Taste of X’mas

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Taste of X’mas

Sunday, 16 December 2018 | Sunday PIONEER

Taste of X’mas

With nine days left for Christmas, it is time to whip up some tasty treats for friends and family. SUNDAY PIONEER brings you exclusive recipes for this festival

  Christmas Fruit Cake


Unsalted Butter                225 gm

Brown Sugar      210 gm

Egg         03

All-purpose Flour             260 gm

Almond Powder               75 gm

Baking Powder  04 gm

Salt         02 gm

Grand Mariner  35 gm

Orange Juice      02

Lemon Zest        01

Nuts      200 gm chopped

Almond, walnuts, cashew and hazelnut

Assortment of dried fruits           1,000 gm

Apricots, figs, prunes, raisins, sultanas, currants, dried cranberries, dried cherries and candied fruit all chopped into pieces.

Cover marzipan and sugar paste


  • Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees C.
  • Take an 8" inch non stick pan or cake pan grace with butter, or vegetable spray.
  • Lines the bottom of the pan with butter paper also line the sides of the pan with a strip of butter paper that extends about 2 inches above the rim of the pan.
  • In a bowl whisk together the flour, almonds powder, salt and baking powder.
  • In another large bowl place the candied fruits along with the chopped nuts take 75gm of flour and add it to the fruits and nuts mixture to coat all the fruits and nuts.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy add the eggs one at a time beating well till fluffy scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed.
  • Add the alcohol, orange juice zest and lemon zest fold in the nuts and all the candied fruits and fold in the above mixture (beaten mixture).
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and place on a baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees C and continue to bake the cake for about 10-15 minutes or until a long skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • With a skewer, poke holes in the top surface of the cake and liberally brush with alcohol. (Brandy, Grand Marnier, Rum or whiskey). Wrap the cake thoroughly in plastic wrap once it's cold and place in a cake tin. Store in a cool dry place (best to store in the refrigerator). Brush the cake periodically (once or twice a week for about two to three weeks) with alcohol. This cake can be kept several weeks (if it can be frozen).
  • Cover the cake with royal icing or gum paste and decorate the top of the cake with Christmas items.

— Executive Pastry Chef Nelson Fernandes, The Lodhi, New Delhi

Sugar-Free Pudding


1.            Raisins   250 g

2.            Sultanas  300 g

3.            Currants  200g

4.            Dried figs, chopped  190 g

5.            Butter or suet, finely chopped  250 g

6.            Brandy  200 ml

7.            Ground cinnamon  1 teaspoon

8.            Ground nutmeg  ½ teaspoon

9.            Ground cloves ½ teaspoon

10.          Ground all spice ½ teaspoon

11.          Ground black pepper½ teaspoon

12.          Melted butter or olive oil, for greasing

13.          Breadcrumbs with crusts removed  300 g

14.          Hot milk 125 ml

15.          Sweet red wine125 ml

16.          Eggs 5

17.          Sugar free powder  90 g

18.          Brandy Butter

19.          Unsalted butter, softened 125 g

20.          Sugar free powder 50g

21.          Brandy 125 ml                                       


  • Combine  raisins, sultanas, currants, figs, butter or suet, brandy, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and black pepper in a large glass or ceramic bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Brush a 2.5 litre pudding basin with butter or oil to grease well.
  • Soak breadcrumbs with hot milk and sherry in a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, use an electric beater to beat eggs, sugar free powder and salt in a separate bowl until pale. Stir into breadcrumb mixture. Add fruit mixture and mix well.
  • Spoon into pudding basin. Cover with greaseproof paper and secure tightly with string.
  • Place the basin in a large saucepan. Add enough boiling water to come three-quarters up side of basin. Cover and bring water to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 7 hours. Check often and top up with boiling water as needed.
  • Preheat oven to 150°C/130°C fan-forced. Remove basin from saucepan. Remove greaseproof paper and bake pudding for 30 minutes.
  • Boil the pudding for a further 2 hours on the day of serving. Serve with brandy butter sauce Brandy Butter.
  • Use an electric beater to beat butter with  sugar free powder  in a bowl until pale. Add the brandy a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Place in a serving bowl

— Executive Chef Sanjeev Chopra,Taj Ambassador, New Delhi

Eegless Christmas Cake


Butter   500 gm

Castor Sugar       250 gm

Demerara  Sugar              250 gm

Milk       600 ml

Flour      250 gm

Bread Crumb     150 gm

Cinnamon pwd                 10 gm

Ginger 10 gm

Marinated Fruits              1.5 kg

( Sultanas,Raisins ,Cashewnuts ,Almonds ,Blackcurrants,Lemon Peel,Orange Peel,Prunes ,Stem Ginger soaked in Liqueur)


  • Cream Butter and Sugar .
  • Add milk at regular intervals to incorporate the mixture.
  • Mix flour,bread crumb,cinnamon pwd.,ginger pwd. And fold in the above batter .
  • Finally fold in the marinated fruits .
  • Pour the mix into already lined rings and bake at 180 C for 25  mins .
  • Make cake wedges and seve with brandy sauce.

