This inspired Christmas trail of goodies from Chennai will blow your mind
Eggnog scented candles. Mulled wine in truffles. And the magic of Christmas pudding in an ice cream scoop! After the very long and tedious year that was, here is a round-up of reasons that promise to fill you with a whole lot of jolly.
These bite-size tarts are one of the hottest sellers at The Park Chennai. Made with a wide range of dried fruits including currants, sultanas, raisins, apricots and plums (pre-soaked in rum, brandy and whisky), these tarts are a British creation that date back to the 13th century. For a whiff of what is in store, Executive chef Ashutosh Nerlekar tells us, “This year, about 100 litres of alcohol was used for mixing 280 kgs of fruit in October.” And that’s not counting the 60 kgs carried over from last year... Talk about getting high on pie!
Price: INR 80 ++ per piece.
Ice spice baby
We thought nothing gets better than warm Christmas
pudding. And then we heard about Amadora’s inspired Christmas Spice ice cream. Founder Deepak Suresh tells us to expect “boozy raisins, sultanas and cherries” in the mix. Their second festive flavour which comes highly recommended is the Momala or Filter Coffee Mocha ice cream, with chocolate chip chunks for additional decadence.
Price: INR 600 for 500 ml.
Zitter’s limited edition holiday range offers a Christmas wonderland, reimagined. Expect 55 per cent dark and white Callebaut chocolate slabs with peppermint oil and crushed candy canes (Santa’s Peppermint Bark), a Callebaut ruby chocolate bar with Turkish hazelnuts and cranberries (Elf’s red rubies) and Callebaut Gold chocolate blended with apple pie spices, crunchy freeze-dried apples and shortbread (Snowman’s apple pie). We also have our eye on their mulled wine truffles and for something warm, their dark chocolate bombs that promise to add some drama to that traditional cup of hot cocoa. The latter comes in four flavours — classic dark, milk chocolate, salted caramel and peppermint.
Price: INR 200 per bomb, INR 300 for chocolate bark.
Achamma’s Christmas fruitcake
For the past 150 years, one family’s Christmas fruit cake has been quietly doing the rounds in the small town of Kanjirappally, Kerala. The recipe passed down through generations of women who run the Anathanam coffee estate is now in the able hands of 70-year-old Anna Alphonso Thomas (fondly called Achamma). And this year, brings some extra cheer — with Ciclo Cafe in Chennai bringing down her largest and first ever commercial batch. We got a taste of Achamma’s rum-drenched fruit slices and asked her for a hint of her secret recipe. “Well, there are about 25 ingredients that go in and I soak my fruits in rum for anywhere between three and six months,” she tells us. This explains that heady hit with every slice. Store in an airtight container to keep the cake fresh for up to three months. Achamma suggests a splash of rum or brandy every once in a while to keep it moist.
Price: 500 gm loaf at INR 750 and 1 kg cake at INR 1,400.
This festive treat by Writer’s Café has its origins in Milan, Italy and makes our list because it isn’t common to find in Chennai. The panettone, for the uninitiated, is a sweet bread filled with candied orange, citron, lemon zest and raisins. Pastry chef Boopesh P takes us through its preparation, “which involves curing the dough, similar to sourdough”. And the proofing, we’re told takes a couple of days, for the desired fluffy texture. He tells us, “It is usually eaten by tearing the hard top off and eating the panettone inside and then out. And best accompanied with hot beverages or just some butter!”
Price: INR 275 all-inclusive.
“Some folks ask for electronics when friends from the US make their annual Christmas visit. My mother-in-law asks for pecan nuts!” says Maria Jose of The Bashful Baker. An ode to her family’s love for pecan pie, look out for compact Pecan pie bars that make great single portions for friends and family. Each bar has a fudgy filling of honey, eggs and corn syrup with a shortbread crust and crispy pecans on top to finish. Also check out Maria’s fun rendition of the Gingerbread man with ‘Ginger Sandwich
cookies’. The filling, in case you are wondering, is a light orange buttercream with a hint of zing from the finely chopped rind in the mix.
Price: Pecan pie bars at INR 200 a piece, Ginger sandwich cookies at INR 700 per half kilo.
Eggnog candle, anyone?
This one is not edible. However, there is no doubt it would make a great addition to your Christmas table. Cocooned in a coconut shell to make them eco-friendly, each hand-poured soy eggnog scented candle is spiced up with nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla bean. Available at Healthy Chef.Chennai on Instagram.
Price: INR 350 per candle
Photo on top: Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash