Cake Dida’s Christmas special – Baking DiaryReadersRelish
My love affair with cakes and pastries started with Christmas & has continued ever since… It’s the season of the year that plays its jolly charm in you and is the best time to embrace baking.
Baking for me is more like BAE-king and I Cannot imagine quenching my sweet cravings without a freshly baked batch of cupcakes or brownies; given that cravings are independent of time and place!
Cakes are loved by everyone and they always make up to a win-win situation! Personally for me, the love towards baking began when I was a kid.
I remember being in 1st standard, nagging (The most convincing tool available) in front of my parents to take me for a visit to the wondrous Park Street of Kolkata for Christmas. Christmastime in Kolkata calls for a stopover at Park Street followed by a visit to the Church and a nibble of the fruit cake at Flurys. It was my first time at Flurys and My goodness, it was such a lasting sight to have. Never in my 6 years of life had I seen such bright lights and counters full of colourful cakes, pastries and Patties. To this very day I just close my eyes and recall that day and wonder if I could ever feel the bliss of being a child again.
Christmas for me, not just brings along the associated festivities but memories, that rush through my mind when I feel the cool breeze carrying the aroma of rich plum cakes; Delights of Christmas trees, Santa Clause, warm jackets, in the cold weather and most importantly SWEETS. Sweets of all types… pies, tarts, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, pastries, cookies, or biscuits; they’re all at your disposal to make you drool.
I distinctly recall Ma preparing those renowned plum cakes. I would often pester her to offer my help in any form and most of the time she would shoo me off. But there came a day that she asked me to sieve the flour. Frankly, it was one of the best days ever. I felt a sense of victory, a self satisfaction and most importantly feeling like a grown-up (considering that I was only 7 years old). She baked pounds and pounds of edible gold, for all our family and friends.
For me it was magical to see baked cakes lit up in blue flames of old monk. Surely the magic of the cake engulfed me with the merry note of Christmas.
Christmas won’t be the same without the special plum cake, or the Christmas-cake. The hearty rich aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon, oranges and rum, all of them mixed together to calm troubled souls.
Another favorite is the gingerbread man cookies. I so hoped that these men would come to life and help me out when my Ma gave a good scolding for my mischieves. These men help to bring out the true essence and the exuberant joy of Christmas. I still remember the times those cookies would be baked and I would wait impatiently to decorate them with a big big smile.
It’s Christmas again and exchanging gifts with your loved ones, surprising colleagues with Secret Santa and spreading joy are traditions to pursue. As a baker, a chocolatey delight cake gift box that can only be opened by cutting a big slice and gulping it down.
Holly leaf cakes are really adored by my family and friends. It’s really simple but it really evokes the essence of Christmas.
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a Christmas tree! As a child I used to yearn for these trees and though I never wanted to believe that Christmas trees didn’t grow in Kolkata, I would find any kind of plant and decorate it with fairy lights and bells and ribbons. Now, I make my own Christmas Tree by baking Christmas tree brownies. Guess what, It doesn’t requires cutting down of trees!
Adults say that there’s no Santa, but kids, they adore that old man. They believe with all their heart that Santa would be coming to their homes to give them their well deserved gifts. And surely Santa would never come, not even for the choc chip cookies and milk that I prepare every year. Cookies & Milk are a match made in heaven and why wouldn’t the Santa want to have those sweet delights to keep up his energy high.
Grownups should too have their share of fun and dig in some rum balls. These chocolaty balls soaked in rum, surely make me drool since I’ve started enjoying the taste of rum.
Sipping on hot chocolate and cuddling under quilts have never made me want winter more. Baking and being merry, meeting up with family and friends, eating good and being jolly is all you want for Christmas. It’s the little things in life that matter. I hope that all of do have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year! Eat a lot of cake everyone!
– Marisha Mullick
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