My mother didn’t bake this one, she would always buy it.  For those unfamiliar with the joys of a Swiss Roll, it’s a thin sponge cake with a sickly sweet red jam rolled up inside it.  Mmmmmm.  It’s one of those comfort childhood summer foods, that I believe i wouldn’t enjoy as much now as I did then.

So this book does have a recipe for a Swiss Roll in all it’s glorious castor sugar, baking powder, hot jam, glory and yes I’m tempted despite my doubts.  As I write this, the idea of a Swiss Roll is taking shape and I do have a dinner party to cook for in a few weeks time.  But it would be simpler to buy a few from the supermarket in the same way my mother did.  Something to think about.

This book does have some wonderful vintage illustrations and advertisements (no Swiss Roll) which do add to the overall appeal in that sort of retro modern sort of way. 

I like this book. The recipes are simple and from a time when a cake was a cake.  It’s brief, to the point and very specific.  Nostalgic it is.  Even this hardened migrant background bookseller has some nostalgia for these old school Aussie cakes.  It now remains to be seen whether I go down the path of baking my own or going for shop made (Swiss Roll)… or choosing to go down a completely different cake path.  


1 comment:

  1. Paul Perry AllSorts Books Northcote VicMay 26, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Yes, "nostalgic" is the word.. it's a little over fifty years since I licked those MixMaster beaters!