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Palace that melts in your mouth

Bangalore, Dec. 22: As palaces go, this one takes the cake.

All you need to do is take a slice ó and let it melt in your mouth.

Welcome to Bangalore Palace, a 4.5 tonne cake made of sugar that went on display yesterday at a city school. The 62.5-foot-long, 20-foot-high and 19.5-foot-wide creation, exhibited by Nilgiris bakers and confectioners, is modelled on Britain’s Windsor Castle and took three months to prepare.

Twenty-five men laboured to give the finishing touches to the brown-and-white sweet monster, the 33rd edition of sugar-and-cake creations Bangaloreans have been treated to nearly every Christmas over the past several decades.

“We did not have the exhibition for the last two years. As a large number of people have been asking us reasons for not having it, we decided to have it this year,” says C. Ramachandran, the architect and chief mason.

Ramachandran used to run Nilgiris, Bangalore’s favourite bakers and confectioners, till he handed over the reins to younger family members.

The business has grown from a small dairy farm outlet in 1905 to one that includes ready-to-eat packaged food, bread, milk products, a supermarket chain and a restaurant.

The annual cake exhibition started in 1969 and has drawn around four lakh visitors every year.

“The colours are also safe and edible,” says one of the bakers involved in making the cake, which will be open to the public till December 31 at St Joseph’s Indian High School.

All the panels, walls, balconies, parapets, domes and forecourt of the cake, a replica of the original Bangalore Palace which itself is modelled on Windsor Castle, are edible. But it has to be kept at 40 degrees Celsius throughout the period of the exhibition so that it does not wither away.

There are smaller models called Santa Villa, Ship, Kiddies Wheel, Jurassic Park, Clock, Cinderella Coach, Flower Arrangement, Peacock and Veena, which lucky raffle winners can take away.

The show has made it to the Limca Book of Records but hasn’t yet found a mention in the Guinness World Records ó because there is no category under which it can be put.

But Bangaloreans shouldn’t mind. This is one cake they can have and eat too ó year after year.

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