Hyderabad gets all Christmas-sy a month ahead of the festival with Mercure Hyderabad KCP’s cake-mixing session
Here's all about the 17th century cake mixing practise that was revived
The age-old ceremony of cake mixing starts a few months before Christmas Eve. It is said to build bonhomie and usher good tidings and happiness. Keeping up with the tradition, Mercure Hyderabad KCP organised a fun-filled cake-mixing session with head Chef Ganesh Gangoni. We were invited to be part of the culinary and festive extravaganza and so rolled up our sleeves (literally!) for the session. We donned gloves, an apron, and a chef's hat and went all in for the event.
The event was held at the newly revamped terrace on the 12th floor of the hotel. It gave panoramic views of the beautiful Hussain Sagar Lake. Further, the venue was turned into a discotheque with live music, food stalls, and a huge cake-mixing table. The mixing session began with the participants adding bottles of a wide variety of alcohol, which as per tradition, enhances the taste of dry fruits by the time they are ready to be added to the final Rum Cake made on Christmas.
Amid the reverie, we talked to the head Chef Ganesh about the historical significance of the cake-mixing practice that is mostly practised in Europe, “It’s a 17th-century custom where they mix liquor with nuts and dry fruits and keep it in a freezer so that the fruity concoction matures ahead of Christmas. It is then used in the making of Christmas cakes. In olden times, it was done to mark the arrival of the harvest season. Moreover, it amps the zest for the festival and brings family and friends together.”
The chef also said that the mixing session had 12 varieties of nuts namely cashews, almonds, black currants, raisins, and tutti frutti, among others. They were mixed with traditionally used liquor like red wine, rose wine, rum, whisky, and brandy. “The mixture will be stored in a deep freezer until December 20. By that time, the nuts will mature and become flavoursome," the chef added.
Apart from the session, we were also treated to a number of street food delicacies like gol-gappas, dim sums, samosas, chaat, jalebis, uttapams, and more. We gulped a couple of crunchy and perfectly round gol-gappas stuffed with finely chopped tomatoes, onions, coriander, and potatoes with tangy mint-leaf water, which left behind a mildly sour flavour for a few seconds.
We next dug into wholesome chicken dim sums that were subtle on the palate. They tasted all the more scrumptious with spicy chilli sauce that could be distinguished for its strong ginger garlic essence. We took the sweet route later and ended the snacky meal with one of the highlights — jalebi served with creamy rabri. The sharp sweetness of the jalebi was well balanced with layers of clotted cream and deliciously thick condensed milk. With such a gala celebration, we couldn't ask for more ahead of Christmas!