Christmas is here and it’s time to eat, drink and be merry. We’re sure you must have picked up traditional sweets from your local bakery, but if you haven’t done so yet, here’s a little help. Let the delicious aromas fill your home as you make pies, gingerbread cookies, yule log, stollen, sugar-sprinkled cupcakes and rich X’mas plum cakes. Since festive cooking can be daunting, we suggest you start early to dish up that elaborate feast…
Christmas cake pops, anyone?
Peddar Road-based home baker Priyanka Gandhi suggests making cake pops for X’mas. She says, “This is an idea that has become extremely popular with people over time. Cake pops are perfect for those who don’t want to have an entire cake and also apt if you like a little variety. Kids especially, love these. The dessert is a mix of cake and ganache, which is hand-moulded into the desired shape. The face, eyes and hats are done with chocolate. You can do all of the cake pops in the same flavour with chocolate ganache, red velvet or vanilla or then just do an assortment. The cake pops come in different shapes — Santa Claus, tiny Santa hats, X’mas trees, snowmen and reindeer. Instead of the usual chocolate boxes, these pops make for a cuter gift package and people love cake pop bouquets with the whole red and gold theme. The cake pops can last for three days without a fridge.”
Eggless gingerbread cookies
Refined flour – ½ cup Whole wheat flour – ½ cup
Soft butter – ¼ cup
Brown sugar/jaggery powder – ¼ cup
Honey – ¼ cup
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Baking soda – ½
Spice mix: Powdered ginger and cinnamon – one tsp each; clove and nutmeg – ½ tsp
For the icing
Edible food colours of choice
Whisk the butter with brown sugar/jaggery for about five minutes. Add honey and whisk again. Add in the dry ingredients and mix well. Form a dough. Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate for an hour. Place the dough on a dry surface and dust it with flour. Roll out the dough to eight-inch diameter. Cut it using desired gingerbread shapes using a cookie cutter. Place the cut shapes on a greased cookie tray in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes. Cool and keep aside. Melt the white chocolate, add the desired colour to them and divide into piping bags. Decorate and design them. Let it set and then store in airtight. Serve along with some hot cocoa or eggnog.
Delicious plum cake
There can be no better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than with a rich plum cake. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor shares a recipe that’s
Chopped cashewnuts, almonds, raisins, candied peel – ¼ cup each
Refined flour – 1 ¼ cups
Baking powder – 8gms
Butter – 1 cup
Low-calorie sweetener – ¾ cup
Eggs – 4
Vanilla essence – few drops
Milk – ¼ cup
Preheat the oven at 200 Degrees Celsius. Soak the cashew nuts, almonds, raisins and candied peel in rum and let it be for 48 hours. Break eggs in a bowl and beat along with vanilla essence with an electric beater till ribbon consistency. Cream together the butter and the low-calorie sweetener in a large bowl, till fluffy. Add beaten eggs and sieve together refined flour and baking powder into it. Add soaked dry fruits and mix well by cut and fold method. Add milk and mix. Pour the mixture into a silicon mould and keep in the preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Demould and cut into pieces. Serve.
Refined flour (maida) – 1/2 cup
Eggs – 8
Castor sugar – 175g
Vanilla essence – 40g
Cocoa powder – 120g
Salt – a pinch
Icing sugar, as required for dusting
Cherries for garnishing
For the butter sugar icing
Butter – 240g
Icing sugar – 220g
Cocoa powder –120g
Preheat oven at 190 Degrees Celsius. After putting in the sponge for baking, reduce the temperature by 5 Degrees. Now, separate egg yolks from the egg whites. In a bowl, put egg yolks, ½ cup and 2 tbsp of castor sugar, vanilla essence and beat with an egg beater till ribbon consistency is formed. Whip the egg whites till soft peaks are formed and add the remaining castor sugar gradually. Keep on whipping till firm peaks are formed. Fold the egg whites with the egg yolk gently. Sift together refined flour, cocoa powder and salt into the mixture and fold till well combined. Bake the mixture for 12-15 minutes. Remove, dust some icing sugar and roll it into a log and allow it to cool. To make the butter cream icing, put butter in a bowl. Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder into it and beat till creamy. Open the log and spread half of the butter cream mixture, roll again into a log and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut the prepared log into half and shape it into a yule log, spread the reserved butter cream icing, garnish with cherry and serve.
Have fun with cute cupcakes
Prepare adorable themed cupcakes with buttercream frosting that are topped with figures of reindeer, trees, Santa or Rudolph. From good ol’ vanilla to flavours like coffee ganache, cinnamon and cheesecake, they make for a treat, alright!
Eggnog and Christmas go hand-in-hand. The milk drink with eggs, sugar, cream and nutmeg powder or cinnamon, and often a spirit, is served cold and is a must-have at the festive table. The recipe is simple and you can make it from scratch easily at home.
Milk – 2 cups
Heavy cream – 120 ml
Cinnamon – 1 stick
Freshly grated nutmeg – a pinch
Eggs – 3, separated
Sugar syrup – 30 ml
Nutmeg – a pinch
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp (optional)
Whisk egg whites with sugar syrup in shaker.
Add cream, milk and nutmeg powder as well as vanilla extract. Mix well. Once done, blend this
with ice cubes.
Pour it into a glass and decorate with a piece of nutmeg or candy canes. You can also grate nutmeg powder on the top.
Did you know?
Gingerbread man dates back to the times of Queen Elizabeth I when she decorated cookies to resemble the dignitaries who visited her court. Today, the cookies are associated with the holiday and have a blend of sugar and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise and cloves.