Here is a unique heirloom recipe shared by Ratna De, an expert baker whose Christmas cakes have always been a hit. Her cakes and bakes are one of the most awaited events of the holiday season. She shares with me her traditional recipe that she had learnt ages ago and improvised over a period of time.
To me there is no better way than having my dearest friend’s recipe, to kickstart my Christmas posts on Wandering Mist. The absence of clinical measurements and precision is hallmark of heirloom recipes. You will have to make do with vague measures such as handful, flour: egg ratio, and more. Be patient enough to make the cake for it is worth every bite. The unique flavours imparted by the garam masala, petha, nuts and caramelised sugar, makes this recipe stand out from the rest. Here is how you make your Christmas Cake with masala and batter.
For the Soaked Nuts and Fruit Masala Mixture:
The masala mixture is for soaking as long as you want or until the ingredients start to float. This usually happens within a fortnight.
Finely chopped Walnuts, Cashew-nuts, Sultanas, Raisins, Candied Orange Peel, Candied Ginger & Petha (ash gourd), and anything else that you like. Soak the above ingredients in brandy, wine or rum. Absolute teetotalers have tried soaking the mixture in Pepsi and Coke.
For the regular cake batter:
Maida or Refined Flour – 1 cup
Eggs – 4-5
White Butter – 1 stick (non-salted)
Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp
Brown Colored Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp (brown imparts the deep color to the cake)
Sugar – 3/4 Cup and much as you like. Its great to caramelise it
Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp (such as cinnamon, cardamom and cloves)
How to Make this Rich Christmas Cake:
1) Set your oven to your cake baking temperature for 10 minutes. I usually keep it at 180 degrees Celsius.
2) Sift the flour with baking powder. The quantity of baking powder is reduced to make a heavy dense cake instead of a risen one.
3) Caramelize the sugar by adding little water to the sugar over low flame. Keep the golden sugary syrup aside.
4) Beat the eggs till fluffy. As a ratio, 4-5 eggs are needed for 1 cup of flour/ maida. Add all the other ingredients such as vanilla, butter, garam masala powder, etc, one by one.
4) Fold in the soaked nuts and fruit into the batter and bake immediately.
5) Let me know how it turned out.
This year, I wont be able to see or taste Ratna’s cakes and bakes as I wont be around. I dont know how her cakes will look like this Christmas, but here is a gorgeous Christmas cake photo shared by Kevin from Closet Cooking for this recipe.
Thank you, Ratna. For sharing this recipe and making this post so special for me.
Merry Christmas to you.