The season of joy and fun- Christmas

It’s that time of the year when the holiday cheer shoos away the dull winter and catches all of us in its yarn. And, in a country like ours where every festival is celebrated with fervor — religious and otherwise — Christmas is a staple that everyone looks forward to for the bakes and confectionaries associated with it.
When you smell the warm aromas of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and see the lusciously soaked blackcurrants, sultanas, figs and prunes, the immediate thought is of Christmas. Also for the bakers, the cake mixing ceremony signifies the start of the busiest period of the entire year.
The timeless tradition is performed to welcome the happiness of Christmas and prosperity in the New Year. Fruits – raisins, glazed red cherries, orange peel, tutti-frutti, black currants, dates, dried apricots, figs and prunes; nuts – walnuts, cashew, almond flakes and pistachio; and spices – ground cardamom, cinnamon and cloves – these all went into a huge cauldron.
With pearls of laughter ringing clear, the team at Julie’s poured bottles and bottles of spirits, orange juice and vanilla essence into the mix while masked faces with gloved hands kneaded the concoction.
This ceremony is poles apart from baking a cake, which happens much after the mix is prepared. The ingredients are allowed to marinate in the juices and beverages for 40 days before starting with the baking, much like the process of making pickles where ingredients are mixed with spices for weeks and months before considering it ready for consumption. Sugar, liquor and fruit juices help preserve the cake and make for a good energy bite.