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Of Christmas cakes and bakes

The tree, the carols, Santa and the cake — Christmas is barely three weeks away. But capital Ranchi is getting into the spirit of the season with a vengeance.

Aptly, city hotels have embarked on the celebrations with elaborate cake-mixing ceremonies. And leading the way have been the two big names — Hotel Radisson Blu and Hotel Capitol Hill.

On November 29, 25 staff members and 15 orphaned children gathered at Radisson Blu to put together the ingredients for elaborate plum cakes that will be sold from the hotel in time for Christmas.

According to sous chef Ram Chandra Oraon, who described the occasion as “happening”, all those present got actively involved in the mixing process. So in went 50kg of ingredients that included seven different kinds of dry fruits, 10 bottles of rum, two bottles of orange liqueur, orange peel, cinnamon sticks and all things nice that come together to make the yummiest plum cakes.

“We will make 55kg of cake on December 24, by which time all the ingredients would have matured perfectly,” Oraon said with pride.

At Hotel Capitol Hill, executive chef Mrinal Bakshi said the baking process would start after December 20. “We will make cakes, plum pudding and rum balls for the visitors,” he added. Capitol started the cake mixing process on November 28.

“The entire mixture is fermented for almost 25 days and we organised our ceremony last month. Based on orders, we will be making cakes in different sizes and weights and would be sending them to clients in Calcutta and Delhi as well,” Bakshi said. A pound of plum cake would cost Rs 225.

In Capitol too, orange peel, ginger peel, dry fruits and cinnamon sticks were marinated in rum by 25 hotel staff. Dried cherry, chopped candies, cashewnuts, raisin, plum, and candied fruits were added as well.