Its Christmas time folks at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, New Delhi  

IMG_4140words: Ambica Gulati

Less than a month to go and the intoxicating aroma of spirits mixed with nuts in a boat cauldron invigorated the cool November evening at the hotel’s Annual Cake Mixing Ceremony. The mixture was a grand  blend of raisins, glazed red cherries, orange peel, tutti frutti, black currants, dates, figs, dried apricots, figs, prunes and nuts like walnuts, cashew, almond flakes and pistachio, besides spices such as ground cardamom, cinnamon and cloves were poured into a huge boat shaped cauldron. And the spirits grew higher as bottles of whisky, white and dark rum, vodka, gin, wine, beer and syrups like golden syrup, molasses, honey and vanilla essence were added.

Those wanting to ring in the festive season comprised media, corporate guests, in-house guests along with Area Manager and General Manager Farhat Jamal dressed in typical Chef’s attire of hats and aprons.

The mixture put in airtight bags, the mature one will be blended with the cake batter and baked just as Santa would be getting to come with his goodie bags. And the evening ended with red wine, chocolate logs, tarts, prawn and chicken snacks and more at the Cafe Uno lawns.

IMG_4144And there’s a special recipe for a Christmas Eggless Plum Cake from the Shangri-La bakery for those who want to make their own cakes.

Ingredients

Makes 1 round 6inch cake:

1 cup               all purpose flour
½ cup              whole wheat flour
1 tsp                vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3                   plums chopped finely
¼ or ½             cup chopped cashews
¼ tsp               cinnamon powder
A pinch or two of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder
½ cup              soy milk or dairy milk
11/2                 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
½ tsp               baking soda
½ tsp               baking powder
¾ or 1              cup organic cane sugar or golden sugar or powdered sugar.
⅔ cup              oil or melted butter

Preparation step by step:

  1. Grease a cake round tin or cake loaf pan with oil or butter.
  2. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C.
  3. Sieve the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, cinnamon powder and grated nutmeg along with baking powder.
    4. Add the oil or melted butter and mix gently.
    5. Add the sugar and mix. Now add the chopped plums and cashews.
    6. Fold these gently in the cake batter. Add apple cider to soy milk and later add baking soda to this mixture.
    7. Stir gently and add this frothy bubbly mixture to the cake batter.
    8. Add the vanilla extract or vanilla powder. Fold quickly.
    9. Pour the cake batter in the greased cake pan.
    10. Bake at 170 degrees C for 35-40 minutes.
    11. When the plum cake becomes warm or cools, remove from the cake pan.
    12. Serve eggless plum cake warm with tea or coffee.

Few suggestions for eggless plum cake recipe:

Instead of soy milk you can use milk.
Instead of oil you can use butter.
Some more dry fruits like raisins, apricots, walnuts, almonds or dry fruits of your choice can be added to the cake.
The ¾th cup sugar makes the cake just sweet. But not sweet enough for a cake.
Add 1 cup sugar to get the right amount of sweetness.
If the top of the cake browns quickly, then cover the top with butter paper or aluminium foil.

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