Gateau has wider applications in French, just as 'cake' does in English..can mean a savoury cake, a sweet or savoury tart, or a thin pancake." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 1999 (p. Choux/ puff paste, sponge, French cremes, Gateau St. As time progressed, baking pans in various shapes and sizes, became readily available to the general public.
Moulded cakes (and fancy ices) reached their zenith in Victorian times.
Thus Artois had gateau razis, and Bournonnais the ancient tartes de fromage broye, de creme et de moyeau d'oeulz.
Hearth cakes are still made in Normandy, Picardy, Poitou and in some provinces in the south of France.
This is due to primarily to advances in technology (more reliable ovens, manufacture/availability of food molds) and ingredient availability (refined sugar). When removed the icing cooled quickly to form a hard, glossy [ice-like] covering.
At that time cake hoops--round molds for shaping cakes that were placed on flat baking trays--were popular. Many cakes made at this time still contained dried fruits (raisins, currants, citrons).
In France, the word 'gateau' designates various patisserie items based on puff pastry, shortcrust pastry (basic pie dough), sweet pastry, pate saglee, choux pastry, Genoese and whisked sponges and meringue...
The word 'gateau' is derived from the Old French wastel, meaning 'food'.In its northeastern Old French dialect from wasel it as borrowed into English in the thirteenth century, where it survived until the seventeenth century." ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2002 (p.138) "The word 'gateau' crossed the Channel to England in the early 19th century...Since the Second World War, however, usage of the term has honed in on an elaborate 'cream cake': the cake element, generally a fairly unremarkable sponge, is in most cases simply an excuse for lavish layers of cream, and baroque cream and fruit ornamentation...The word gateau is the modern French descendant of Old French guastel, 'fine bread'; which is probably of Germanic origin.About cake cake symbolism cake mixes high altitude cake mix icing and frosting cake decorations cake shapes baking papers Pillsbury Bake Off shortening 1234 cake angel food apple sauce cakes baba & savarin banana bread beet cake birthday cake bishop's cake Black Forest cake Blackout cake buche de Noel bundt cake cake pops caramel cake carrot cake checkerboard cake cheesecake chiffon cake chocolate cake chocolate molten lava cake chop suey cake coffee cake cola cakes cranberry bread crazy cake cupcakes danish devil's food diet bread dirt cake dump cake earthquake cake Eccles cake Eggless, milkless, butterless election cake fruitcake galette gateau genoise German chocolate cake Gooey butter cake groom's cake Harvey Wallbanger cake Hostess cup cakes hummingbird cake ice box cake ice cream cake Italian cream cake Japanese fruit cake King cake kolache kuchen kugelhopf Lady Baltimore Cake ladyfingers Lamingtons Lane cake Lord Baltimore Cake madeleines marble cake Mary Ann cakes mayonnaise cake mud cake opera cake Pavlova pineapple upside-down cake poundcake pumpkin bread red devil's food red velvet cake Smith Island cake Snackin Cake sponge cakes & biscuits Stained glass cake torten: Linzer, Dobos & Sacher Texas sheet cake Tipsy parson tomato soup cake Tunnel of Fudge Twelfth Night cakes Twinkies Victoria sandwich cakes wacky cake Washington cakes Watergate cake wedding cake zucchini bread The history of cake dates back to ancient times.