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 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! http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com 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!

Christmas dinner at home – Plan the menus in advance

Christmas is 50 days away and kids are the most excited by the thought of the numerous gifts that they would get or what Santa Claus would get them! For us, who look after the eats and the kitchen at home, it is time to decide on some menus that could work for Christmas dinner and set the spirits for the festivities.

Well, Christmas Dinner Recipes are no longer a challenge to find really. All you have to do is decide what sort of cuisine you would like to focus on. Try a mix. Have some light poultry with a nicely baked potato dish, a cold salad, all finished with creamy hot beverages with cookies or then a luscious decorative dessert! And if it is a snack and dessert party (is fast becoming popular as more and more people are skipping main course), dwell a lot on research of starter recipes. For ideas I am going to suggest some recipes in all categories but today the focus is on starters.
Starters with chicken:

Fried Chicken Wings with Chilli Pineapple Sauce.
Bacon Rolled Mustard Chicken
Keema Samosa
Vegetarian options:

Asparagus Canapes
Cheese and Herb Patti Samosa
The best part of having finger foods is that you can base your whole menu around it. Have at least four or five starters if you are throwing a party. Count at least six-seven pieces per guest and once you know the segregation of vegetarians and non-vegetarians make the appropriate portions or numbers. When you serve them on platters (with toothpicks, dips, chutneys and paper napkins) do ensure that the platter holds a little flag saying the name or whether the dish has vegetarian or non vegetarian contents. It helps tremendously in being a gracious and thoughtful host/hostess. Be ready with a stack of small plates as even if one guest expresses his desire for one, more will quickly follow suit because eating from a plate is more convenient than managing with just toothpicks and napkins!
So as the mood is set to start planning your forthcoming Christmas Dinner or Party, do take some time off the start jotting down important notes!