Best of Bengal

Christmas Cake

  • Christmas is incomplete without the traditional rich fruit cake or pudding that has come to be part and parcel of the Season, with the mouth-watering dessert being prepared in many different ways, but generally they are variations of the classic fruitcake; light, dark, moist, dry, heavy, spongy, leavened or unleavened, they are baked in many different shapes too, with frosting and glazing or just served plain.

  • What originally began as a traditional English plum porridge - which people ate on Christmas Eve to line their stomachs after a day of fasting, soon had dried fruit, spices and honey added to the yummy mixture, and transformed into Christmas pudding.

  • Known for its delicious cakes, the Saldanha bakery was established in Kolkata in 1933, with the Saldanha family treating the people of Kolkata to their rich plum cake, walnut cake, macaroons, breads, for over seven decades; all the baking is done in a traditional wooden oven with a successful ‘formula’ that has been perfected over a century – the fact that their trays are sold clean each evening is clear proof of that.

  • One of the oldest cake shops of Calcutta, and the only Jewish cake shop – Nahoum’s in New Market is undoubtedly at the top of every Kolkattan foodie’s list of favourites, with the rum balls and chocolate brownies enjoying a huge fan following, and stepping into the cake shop (- if you can negotiate the crowds, that is) during the Christmas season is an experience in itself!

  • To beat them all at their own game is the junta that prefers baking their own cakes – either at home, or better still, assembling all the ingredients and delegating the task of baking to a local baker; while there are many who prefer the ever-popular Flurys, and the many new age patisseries such as Kookie Jar and Cakes.

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