In the mood for merrymaking- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

CHENNAI : As the chilly winds of December blow into town with the promise of a prosperous new year, the scent of sugary treats and goodies baking in ovens wafts from bustling kitchens worldwide. After all, no Christmas celebration is complete without the fruity delight of a plum cake topped with white frosting. As seen in our grandmothers’ handy recipes and the bakers’ precise cookbook, all plum cakes must be mixed with a sizeable amount of dry fruits, a splash of liquor, and dashes of love.

In the spirit of celebrations, armed with 50 kilos of dry fruits and 30 litres of liquor, Hotel Ambica Empire in Vadapalani held a cake-making ceremony on Thursday. Inside the grand lobby, visitors were greeted by Christmas trees strung up with lights, sparkling bottles of rum and wine, and the sugary aromas. Within three silver trays, colourful dry fruits, such as raisins and tutti-frutti, and nuts like rich almonds and walnuts, were painstakingly decorated into a Christmas tree and shaped a line wishing guests a Merry Christmas. While the pandemic halted festivities the past few years, Hotel Ambica Empire — which has a legacy spanning 25 years — hopes to revive its celebrations.

“This is the first celebration we are conducting after our renovation. During the cake-mixing ceremony, we will mix dry fruits and nuts and preserve the mixture in our kitchen. Before Christmas, we will use the mixture for the preparation of plum cakes. It will be used before, after, and during Christmas and also for New Year,” says general manager R Kalathinathan, urging citizens to visit the hotel to partake in the celebrations. Actor-singer Mano and music director Sirpi graced the event. 

December is a month of joy and a season of harvest. As Aditya Prakash Singh, food and beverage manager, explains, “The cake mixing started in the 17th century AD. With these nuts, people make plum cakes, and this mixture for the plum cake can be soaked for one to two weeks.”

This mixture, Chef Ravichandran adds, will result in over moist, delightful 300 cakes of 100 kg for the holiday season. Apart from chilly winds, this season also brings bountiful cakes and treats.

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