I have a sweet tooth, which means I like eating chocolate, cakes, biscuits and anything sweet. So, recording a podcast about cakes and pastries is the icing on the cake for me. It’s doing three really enjoyable things together!
A podcast on pastries and cakes. Pilar from France is working in a pastry shop and would like some vocabulary to sweeten up her English!
Coffee and Cafe Culture https://www.inglespodcast.com/193
Cooking Vocabulary and Our Favourite Food https://www.inglespodcast.com/142
Cakes and Pastries – what’s the difference?
Cakes are soft, sweet and moist and are often served as desserts. Cakes are often iced and decorated. Examples include; chocolate cake, Victoria sponge and carrot cake.
Cake can be a countable or uncountable noun (half a dozen small cakes / a slice or a piece of cake)
Pastries can be sweet or savory and often have a flaky and layered texture. Examples include; croissants, danishes, and puff pastries.
The difference is in the ingredients, texture, and preparation methods used.
Cupcake: A small, individual cake often with decorative icing or frosting on top.
What’s the difference between icing and frosting?
Frosting is thicker, creamier, and used for coating and decorating cakes.
Icing is thinner, often used for glazing and decorating cookies and also cakes. It tends to set and harden as it dries. It’s traditionally used to stop the cake from becoming dry.
Ganache – Ganache is a rich and luxurious chocolate mixture. It is made by combining chocolate with cream.
Do you have a sweet tooth?
Brownie: A dense, chewy, and chocolatey square.
If you had a scoop of ice cream with your brownie, what flavour would you choose?
Cheesecake: A rich and creamy dessert made with a crust and a filling primarily consisting of cream cheese, eggs, and sugar.
Do you like your cheesecakes with a crumbly crust?
Lemon tart/pie: A pastry dessert with a buttery crust filled with tangy lemon-flavored custard.
As easy as pie (US) – something that is very easy to do.
Do you think baking cakes is as easy as pie?
A piece of cake (UK)
Fruitcake: A dense cake filled with candied or dried fruits, nuts, and spices.
To be as nutty as a fruitcake: Referring to someone who is eccentric or unusual.
Example: “He’s as nutty as a fruitcake with all his strange habits.”
Scone: Popular in the UK and Ireland. Scones resemble a small, slightly sweet or savory biscuit, often served with tea and (clotted) cream.
Do you like your scones with jam and a dollop of whipped cream?
Muffin: A small, round, and typically sweet baked bread product, often containing fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips.
Muffin or Cupcake – what’s the difference?
A cupcake is a cake in a cup! Cupcakes tend to have more sugar and so they’re a lot sweeter than muffins. They also tend to be decorated with frosting.
Muffins often have fillings like jam, chocolate, nuts or fruit and are more popular as a breakfast option. The way they are made is different, too. Cupcakes tend to have more air in the sponge and muffins are more dense.
Croissant: A buttery, flaky, and crescent-shaped pastry of French origin, typically enjoyed for breakfast.
Danish pastry: A sweet, layered pastry often filled with fruit, cheese, or nuts, and topped with icing or glaze.
The Danish originated in Vienna and was brought to Denmark in the mid-1800s due to a strike among bakery workers that pushed Danish bakery owners to hire workers from abroad. Among the bakers that were hired, some were Austrian and brought their own recipes to Denmark.
Eclair: A long, thin pastry filled with cream and typically covered in chocolate icing.
The éclair originated during the nineteenth century in Lyon, France.
Puff pastry: A light, flaky pastry made by repeatedly folding and rolling layers of dough and butter.
Puff pastry comes from France. It was invented in 1645 by Claudius Gele, a pastry cook apprentice. He wanted to bake an improved bread for his father who was sick and was on a diet of flour, butter and water.
Strudel: A traditional European pastry made of thin layers of dough filled with fruit, nuts, or sweetened cheese.
Strudel comes from the German word Strudel, which means “whirlpool”.
Baklava: A sweet pastry of Middle Eastern origin made of layers of phyllo dough/filo pastry, nuts, and honey or syrup.
Baklava is originally from Turkey, Greece, and the Middle East, but it was brought to Hungary by Turkish invaders during the 16th century.
Cannoli: An Italian pastry (originally from Sicily) consisting of a tube-shaped shell filled with sweetened ricotta cheese.
“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
―Peter Clemenza (Godfather 1)
Cinnamon roll: A sweet roll made from rolled dough filled with cinnamon, sugar, and butter, often topped with icing.
The cinnamon rolls we know today are thought to have originated in Sweden.
Jam/Jelly (Swiss) roll: A sponge cake rolled with a layer of jelly or jam, commonly served as a dessert.
Tiramisu: An Italian dessert made with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese, dusted with cocoa powder.
Tiramisù originated in Treviso in 1800. It is said that this dessert was invented by a woman who was working in a house of pleasure in the centre of Treviso.
Pound cake: Created in England during the 1700s. A dense, rich cake traditionally made with a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.
Black forest gateau: A German dessert consisting of layers of chocolate sponge cake, cherries, and whipped cream.
The Black Forest is a region in southwestern Germany that borders the Alsace region of France. In 1915, a pastry chef named Josef Keller is said to have made the first Black Forest cake in his tearoom in Bad Godesberg.
Fifteens: a classic tray bake, very typical of Northern Ireland, (which Reza has a soft spot for!) Most people from Great Britain have never heard of it, but it is very popular in Belfast. It consists of 15 digestive biscuits, 15 marshmallows, 15 glacé cherries, some condensed milk and a sprinkling of desiccated coconut.
Recording this podcast today was a piece of cake!
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. What is your favourite treat? Do you lean more towards sweet or savoury?
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In next week’s episode: Saint James’s Way – El Camino de Santiago
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