Bakers on a roll

Oven Fresh

Bakers on a roll

Christmas is almost here and people are busy whipping up the batter to make hot cakes for the season. While most of them are sticking to traditional recipes in plum cakes, others are adding a twist to the same to make each bite irresistible.

Dorothy Victor, who has been baking cakes for two decades, loves the traditional plum cake. “Christmas cake is always the plum cake. The excitement of making it kicks in  by November end when I soak the fruits in rum,” she says.  She uses sultanas, cashews, and fruit peels like orange for tanginess and also ginger peels.

“Mixed fruits are available readily in the market. Tutti-fruity is also added to give colour and make it delicious.” She says making the caramel perfectly for the recipe is a challenge. “One has to burn it on slow fire and make sure it doesn’t solidify. Getting the right temperature to bake comes only after a few attempts.”

There are bakers like Katherene Deborah, who love baking for their families. “Although the season calls for plum cakes, I don’t usually bake them. I make Christmas puddings in cupcakes and theme-cupcakes and cakes. For the cakes I make, I use flavours like chocolate, peppermint, cinnamon and ginger,” says Katherene. She adds that she uses frosting made from cooked marzipan, chocolate ganache or cinnamon buttercream.

   Michelle Gafoor, who loves spreading the magic of the season by gifting rich plum cake, says that her house looks like a little bakery during the season. “I only bake during Christmas time. It is a family recipe which my mother got from her grandmother. This dark coloured fruity cake is made of minced or candied mixed peel, dry fruits with fruit jams, marmalade, caramelised sugar, which is blended into a mixture of minced walnuts and almonds,” she says.

There are Bengalureans like Vinesh Johny, a chef by profession, who give their own special touch to the traditional recipe. “We make the cake-making a family event. I bake the cakes with my brother Shailesh. We use the ‘melt-in’ method to make the cake.  Ingredients like butter, sugar etc are melted and then the fruits and flour are added, which makes for a liquid batter. This keeps the cake moist,” says Vinesh. He adds that they bake the cake two weeks before Christmas and every three days brush the top of the cake with a little rum. “We let the cake mature for a while, which adds to the taste,” he says.

Some like Marina Reberro make plum cakes and sponge cakes for the season. She says that the marination is the secret behind the tasty creations. “The ingredients are the usual ones, but they are soaked for long in brandy and rum,” she says. The cakes are made plain and with icing according to preferences. “We also make sponge cakes in pineapple or vanilla flavour. We usually avoid icing on the sponge cake as it becomes too sweet then,” she sums up.

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