Cakes and Bakes and Jingle Bell

Christmas Cake recipeswould take you into a world of flour, dried fruits, rum and what not. Why not make a deviation this year and try some fruit cakes too. Something new with the traditional, it always works. I have also some of you asking for baking tips.

So here goes:

To make a cake spongier and better

  • Always keep the oven preheated while making any cake.

  • If you are making a fatless sponge then the secret lies in beating the eggs with the sugar to the stage where the batter forms ribbons when you pour it.

  • In the case of a cake with fat, the lightest cake would be one with even and small texture so ensure that you beat the butter and sugar well till light and creamy. Bake as soon as the batter is ready. Do not make the batter too thin.

  • In case of cake without eggs, make the batter using drinking soda and soda bicarbonate both. It aerates the cake well.

Which icing works where?

  • Fresh cream icing is best on light sponges with fruits.

  • Thick chocolate glazed icing is best on rich chocolate cakes.

  • Butter cream icing is favoured for birthday cakes where you need to use different colours and nozzle designs. Invest in disposable icing bags.

  • Any cake is best iced in a cool room, away from the direct breeze of the fan.

Why does a cake go flat?

  • If the baking powder and/or soda bicarbonate is not fresh and therefore not very effective.

  • If the batter is overly thin, then also the cake does not rise too well.

  • If the temperature is too high in the oven, the cake rises quickly and seems to be done but the inside is uncooked and hence cake falls flat when you remove it from oven.

  • If the cake tin is too large for the quantity of batter, you will get a flat cake.

Now some quick Christmas cakes. Check out Orange Marmalade cake and Date and Walnut Cake. For other choices look at Apple cake.

Christmas cake recipes are best preserved in your diary. Get your recipes perfected with every passing year.

Christmas table – let it be full and vibrant

Christmas dinner recipes are yours to choose from as there is such an influx of new tasty food right now. Christmas dinner requires a menu that can be planned now, yes, even weeks in advance. A short while ago we did talk about how to make pulaos and biryanis a part of the menu, so here we can actually look at the side dishes, or the accompaniments that can brighten up the Christmas dinner table still some more!
Look at a variety of raitas, salads, dips and chutneys on Look at also what papads can be used for – cones to hold stuffings of your choice. This is an attractive piece to have on the table, edible too!
Move along to raitas that are now sometimes served as course binders in shot glasses! Yes, it works.
  • Tricolour Raita
  • Beetroot Raita
  • Besan Cheela Raita
  • Grapes and Walnut Raita
If there are a number of crisp starters, then chutneys cannot be far behind. Choose from these really winter special chutneys, that reflect warmth.
  • Aloobukhare ki Chutney
  • Apricot and Black Pepper Chutney
  • Bhune Tamatar ki Chutney
How about something substantial as well as nutritious? Talking about salads here. Try out salads with light dressings of olive oil lemon juice, garlic, spices. Heavy cream based dressings using mayonnaise taste great but increase the calories. Avoid buying readymade dressings even if you are tempted too. They can be high in hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup. Do not cut up the ingredients so they are so big that they need to be cut while eating the salad, and not so small that the juices and flavours are lost.
You could use some recipes that can be part of your Christmas dinner menu.

Christmas pulaos – One wonderful dish that says it all!

Christmas Dinner recipes can have a platter of pulaos. Well, why not! Pulaos are wonderful when made lovingly with meats or vegetables or paneer or all three! has a magnificent collection of pulao recipes that can be chosen as an integral part of Christmas dinner giving you choices that can cater to any palate.

Rest assured, have plenty of food going around the Christmas table. Make large pans of fragrant pulaos and biryanis and try and make them as vibrantly coloured as possible.
One spectacular dish is Angoori Pulao which shows off some silver balls, so reminiscent of Christmas baubles on the tree!
Baked Eggs and Rice has some sunny side up eggs that are brilliantly yellow and look very inviting. Just ensure that you serve it warm.
Beetroot and Mewa Pulao has that tender blush that will add some charm to the table for sure.
Chilli chicken tomato pulao is something that will add zing to the get together.
Green fried rice looks like Christmas : all white and green!
With pulaos, ensure that you have some small goodies on the side so that the meal is a bit more filling. You could have a variety of snacky bites, or papads, or variations of papads, some raitas or kachumbers. If you have a good chicken or mutton biryani then having a raita or kachumber becomes mandatory. We will hunt out some good recipes for you for the accompaniments for sure.
Christmas dinner is not so far off now. Do hope the baking plan for Christmas goodies has been made, with dotted ‘I’ s and crossed ‘T’ s, meaning, that it is perfect!