—  Pastry Chef Vivek Chauhan,The Imperial New Delhi



S. No.    Item      Quantity

1.            Butter   225 gm

2.            Brown sugar       225 gm

3.            Eggs       5

4.            Refined flour     300 gm

5.            Baking powder  1 ½ tsp

6.            Orange marmalade         30 gm

7.            Crushed almonds             80 gm

8.            Raisins  500 gm

9.            Orange peel       100 gm

10.          Orange rind        1

11.          Lemon rind         2

12.          Dark rum             60 ml

13.          Blanched skinless almonds          100 gm



  • Soak raisins, orange peel, crushed almonds, lemon rind and orange rind with rum for 4 hours.
  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until light.
  • Combine flour with baking powder and fold into wet mixture.
  • Add in the soaked fruits.
  • Spread the batter into a foil-lined round baking pan. Arrange the blanched almonds on top.
  • Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for about 1 ½ hours, until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from pan and serve.

— Executive Chef Abhijeet Thakre, Taj City Centre, Gurugram

Traditional eggnog


·        6 eggs, separated

·        3 cups of milk

·        1 cup heavy (thickened) cream

·        1 cup of Bourbon

·        ¾ cup castor sugar

·        ½ cup brandy

·        1½tsp ground nutmeg



In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar for approximately ten minutes till they are firm and turn the colour of butter. Next, very slowly, add the Bourbon and brandy. Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for about six hours. About half an hour before your guests arrive, stir the milk into the chilled yolk mixture followed by the nutmeg powder. In a separate bowl, beat the cream in a mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. On the side, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Now, fold in the cream into the egg mixture. Garnish with remaining nutmeg powder and serve.

— Senior pastry chef Prashant Sabne at The Oberoi Patisserie & Delicatessen, Mumbai

Ras-al-Hanout Roast Chicken with root vegetables

One day Prior


For Chicken       

Broiler Chicken  1 number            Skin on, whole dressed bird,

                                between 1 kg to 1.1 kg

Buttermilk           200 ml  

Himalayan Pink Rock Salt              To taste               

Fresh rosemary                4 full length twigs             Dry herb not recommended.

                                In case fresh rosemary is

                                not available, its best to use

                                another fresh herb like thyme

                                or sage instead.


For Root vegetables      

Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Carrots,         2 kg assorted

Small onions, Turnips                    

Large lemons     2             

For Ras Al Hanout                           

Green Cardamom            5             

Cumin seeds      1 tablespoon     

Cloves   1 teaspoon        

Cinnamon           2 large sticks       Broken into small fragments

Nutmeg               1 whole                Broken into small fragments

peppercorn        1 tablespoon     

Fenugreek          1 teaspoon        

Dry Red chilli whole         5              Broken into small pieces

Dry ginger powder          1 tablespoon     


Reserve the chilli and dry ginger powder as they will burn quickly. Take all the other whole spices and put them in a dry heavy bottom pan over very low heat. Dry roast the spices for 8-10 minutes stirring all the time with a spatula. Add the dry chilli and ginger powder. Stir for two minutes. Remove from heat and cool it. Powder in a dry spice blender. Store in an air tight container. Ras-Al-Hanout will stay weeks. It can be used in curries, stir fries.

Dressing The Chicken

Roughly chop the rosemary and keep aside. Clean and prepare the bird. Take buttermilk in a bowl add 3/4th of the rosemary, Salt to taste and two tablespoons of Ras-al-Hanout. Season the bird very well all over with the buttermilk seasoning. Rub well on the inside cavity. Cling wrap the chicken and refrigerate overnight.

The D-Day

Take the bird out of the chiller, remove wrap, rub the fallen marination back in the chicken and tie the legs together. Keep at room temperature for 3 hours. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C.

Wash & pre-prep all vegetables. If using baby potatoes cut them into two, peeled baby onions can be left whole, cut the lemons into halves. Cut other vegetables into large chunks. Marinate the vegetables with two tablespoons of olive oil, pink salt and remaining rosemary.


