Cake appareill: The real life story of the ‘real’ Baoa Bao
Cake appallill is a new book about the life of a Chinese man who is famous for the creation of a cake that was the first commercially sold cake in Britain.
His real name is Zhang Guozhen, and his family moved to the UK from Hong Kong after his father’s death in 1950.
In this book, the author, a food historian at the University of Cambridge, explores the history of the British Bake Off, the history behind the original recipe and the creation process behind the famous Baoabao cake.
“It’s a fantastic story, it has been covered in books, on TV shows and online, but it’s one of the rare occasions when it is actually brought to life,” he said.
Zhang Guoqhen was born in 1949 in the small town of Zhejiang, in the province of Henan.
His father died when he was only 14 years old, and Zhang Guojie had a difficult upbringing.
Zhang’s mother died when Zhang was a teenager, and he spent his time with his mother’s relatives.
His grandmother died when his father was aged 65, and the family had to leave their hometown.
Zhang was sent to a family farm in Chongqing in the north of China, and after a short time he made a cake for his mother.
It is a traditional Chinese dish made from the skins of a pig and eggs.
The first batch was given away as a gift to Zhang’s grandmother, but Zhang said it was only in the early 1960s when his grandmother decided to buy the recipe.
“She had always loved the cake and wanted to share it with me, so I made it myself,” Zhang said.
“But the recipe was never published because the authorities were afraid it would lead to trouble.”
Zhang’s grandfather also died when the family was in the UK, so Zhang had to learn to make the cakes himself.
After the first batch of cakes sold out, he continued to make cakes, and at the age of 14, Zhang Guoyan decided to try making a cake of his own.
“I was 15, and I had never made cakes before.
I started out by buying pieces of cake that I could use and making my own cakes,” he recalled.
“Then I thought, why not try a different type of cake?
I found out from my grandmother that the Chinese people loved to make desserts and I was thinking, ‘What’s a dessert?'”
Zhang’s first attempt was a cake with the Chinese characters “yuan” (rice) written on it, and “jian” (chocolate) on the outside.
It was his idea to make a cake made from egg yolk and custard powder.
“This was the original idea of my grandmother and the people of Chongqed,” Zhang Guoguang said.
After some trial and error, Zhang found out that custard was very hard to find in Britain and so he decided to make it himself.
Zhang then got to work creating the recipe for the original Baoajun cake, and it was the same recipe that was featured on the show.
Zhang said he had “never thought of the recipe” before when he first made the original cake.
He said the process took him about three hours.
“After this, I realised that the cake itself was a recipe, and that I had to understand the basic ingredients,” Zhang added.
Zhang found a Chinese company who produced the custard and eggs for the Baoajiun cake and he was told that it was one of his favourites.
“They were extremely helpful in understanding the recipe, they were very professional and we all had a great time,” he added.
“When I came to the conclusion that it had to be done, I was very happy.”
After his first batch sold out and Zhang had already started making the Baosan cakes, he went back to China and started making more of his cakes.
He made the first Baoaa Bao in 1976 and it is believed that his cake has sold over 100,000 cakes worldwide.
Zhang now lives in the south-western Chinese city of Chongjin and he works as a pastry chef at a restaurant in Hong Kong.
Zhang is very proud of his Baoas, and said they were his favourite.
“There are many Baoais that are more popular in HongKong and Hong Kong, and they are all really delicious.
I’m very proud to be a part of the Baaas tradition,” he told BBC Sport.