You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He’s making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
Come winter and all the shops don the festive looks and the colours of red, green and snowy whites drape the whole environment. I dug my wardrobe for all the jumpers, scarves and cardies to match the festive season. I am hearing Christmas carols on the radio, at school everywhere…..
For the last 2 weeks all I could smell was the spicy aroma of gingerbread cookies, mincepies, christmas puddings in our food tech. room at school. It was quite a busy time shopping for cards and Christmas party stuff for P’s school as well. I had made up my mind to send in either homemade cookies or fruits cakes to his teachers. So a quick visit to Lakelands in Reading to buy clear gusseted gift bags to present handmade chocolates and home-baked goodies for any occasion was planned.
I spent the whole day in the kitchen baking…yes I baked about 50 nankhatai’s, 4 cakes(2 fruits cakes and 2 chocolate cakes)…and the whole evening cutting the fruit cakes into squares and parcelled them in fondant, finally to be packed in gift bags!! Not to forget a small 8inch chocolate cake for my school youth club’s party…which I decorated with white fondant and simple ribbons and some christmas decorations which I had picked up from the local market the day before. The second chocolate cake was tansformed to P’s favourite Blackforest which he wanted to take to his Marathi class the next evening!!!
My fruit cake was an easy peasy one…..dried mixed fruits which included dried vine fruits(raisins, sultanas, currants) candied orange peels about 500g soaked in orange juice for about 8 hrs(the more they are soaked the better is the taste). Using my regular cake recipe for the vanilla sponge, I baked two 8 ” square cakes. In addition, to the regular ingredients, I worked in mixed spices.
Each cake was cut into nine squares to make individual cakes. I could smell the spicy aroma of the cake as cut it, and specks of dry fruits looked lovely. Adding a teaspoon of mixed spices to each gave it a real christmassy flavour! Believe me I had a slice warmed up in microwave with toffee sauce and whipped cream, it was yummy!
For the parcels, I rolled white fondant and cut them to fit the square cake slices. Using strips of green fondant I finished the parcels ribbons. to give the food bags a festive touch, I tied each with a small bauble!!
Here is the cake I baked for our Youth Club Christmas Party…….chocolate sandwich with vanilla buttercream!!