Lay the vegetables out on the tray. Arrange the bird with breast side up and keep in the oven.  After 15 minutes take the tray out, remove the bird from the tray, turn the vegetables over, place the bird back on the tray, brush with olive oil and back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Add/subtract  a few minutes if the weight of the bird was more or less. Remove from oven; give a final brushing of olive oil. Serve with lemon halves and roasted root vegetables.

Executive Chef Anuj Kapoor, The Grand, New Delhi



SN          Ingredients         Quantity

1              All-purpose Flour             1/3  cup

2              Eggs       4

3              Castor sugar       ½  cup

4              Unsalted butter                05 tps

5              Cocoa powder   ¼ cup   


1              Whisk the cocoa powder, flour & salt in a large bowl.

2              Beat eggs & sugar with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes, until the eggs are thick.

3              Add butter, then gently fold in all dry ingredients with a spatula

4              Bake at 200 degree C for 10-15 minutes, until the cake is spongy.

5              By using a spatula and a piping can, shape and pipe the cake as a log.

Executive Chef Abhishek Basu, The Park, New Delhi

Linzer Cookies

Serves:  20                                         Time: 04 hours (approx)


130         gms        Butter   75           gms        Raspberry Jam

130         gms        Grain sugar                                         for dusting

01           Large Egg, (Lightly Beaten)          

1/2         tsp          Vanilla Extract   

1/4         tsp          Almond Extract

160         gms        Broken Hazelnut             

01           No.         Orange zest       

160         gms        Flour     

1/2         tsp          Cinnamon Powder

1/4         tsp          Salt        


  • Cream Butter and grain Sugar till fluffy or light pale in colour.
  • Add Egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and mix well.
  • Now, add flour, broken hazelnuts, orange zest, cinnamon powder, raspberry jam and salt than just mix it and make dough.
  • Give rest in fridge for atleast 2 hours.
  • Divide the dough in two parts and make it balls (20gms each) than make it little flat and press in the center with thumb.
  • Fill in the center with Raspberry jam.
  • Bake at 180*c for 14-15 mins approx.
  • Make it cool and dust with Icing sugar.

— Pastry chef Ankit Saini, Claridges Hotel, Delhi



SN          Ingredients         Quantity

1              Refined flour     4 cups or 500gms

2              Castor sugar       6 tbsp. or 75gms

3              Salt         1/2tbsp or 7grms

4              Bread improver                ½tsp or 2.5gms

5              Gluten 1/2tsp or 2.5gms

6              Fresh milk           1cup or 200ml

7              Fresh yeast         1 ¼ tbsp. or 17gms

8              Black current      1/2cup or 50gms

9              Orange peel       1cup or 75gms

10           Rum       ½ tbsp. or 7ml

11           Raisin    2/3cupor 100gms

12           All spices              ****

13           Marzipan             1/2cup or 125gms

14           Clarified butter                 ½ cup or 125gms


1 Make a hard dough with the KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

2 Dissolve fresh yeast into milk.

3 Combine all the ingredients together and add the dough in the mix.

4 Add caramel color for browning, not too dark.

5 While folding put marzipan in the center.

6 Leave for fermentation.

7 Bake at 180*C for 30 to 40mins

8 Take it out and dip it in hot clarified butter and fold with icing sugar then sprinkle icing sugar on the top.

— Executive Chef Abhishek Basu, The Park, New Delhi

sugarfree spiced Festive Cake


Egg         6

Whole wheat flour          4 Cup

Baking Powder 1 teaspoon

Olive oil                4 Cup

Sweetener         2 tbsp

Nuts & Grain Mix

Honey   2 tbsp

Rum       2 tbsp

Assorted seeds & grains

Linseed, chia, pumpkin, sunflower  — ½ cup

Chopped Orange peel & ginger chips — 1 tbsp

Dry fruits — Raisin, apricots, almond chopped — ½ cup

Spices — roast and powder;  3 cinnamon sticks, 5 green cardamoms, 3 pieces mace, half a nutmeg


Mix all the dry fruits and grain ingredients in a bowl and leave aside covered for a day.

  • Pre-heat oven to 160 degree C.
  • Beat the eggs for five minutes.
  • Sift the flour two times. Mix baking powder, sweetener and olive oil to it. Mix the nut & grain mix. Fold in the eggs. Pour the mixture in a butter paper lined metal mould or a non-stick mould or a silicone cake mould as per availability.
  • Bake for one hour.
  • You can even give the cake a Christmas pudding effect by introducing steam to the baking. If your oven doesn't have steam injection — introduce a small metal/silicone bowl filled with of hot water in the oven chamber.

— Executive Chef Anuj Kapoor, The Grand New Delhi

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