Journal Entry

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Week of Cakes

For fifty-one weeks of the year, we bake no cakes.

Then comes Aviva and Noah's birthdays. They are one day apart. So we have:

  • cake for family party on Aviva's actual birthday
  • cake for Aviva to take to school
  • cake for family party on Noah's actual birthday
  • cake for Noah to take to school
  • cake(s) for Aviva's kids' party on weekend (8 invited kids this year, possible parents and siblings in tow )
  • cake(s) for Noah's kids' party on weekend (5 invited kids this year, possible parents and siblings in tow )
  • possible cake for adult party on weekend evening
    • or maybe they'll just have the leftovers

Conversation with Noah this morning:

Me: So do you like fluffy light cakes or rich thick cakes? Like Angel's food cake or like brownies?

Noah: Rich thick cakes!
(calling from room after I have left) No! Wait! Angel's food cake!

Me (returning): Why did you change your mind?

Noah: I never had it before.

Me: Okay. So, but chocolate, right? So Devil's food cake.

Noah: Why Devil's food cake?

Me: Because angel's food cake is vanilla. Devil's food cake is chocolate.

Noah: Why?


Me: Racism.


Me: Should we call them something else instead?

Noah: Double's food cake!

Me: Double's food cake it is.

Posted by benrosen at December 18, 2008 10:34 AM | Up to blog

I would argue that Angel's Food has a pleasant and somewhat bland taste that invites a moderate, measured approach to eating. While Devil's Food offers a delicious, not to say addictive, chocolate flavor that tempts one into gluttony and sloth. But perhaps my reading of the terms is informed by palate bias.

Posted by: Karen at December 18, 2008 02:14 PM

Well of course the chocolate cake is going to be called double's food cake. Since it's chocolate, you'll be eating twice as much as that vanilla cake.


Posted by: Joseph Charpak at December 18, 2008 05:06 PM

I like how Devil's food cake is listed in the Dessert Bible -

As it should be, of course.

That's a lot of cakes. Coen's birthday is on the 16th and my mother usually comes to show off her grandmothering skills by making an insanely ornate cake. Ah - I have a picture:

Posted by: Ben Parzybok at December 18, 2008 07:03 PM

Oh for goodness sakes it's not racism; Devil's Food Cake has more calories and it's more fattening.

It's, um, sizeism. Or whatever that ism is where you confuse thinness with virtue.

Posted by: haddayr at December 18, 2008 07:34 PM

I always thought the Angel's Food/Devil's Food cake paradigm was centered around the concept of Aristotelian matter.

The Angel's Food cake contains more air, which means, according to Aristotle, it has an inclination to rise heavenward.

The denser Devil's Food cake meanwhile contains heavier forms of matter and thus wishes to sink to the depths of the earth (Hades).

Wikipedia sort-of backs me up: it claims that Angel's Food cake was named so because of its airiness and its white color; Devil's Food cake was named so because it came out at about the same time and may have possibly been originally red (Red Velvet and Devil's Food cakes apparently took a while to differentiate).

Posted by: jamesG at December 18, 2008 08:14 PM

I'm not sure double's food is much better.

Posted by: David Moles at December 19, 2008 04:04 PM

And what does that make angel food? Singles' food cake?

Posted by: David Moles at December 19, 2008 04:14 PM

Well, technically a devil's food cake is made with cocoa, not chocolate (cakes made with chocolate are aptly named "chocolate cakes" :).

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