Christmas happens to be that time of year when you can feel the elated vibes all around. Being a noob baker, Christmas cake was always fascinating as was the cake mixing process. The enticing aroma of the spices followed by the buttery soft cake is Christmas for me.
But making a Christmas cake is no child’s play. The very essence of the Christmas cake is made about 40 days prior to baking the cake. Mayfair Lagoon & Convention organised a quaint cake mixing ceremony for the people to be a part of this elegant process. Traditionally, cake mixing was a family affair. These days, a variety of hotels are organising cake mixing ceremonies. Cake mixing generally follows some savouries and sweets to devour.
It all started with the Monarchies. They prepared wines and beers to preserve the fresh harvest of nuts and fruits. Cake mixing started in European nations and also symbolises the arrival of harvesting season. This tradition dates back to the 17th century. This English tradition is now adopted by almost all hoteliers and bakeries. The mix uses of about 48 varieties of fruits, nuts, condiments, spices, wine, and liquor in total. No wonder, why the Christmas cake is so amazing!
Nuts like cashew, walnuts, almonds cashews, raisins, walnuts, and pistachios add the crunch. Dry fruits like prunes, candied fruit, dates, figs, black raisins, all type of berries, cherries add the softness to the mix. There is also a significant amount of spices and condiments in the cake mix. These spices include mace, cardamom, cinnamon, honey, and cloves. Spices add a punch of taste and balance out the richness of the dry fruits. All these rich deliciousness is drowned in the goodness of rum, wine, brandy, and whiskey. Each beverage plays a different role in the mixture. This cake mix is mixed by hand by all the people at the ceremony. Wine, brandy, and whiskey swell up the dry fruits with lots of additional flavours. Rum plays the key to preserving the cake mix. The pickling process helps soaking up a lot of flavours which is reflected in the Christmas cake. After the mixing is done, it is stored in a barrel, undisturbed for at least 30 days. The mix is occasionally stirred allowing the fruits to swell up.
This is a pickling process, when the mixed ingredients are allowed to marinate in the juices and beverages for roughly for month before baking can begin. As mentioned earlier it is done with cinnamon, clove, mace, rum,, brandy, whisky, wine, honey, golden syrup, raisin, black raisin, cashew, walnut, almond, candied fruit, cherries, black currant, dates figs and prunes.
All the ingredients are hand cleaned, chopped and soaked in the alcohol stored in a dark room and then baked with a rich buttery batter and voila – the aromatic traditional plum cake. This traditional event was carried out under the watchful eyes of Corporate Chef Nisar, Chef Atish, and Chef Sahoo along with his team in Mayfair – Mama Mia creating a warmth bonding exercise, with merriment.
After a month long fermentation and settling time, the cake mix will be ready and the bakery team busy by dishing out the best aromatic christmas cake. The chef promises the rich, buttery cake with uniform fruit layers in it. Thus the English breakfast is complete with the slice of piquant aromatic – which is a must at Mayfair.
This event bought many communities together. Which was an astounding way of wishing your loved ones to have a fruitful year. LETS MIX THE CAKE – CHRISTMAS IS UPON US.
Inputs by: Apurba and Photos by Tveshaj