Christmas can only be complete with a Christmas tree, plum cake and the potent pudding. The most popular dessert is the traditional plum cake. However, making it is not easy, as it requires long planning and cannot be baked overnight. The making of a plum cake includes mixing all the delicious ingredients together and storing them until it is ready for baking.
All the rich dry fruits, candies and raisins that go in the cake, actually need to be soaked in alcohol for a minimum of three months before it can be put in the cake. The goodies need to be marinated very well. This year star hotels across the country have been organising the celebratory cake mixing event. The cake-mixing ritual has been popular since 1930s but in the recent times it has become more like a ceremony and social gathering.
The table is usually decorated with dry fruits candied fruits like orange rind, lemon peel, candied cherries and tutti fruitti. Along with these fruits, cinnamon and ginger powder is soaked into a huge amount of alcohol, which includes vodka, rum and brandy. For every kilogram of fruits around 400 ml of alcohol is needed.
These are all mixed up together and stored in food grade plastic containers for one year. Basically fruits mixed in 2018, will be used for the 2019 cake. Since the period is one year, wines and beer is not used in the mixing as they have a shorter shelf life once opened. Chef Ravi of Taj Coromandel shares desserts that can be made at home overnight instead, that are hot sellers during Christmas parties.
Almond cake (makes 6 servings)
(for almond marzipan)
- 350 gm almond
- 140 gm icing sugar
- 7 ml almond extract (few drops)
(for the cake)
- Almond marzipan which was prepared
- 135 gm melted butter
- 6 eggs
(for butter cream topping)
- 140 gm softened butter
- 280 gm icing sugar
- 2 tsp milk
(for garnishing with caramel almonds)
- Almond flakes,1 egg white
- Castor sugar for dusting
(for the marzipan)
- Blanch the almond, peel the skin. Blend the almond with icing sugar to form into paste.
(for the cake)
- Soften the marzipan in microwave for 30 seconds
- Then beat the marzipan and keep adding eggs to it, one at a time
- Add in the butter to the mixture. Grease the mold and pour mixture into it.
- Bake at 1600 for 20 minutes. Once done, demold and keep aside till it cools.
- (for butter cream topping)
- Beat all the three ingredients, till fluffy.
(for caramel almonds)
- Take some almond flakes, roll them in egg white and top with castor sugar
- Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Let it cool.
- While serving, take the cake, pour butter cream and garnish with almonds.
Plum Pudding (makes 12-14 servings)
(for the pudding)
- 250 gm butter
- 125 gm refined flour
- 125 gm bread crumbs
- 300 gm sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 kg dry fruits of choice, soaked in alcohol (vodka, rum or brandy) for long enough to flavour them
- 1 apple, finely chopped
(for the brand custard sauce)
- 55 gm butter
- 55 gm flour
- 570 ml milk
- 55 gm sugar
- 60 ml brandy
(for the pudding)
- Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg and refined flour to it and mix well. Combine the bread crumbs to it and mix again.
- Now add the mixed dry fruit along with apple
- Mix well and pour it in the pudding mold.
- Pre heat the oven at 1600 and place a baking tray with water in it.
- Place the pudding molds in the baking tray and bake for 150 minutes.
- Once done, remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Demold the pudding and keep aside.
(for the sauce)
- Heat the butter on a low flame till it melts.
- Add in the flour and let it cook for two minutes. Add the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil till it becomes thick.
- Remove from the flame, and add in the brandy.
- Once cool, pour over the pudding and serve.
Pumpkin pie (makes 12-14 servings)
(for pie crust)
- 50 gm butter
- 700 gm refined flour
- 500 gm sugar
- 12 egg
- 5 gm clove powder
(for pie filling)
- 750 gm pumpkin paste (finely chop the pumpkin and mash it)
- 1400 gm castor sugar
- 2.5 gm salt
- 2.5 gm nutmeg powder
- 5 gm cinnamon powder
- 2 eggs
- 25 gm melted butter
- 175 ml milk
(for the crust)
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Add egg and combine the refined flour and clove powder to it, and mix until a doughy texture is formed. Set aside.
- Grease a pie mold and place the dough in it and press well till it takes the shape of the mold.
(for the filling)
- Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour the filling in the pie mold .
- Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 1700 for 25 minutes.
- Serve after it cools down.
(Recipes by Ravi Varma, pastry chef)...