26 November

National Cake Day

Upside-Down Raspberry Cheesecake

So we are drinking an...

Upside-Down Raspberry Cheesecake

In the words of Boris Johnson, "My policy on cake is pro having it, and pro eating it" - unless of course it's your birthday, in Downing Street, during lockdown.

'Cakegate' aside, surely there isn't a single person on the planet who doesn't love a delicious slice of cake? We use cake to celebrate some of life's biggest celebrations – birthdays, weddings, christenings, even funerals. So where did cake come from?

Cake comes from the Viking Old Norse word, 'Kaka', and cake during these times was more bread-like. Birthday cake is thought to have been a tradition started by the ancient Greeks, who liked to celebrate the birthdays of their gods and goddesses. It was tradition to bake a round cake for the goddess Artemis, to symbolise the moon, and it's even thought that candles were added so the cake took on a moonlike glow.

Queen Victoria had a notoriously sweet tooth and her wedding cake made history in several ways. She was the first to use pure white icing on her wedding cake, which is why it's now known as royal icing. Her cake was so impressive, it was a staggering 3 yards wide and weighed 300lbs.

Nowadays, the UK spends £368 million a year on cakes. So settle down with a big slice of your favourite kind of cake. We settled for an Upside-down Raspberry Cheesecake.

And Casablanca premiered this day

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine..." Casablanca, a movie that still routinely tops lists of the best films of all time, premiered on this very day in 1942 (it was released on 23rd January 1943 in America).

The love triangle between cynical bar owner Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart, Resistance heroine Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Heinreid) has aged remarkably well. As befits a movie that received nine Oscar nominations in 1943 and won three statuettes, it has also inspired a number of cocktails.

Curl up with a copy of the film and one of our favourite Casablanca cocktails, the Casablanca, a tangy blend of rum, citrus and maraschino. "Play it, Sam."

It's the anniversary of The Crime Of The Century

Just after dawn on this day in 1983, six armed men broke into a warehouse at London's Heathrow airport, and committed what many considered the crime of the century - the Brink's-MAT bullion robbery.

They'd been hoping for £3 million in cash - an enormous sum in those days. But, after tying up the guards and dousing them in petrol, they found gold bullion worth almost £28 million then, or around £500 million today, plus diamonds, travellers' cheques and cash.

None of the men involved in the robbery knew what to do with all this gold, so they had to involve criminals from elsewhere: some claim that the gold was scattered so far and wide that most people wearing gold jewellery made in the UK after 1983 are wearing Brink's-MAT gold.

Much of the gold, some believe, is still buried - and 19 men involved in the crime and its aftermath have since been murdered. We are commemorating the allure of gold with a Gold Rush.

Anniversary of explorers entering Tutankhamun's tomb

It's hard to imagine a world without horror movie mummies, a genre that the archaeologist Howard Carter unwittingly spawned when he found a way into the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.

Tutankhamun himself was a boy king of ancient Egypt, who lived almost 3500 years ago. The product of incest between King Akhenaten and one of his five sisters, he went on to have two miscarriages with his sister. Tutankhamun was buried, with two fetuses, most likely his own children, along with his iconic death mask.

A spate of early deaths among people involved with the expedition - two died the next year - gave rise to a general belief in the Mummy's Curse that continues in some circles, although Carter himself lived to age 64.

A Pyramid Punch should scare all the ghosts away. It's our own take on the legendary Pisco Punch.

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