It is that time of the year when home cooks and home bakers flood the market with Christmas hampers, festival goodies and more. Kerala’s capital city is no exception. In addition to fruit and plum cakes, gingerbread, cookies, chocolates and brownies, some home bakers here have launched new delicacies this season. MetroPlus checks out a few.

Family cake and French treats

Pastry chef Melina Elizabeth Koshy has introduced The Christmas Cake, a traditional cake baked in her family by her mother every year. “Red wine is used instead of rum. Other ingredients include dry fruits, nuts, spices, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla extract, eggs and butter. There is no trans fat or vegetable oil,” says Melina.

An alumna of Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, Melina’s Papa Bird specialises in French pastries and mousse cakes. The cake can be ordered separately (₹1,450 per kg). It is also included in the Christmas hamper (₹2,350) that has homemade chocolate hazelnut spread and French specials such as ‘Take me to Paris’ madeleines or French tea cake with vanilla and lemon zest, and ‘Oh so French’ canelés, a cork-shaped pastry that has a caramelised crust with a custard-like heart. The hampers come with personalised handwritten messages. French yule log cake (700 gm, ₹1,300) is also available. Contact: 7736042060

A pie for the occasion

This year’s special from Divya Eapen, of Sammara Cakes and Bakes, is the traditional fruit mince pie, which is integral to the season in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. “I am selling the mini version of it in our hampers. The ingredients vary and my version has pineapple, apple, banana, apricot, raisins… mixed with spices,” she says.

Their hampers are priced from ₹600 onwards. For those who don’t enjoy the traditional fruit cake, there is coffee streusel cake. There is an assorted cookies box too, says Divya. “Since last year we have been taking orders from across India for our fruit cake. This year we have got orders from Kolkata, Bengalaru and Mumbai,” Divya says. Contact: 95677 77117

Italian eats

Cloud9 Cakes, Pappanamcode, run by siblings Anjitha BJ and Arunima BJ and their friend Afila Hassan, offers customised hampers. “Customers can choose eats from our menu for the hamper. The highlight this time is pecan tassies, panettone and bombolone,” says Anjitha. A tassie is a miniature tart or pie, panettone is a type of sweet bread of Italian origin and bombolone, also Italian, is donut with a filling. Contact: 8943722301

Brownies in the basket

Bitty Manu of Elza’s MagicBites, Anayara, has done away with hampers this year. Instead, she has launched ‘tiled fudgy brownies’. “This is a special for children, because not all of them enjoy plum cakes,” says Bitty, who resigned from her job at Technopark to become a full-time baker last year. These tiled brownies can be done with a theme as well, using edible photo print. She has done several of them with Tom and Jerry. A box of nine pieces costs ₹700.

The ‘Boozy Jamaican plum cake’ is another treat on Bitty’s menu. “While the normal plum cake has a golden-brown colour, this is black. The dry fruits used in it need to be at a maturity of nearly two years, which is not the case with other plum cakes,” she adds. Contact: 8590518455

Weekly specials

Priya Kolassery of Kolamass Kitchen launched weekly specials in the first week of December. This week, it was assorted cupcakes with varieties such as red velvet, carrot and dates, strawberry cheese, chocolate and vanilla. “Next week there will be a snack box with six or seven items, including parippuvada, cookies, cutlets and samosa. Arabic sweets will follow that. There will be kunafa, baklava, basbousa, umm ali and mahlabi. A brownie box is also on the cards,” says Priya. Contact: 8138965577.

Most of them will be closing orders by December 20.

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