HomeFoodEver Heard of ‘Spit’ Cake? A Tradition In Southern France
Ever Heard of ‘Spit’ Cake? A Tradition In Southern France European Cakes Are Funny
This is a story of a place named Arreau (a small village in South France) and its 200-year-old tradition of baking a cake in a totally different style. Nowadays, we do not require much to bake a cake at home; just a microwave and some ingredients. However, trust me, once you see how people of Arreau bake their cake you will kind of lose interest in your own style of baking.
So, we are talking about “Spit Cake”. I know it does sound a bit gross but then the way this cake is baked you will understand the logic behind the name. Firstly, cake dough is prepared with 120eggs, 3 kg of sugar, 3 kg of melted butter, 1 big bottle of rum and 3 kg of flour. You need to mix all these ingredients slowly and steadily. Pour melted butter slowly and pour in rum at the end. You now have a liquid kind of a mixture; yup our cake dough is ready now. It is pretty obvious that you cannot bake so much of a mixture in a container using a microwave! You need to go absolutely raw with this cake. Sit beside a fire place with a barbeque kind of a setting (have you seen how people roast meat in jungles with the help of wooden logs? something like that).
The cake batter is spit, using a spoon, on a conically shaped mold for about 5-6 hours. It is after some serious hard work of 5-6 hours, you get a traditional spit cake. You need to keep rotating the log with the handle, continuously, for about 5-6 hours.
Now, why we do this is kind of obvious. You cannot just dip a stick into the batter, place it near the fire and bake it (it would become a massive cake with burned outside and uncooked inside).
It is important to select your log/wooden stick on which you will make the cake; the log needs to be untreated and without any trace of any kind of preservative.
It is said that this baking technology was a gift of Napoleonic soldiers to the people of France. This tradition is phasing out slowly but then two regions in France still boast of carrying on the tradition of spit cooking; Hautes-Pyrénées and Aveyron.