When you’re told to shelter in place, you have to find creative ways to entertain yourself at home. Some people are spending more time with loved ones as they shelter in place together, others are finding time to clean and organize their homes, and yet others are finding this to be the perfect time to test out their baking and cooking skills. That’s where we come in! Baking and cooking may be a drag to some, but we find it fun, comforting, and relaxing. If a lack of baking supplies and ingredients at local stores are any kind of indicator, a lot of people share our sentiments! So, let’s take a look at what kind of goodies have been trending during shelter-in-place, shall we? Last week, it was all about Dalgona coffee. This week? Quarantine cakes!
Have your cake and eat it too? Gladly! Can we all just agree that there’s no reason not to have cake? Whether it’s to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, a special occasion, or a holiday, cakes seem to be the centerpiece of celebrations. But where did this tradition of eating a cake for special occasions originate anyway? Let’s narrow it down to birthdays, shall we? The tradition of eating cake to celebrate a birthday is thought to have originated in Germany, but it was more for celebrating children’s birthdays, and the occasion wasn’t called a birthday but kinderfest. Today, cakes are synonymous with celebration, but recent trends indicate that cakes are also a vehicle for reminding people to do stuff. What?!?! Well, it does make sense; you can catch more flies with honey, after all! Let us explain. In times of shelter-in-place, it’s important to check in on loved ones and show them you care. One way people are showing they care is through quarantine cakes. Whether purchased and delivered or made and Instagrammed, quarantine cakes are cakes that taste as yummy as they look and are topped with nice messages like “Wash your hands” or “Don’t touch your face.” Brilliant, right? What better way to send gentle and life-saving reminders to loved ones? We couldn’t think of any, could you?
If you could send a message to someone on a quarantine cake, what would it say? Share your cake-topping quarantine message with us by emailing email@example.com.
Oh, coffee, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You might be too young to drink coffee, but ask your parents about their favorite pick-me-up drink and it might just be—well—coffee! Well, there’s coffee, and then there’s the quarantine-trending dalgona. While the name of this drink may sound like it comes from Harry Potter’s Daigon Alley, we assure you, it’s not. Dalgona is a whipped coffee drink that originated in South Korea. What’s great about this drink is that it doesn’t take long to make and it only requires four ingredients: instant coffee, sugar, milk, and water. The result of these ingredients pulled together is a glass of perfectly combined flavors of a sweet and creamy coffee-like dessert drink that’s as pretty as it is tasty. Not in to coffee? Not to worry! As with all tasty trends, people like to add their own twist. Instead of instant coffee, for example, some are using matcha powder and others cocoa powder. It’s all about experimenting with ingredients, AMIRITE?
Historians believe that sourdough bread actually originated from Egypt, but if you’ve ever visited San Francisco, you’d think that it started there! Hot clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl on a foggy evening along the wharf of San Francisco? Yes, please! But despite our love of San Francisco (Xyza started there, after all!), sourdough bread is actually a beloved type of bread around the world. Why? It’s that unique sour taste that gives it its interesting flavor. So while all kinds of bread baking have been trending, sourdough seems to take the cake when it comes to shelter-in-place baking.
There are all sorts of sourdough recipes, but the key ingredient to sourdough bread is a starter. What is a starter, you might be wondering? In baking, a starter is a mixture of flour and water that sits out in room temperature for a few days so that all of the active microorganisms (or yeast!) make it into a sponge-like concoction. Not only is it a fun science experiment, it’s also an active, or live, ingredient that can be used for a long period of time if treated and maintained correctly. That’s why a starter is a gift that keeps on giving. It can give so much, in fact, that people are giving it away! From bakeries offering customers starters to take home for free, to home bakers leaving starters in shared community spaces, starters are popping up everywhere. Are we seeing a sourdough starter pay-it-forward movement? Perhaps!
Have you baked a sourdough bread or made a starter recently? We’d love to see it. Share a picture of your starter or sourdough bread with a caption and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.