Diwali is like a week away and I actually heard the Christmas bells ring. While on a normal day, this would have been considered weird, but the ‘Cake Mixing Ceremony’, at Hilton Chennai, and their involvement was just totally outstanding.
The age old ceremony of cake mixing starts a few weeks before Christmas is considered to be an usher for good tidings and happiness.
Cake mixing ceremony consists of soaking of several dry fruits and nuts in liquor, fruit juices and rum for several days and sometimes, months in advance.
The tradition, which began in a form of Plum Porridge, started in England. Much before the 16th century, Christians used to fast during the day and on the Christmas Eve, they used to serve a bowl full of porridge. Soon they started adding dried fruits, spices and even honey into the porridge mix.. This gave the world, a recipe for a plum cake. (Thankyou google :P)
To set the ceremony off, we were each handed gloves, aprons and chef caps. There was this massive steel square basim ,candied ginger strips lining the bottom, filled with fruit – raisins, black currants, candied peel, candied cherries, tutti frutti etc.
We armed ourselves with bottles of liquor, ready to tackle the colourful mounds of dry fruits, nuts and spices.
The bottle were emptied in one by one, with warnings on ‘no swigs allowed‘:P
That done, HeadChef got his merry band of men in to complete the mixing as it was now all down to muscle power! A load of fun and a load of work, all amidst great cheer and fervor.
However, nothing beats the smell of dry fruits soaked and spiced in the goodness of liquor.(Everyone seems to enjoy it ) Truly, as the belief goes, it was the harbinger of happiness.
While the fruits will add an element of natural sweetness, the richly dark colour and the intense flavour will come from the liquor added.
The mixture is now going to placed in a secure place to soak in all liquid and mature beautifully in time for Christmas, and will then be used by the in-house bakery to make plum cakes, puddings etc
Hilton had a lobby full of guests at the hotel from across the world and each one was invited to join in, which they did happily! There was lots of cheer, loads of mixing and loads of cameras clicking!!.
Thankyou Anisha Chaturvedi and F&B team for hosting us.
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Su-real-Scribbling a.k.a SruthiRaj