There is nothing sweeter than the Christmas season, unless you're talking about delicious desserts. Cakes have been around forever. The word is a derivation of 'kaka', an Old Norse word. Medieval European bakers often made fruitcakes and gingerbread. However, the modern sweet cakes probably first came into being around the 17th century, when round cake molds could be designed and ingredients were more available.
The original Christmas dessert was probably a 14th century porridge called 'frumenty' that was made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. This would often be more like soup and was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities. By 1595, frumenty was slowly changing into a plum pudding and was thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and given more flavor with the addition of beer and spirits. It became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans banned it as a bad custom. Eventually they got over it.
Christmas desserts became more of a fortune-telling tradition. People would bake little treats that were supposed to help predict the upcoming year. Some of the of the items would be:
- Bachelor's Button: If a single man found it, they would be stay single for the following year.
- Spinster's/Old Maid's Thimble: If a single woman found it, they would be stay single for the following year.
- A Ring: If a single person found this, it meant you will get married in the following year! It can also mean you will be rich for the following year
Anyway, there are a bunch of incredible bakers out there making these beautiful Christmas confections for the holiday season. While summer is still hot and the coronavirus keeping us inside, let's get some Christmas cheer with these delightful creations.