By Elsie Gabriel
The culinary staff of Meluha the Fern ecotel and Rodas ecotel at Powai rung in the Xmas spirit way in advance with the traditional Christmas cake mixing ceremony on October 30th. The festive traditional cake mixing ceremony has been done at both the ecotels for almost a decade now. The ceremony involves mixing of ingredients and soaking them for the Christmas cake.
Explains Chef Nishant Pawar of Meluha the Fern ecotel Powai, “The first step in cake mixing saw rum-soaked dry fruits and nuts going in with raisins, dry cherries, black currant, orange and ginger peel mixed in wine and brandy. All dried fruits and ingredients are mixed thoroughly before the concoction is covered and sealed in an airtight container. It will be now kept for a month for the mixture to ferment before the Christmas cake is baked. This is what makes the cake rich with flavours.“
Chef Nishant Pawar is the newly appointed Executive chef at Meluha the Fern Hotel Powai ,A graduate of IHMCTAN Mumbai batch of 1999 .Trained in the kitchens of The Taj Mahal Palace and Towers,p revileged to have worked under the guidance of Chef Hemant Oberoi, Chef Nishant is always interested in the various cuisines of the world picking up much experience from all his culinary trips abroad too.
“ It is a tradition that all the chefs and cooking staff get together to kickstart the festive spirit. To make a perfect Christmas cake, we need to do lot of planning in advance,” says Ramesh Gupta, Banquet Manager of Meluha the Fern ecotel Powai. “ It is the team spirit of the culinary staff that comes alive.”
Traditionally this festive event takes place well in advance so that all the cut dry fruits which are  mixed really well with the spices get the flavour which is well absorbed. When mixed in advance, the desired flavour is obtained. Alcohol helps retaining the flavour and acts as preservative. Ingredients mixed in correct proportion is the key to perfect baking. With proper refrigeration, the cake will have a longer life.
The Christmas cake traces its roots to an old English tradition that began as plum porridge. For Christmas, every family and gourmet establishment maked cake using seasonal dried fruit and spices. The spices represented the exotic eastern spices brought by the wise men. This cake was known as “Christmas cake”.
Well, you can try lots of this rich cake at Meluha the Fern ecotel, simply walk in during the Christmas festival and treat yourself!