It's a cake fete in the city

What's Christmas without cakes? Once upon a time, grandmother's treasured recipes were used to bake cakes for the family. Although many homes in the city still maintain that tradition, many of them opt for readymade cakes in different flavours and shapes to spread the Christmas cheer among friends and relatives.

Rich and tasty

Rum-soaked traditional rich plum cakes filled with raisins, nuts and dry fruits have competition as a wide variety of chocolate cakes and fresh crème cakes have customers queuing up for more. All the various bake houses and hotels have rolled up their sleeves to ensure that the season is a cakewalk for them. “Action begins months in advance when the fruits are cleaned, dried and soaked in rum,” says Cuckoo Vinod, who runs Ambrosia.

The icing on the cake is that for this season, Ambrosia has brought in two chefs from Bangalore who will do fresh crème icing and decorate the cakes right in front of the customers, at their outlet in Kowdiar. An ongoing cake festival at both the outlets of Ambrosia (Kowdiar and Bakery Junction) has a range of new flavours. Cuckoo says that chocolate cakes such as Premium Black Forest, Real Truffle, Truffle Exotica, Strawberry Blast, Irish Coffee, Real Milk Chocolate and so on, are much in demand and so are plum cakes with fondant icing. “Corporate and families place bulk orders for our plum cakes that come in a gift box and in tins as well,” she adds.

Plum cakes with glace icing are the best sellers at All Spice, says its proprietor Amina Musaliyar. Orders are placed days in advance for these cakes, she adds. Their specialities include Casata (which is ice cream sandwiched in layers of cake) and a different version of Black Forest that has both vanilla and chocolate layers.“All the cakes at All Spice are alcohol free. Supreme Classic is a cake we make only for Christmas. It is my mother's recipe and this rich plum cake has only figs and nuts in it,” she explains.

Its cakes, cakes and more cakes at Square One Talents' Christmas fair at Little Flower Hall. There are cakes shaped like a snowman, Santa, and Christmas trees, to name a few. However, you need to order ahead for cakes in such fancy shapes. For those who came in late, some of the iced cakes at the fiesta look ‘Christmasy' as most of them have Christmas motifs on it. And it is not just plum cakes that are on sale, there are butterscotch cakes, banana cakes, caramel cakes, chocolate cakes, citrus glaze cakes, and coffee walnut cakes… Miniature caramel cakes in shapes of Santa and Gingerbread men are priced at Rs. 50 for each piece of cake. The fair is on until December 24.

Chocoholic haven

St. Michels, one of the oldest bakeries in town, offers three varieties of fruit cake: rich fruit cake, rum and raisin cake and Dundee cake (Euro plum cake). Tea cakes and Chocolate cakes with different flavours of butter cream are available as are black forest and white forest cakes and St. Michels' signature Black Forest cake. The Swiss Chocolate Crème is a chocoholic's heaven. It is a rich dark chocolate cake layered with Belgian chocolate and coated with Swiss chocolate. You can also choose from amongst Orange-almond cake, Marble cake, Devil food cake, and the like. All cakes are available until January 1.

Taj Green Cove, Kovalam, and The Leela, Kovalam, start preparing for Christmas a month in advance. Each year, they conduct a cake mixing ceremony in the month of November. The fruits used for the batter of the cake are mixed with alcohol and spices during the ceremony. According to the chefs of the hotels, the fruits and nuts are mixed a month ahead “so that the cakes will turn a delight when baked.” There is a choice of plum pudding and plum cake. Plum pudding is available at The Leela. While the plum pudding is steamed (similar to a traditional English plum cake), the plum cake is baked.

If cookies are your weakness, then you have a range to choose from at The Leela. There is gingerbread cookies, cinnamon star cookies, and Chocolate crackle… Taj offers a choice of butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Those who want to indulge or gift someone chocolates can pick them up at both these places.

Rainbow cake

Joan's Rainbow cake in Aashiq Abu's Salt n' Pepper seems to have inspired some of the bakers in the city to come up with rainbow-flavoured cakes of their own. If some are a two-tier cake of orange and pineapple, others have three layers – chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla. Most of the bakeries let you choose your favourite flavours for the layers.

Keywords: Christmasplum cakes

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