Joie de vivre with traditional Christmas cake mixing
The traditional cake mixing ceremony usually starts a few days ahead of Christmas and the winter festivities, ushering in good tidings and happiness for the festive season. Recently, The Imperial, New Delhi had organized this fruit soaking ceremony, all amidst great cheer and festive fervour. The holiday season rang in under the watchful eyes of Executive Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula with his team and few spirited guests, all set to join the festive fun. Massive varieties of candied fruits, fruit peels, assorted nuts, juices, and the all-important spirits like liquor, rum and brandy were used to soak the fruit in and blended joyfully for an exotic dough preparation - to mature beautifully in time for Christmas and to be churned out as Christmas plum cakes, puddings and Stollen by their pastry team.
"The traditional cake mixing ceremony spreads joie de vivre and camaraderie for Christmas. The occasion is incomplete without the traditional Christmas cake and we have always organized this tradition with a lot of enthusiasm. It is an ecstatic moment to watch the guests and chefs participate in the mixing," expressed Vijay Wanchoo, Sr. Executive VP and GM, The Imperial, New Delhi.
Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula-Executive Chef, The Imperial New Delhi said, "Cake is a pre-requisite for settling the liquor in the mix of nuts, fruits and spices, covered with cinnamon. Christmas fun starts with this ceremony which is considered to be a harbinger of good fortune and joyous times." He further said, "This recipe is unique to The Imperial for many decades. The mix of exotic ingredients gets soaked in liquor for at least a month. The more the ingredients get soaked, the better the taste. Unlike other cakes, this traditional one is the most sought-after as it is prepared in a distinct way with mounds and mounds of brown dates, black raisins, red cherries, cashew nuts, topped with powdered cloves, cardamom, ginger peel, lemon peel, orange peel, dry figs, walnuts, apricots, prunes, pistachios, almonds, pepper and other exotic spices, mixed with bottles and bottles of liquor and wine. This will be kept till the dry fruits get fattened on the liquor. Then our chefs will combine flour with this 200 Kgs mixture for the dough to be baked to perfection for 1.2 –1.5 tons of cakes."