Hello all! As you know, Foodie Fridays is a weekly event we hold at Languages United. Each week, one student is tasked to cook a dish native to their home country, for other students (and staff) to enjoy.
However, this week’s Foodie Friday was inspired by traditional British food with shortbread biscuits and rich chocolate cake provided by the lovely Jana.
The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk: the word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.
The history of chocolate cake goes back to 1764, when Dr. James Baker discovered how to make chocolate by grinding cocoa beans between two massive circular millstones. In 1828, Coenraad van Houten of the Netherlands developed a mechanical extraction method for extracting the fat from cacao liquor resulting in cacao butter. The processes transformed chocolate from an exclusive luxury to an inexpensive daily snack. A process for making silkier and smoother chocolate called conching was developed in 1879 by Rodolphe Lindt. In 1886, American cooks began adding chocolate to the cake batter, to make the first chocolate cakes in the US.