Christmas Cake Mixing is a ritual that follows a definite process of putting the elaborate ingredients together, mixing them and then waiting till the mixture is ready for baking and distributing to friends, family and relatives. It has its own history and over time, has become an inseparable for Christmas celebrations. Cake-mixing is a harbinger of good tidings and happiness.
The ceremony also marks the arrival of the harvest season. During this time, lots of fruits and nuts were harvested and used in the making of the traditional plum cake. The stirring ceremony is part of an age-old Christmas tradition of cake mixing and one making wishes for the New Year. The ingredients of the festive fruit cake are mixed with wine, fruit juice and liquor in advance so that the ingredients can develop aroma and taste. Originally a family affair, now been celebrated within organizations to spread camaraderie and goodwill.
Chef Radha from Deli Cafe & Chef Rabi, from the bakery unit, Empires Bhubaneswar opined: Christmas cakes were made in many different ways, but generally they are variations on classic fruitcake. They can be light, dark, moist, dry, heavy, spongy, leavened, unleavened, and more. They are made in many different shapes, with frosting, glazing, a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or plain. The traditional Scottish Christmas cake, also known as the Whisky Dundee, is very popular. It is a light crumbly cake with currants, raisins, cherries and Scotch whisky. Other types of Christmas cakes include an apple crème cake and a mincemeat cake. The apple crème cake is made with apples, other fruit, raisins, eggs, cream cheese and whipping cream. The mincemeat cake is made with traditional mincemeat or vegetarian mincemeat, flour, eggs, etc. It can also be steamed as a Christmas pudding.
The trick with a great Christmas cake is in the timing. All Christmas cakes are made in advance. Many make them in November, keeping the cake upside down in an airtight container. A small amount of brandy, sherry or whisky is poured into holes in the cake every week until Christmas. This process is called ‘feeding’ the cake.
In Japan, Christmas cake is a frosted sponge cake with strawberries, chocolates or seasonal fruit and in the Philippines, Christmas cake is a yellow pound cake with nuts or the traditional British fruitcake. Both cakes are soaked in brandy or rum, a palm sugar syrup and water. Rosewater or orange flower water is usually added.
The Empires carried on this tradition in a fantastic manner.