By OUR STAFF REPORTER
MUSSOORIE, 24 Nov: The Management and Chefs of Hotel Brentwood and Café the Tavern have started preparations for the traditional Christmas plum cake. Plastic gloves, tissue aprons and Santa caps were distributed to all and everybody moved towards the 24 feet long steel table on which the ingredients were kept. The kilos of chopped, grated and sliced dried fruits were not just heaped on the table but were laid out in colorful combination, as pairs of hands crushed and patted, flipped and tossed, pressed and over- turned the dry fruits including the omega-3 rich walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts, pistas, dates, yellow, dry and black raisins, apricot, figs, dry ginger chips, orange peels, prunes and cranberries. Accompanied with a lot of cheering and camaraderie, rum and imported wine was gradually added to the mix. “While the fruits will add an element of natural sweetness, the richly dark colour and the intense flavour will come from the liquor added,” briefed Chef Kartikey Mohan Aggarwal, as the excitement level of the group kept rising. “It is best to do the cake mixing at least a month before Christmas so that all the flavours, aroma and textures get appropriate time to soak in and mature,” he continued. After about an hour, the sloshed dry fruits were transferred into huge air tight drums. The mixture would be taken out on 24 December and added to the dough to bake delicious plum cakes in moulds. Uttarakhand Hotel Association President Sandeep Sahni and Managing Director of Brent Wood Hotel Rajat Kapoor said that the cake mixing ceremony is a ritual followed the world over and, in modern times, it had become a high profile event. He said that the Christmas plum cake was a symbol of celebration and the countdown to Christmas and New Year with the Mussoorie Winter Line Carnival had begun. He said they were trying to attract tourists from all over the world to Mussoorie to celebrate Christmas and New Year by performing various activities. Special food would also be prepared made of products and condiment found in Uttarakhand, which would be served to the tourists. Present on the occasion were Pramod Kapoor, F&B Manager Paronab Mukharji, Daulat, Ravi, Dev Ashish, Mohit and others.