Tis’ Christmas time and the cheerful festival reminds you of many things like the most famous carol Jingle Bells, Santa Claus and his gifts, beautifully decorated Christmas trees looking just perfect with colourful bells, balls and small gift boxes. Beyond everything, it is the cake that everyone looks forward to the entire year.
The traditional Christmas plum cake is made in many households. While everyone has their own secret recipes to make this delicacy, the most common type is the rum-infused fruit cake. Fruits like exotic raisins, black currants, plums, apricots, cherries, dates and candied fruit peel are soaked in rum and a mix of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc for months together to give the cake a nice boozy flavour.
“The fruits for the Classic English Christmas cake are soaked in a mix of the rum which is just a couple of months old and a very old rum, so there is a balance,” shares Veena Sastry who runs a pizzeria called Mama Mia Italia in Sainikpuri. These soaked fruits are baked slowly in a batter comprising crushed almonds, lemon or orange zest, and imported black treacle with sulphur free sugar. While Rum cake is the most famous during the festive season, there are some who also make wine infused cakes.
These cakes are mostly made with sweet red wine or sula. “Wine cakes are also made in a similar manner like the rum ones. The rum cakes are loaded with fruit whereas the wine cakes don’t have to use so much of fruits. In rum, we put double the fruits when compared to the egg and flour,” shares Jacqueline Nicholas who used to make Wine cakes. Some vanilla essence and cut almonds can be added to the cakes to give it that additional taste.
While others use caramel to bring the dark brown colour to the cake. “I also plan to make cakes with jaggery powder instead of sugar to make it healthier as suggested by many of my doctor friends,” says Jacqueline who plans to make this change mostly this New Year. So this Christmas season, forget counting the calories and bite into some delicious cakes whipped by these ladies around the city. Don’t wait for the day, but just grab them before someone else lays their eyes on them.