Christmas cakes are made in different ways, but usually they are variations of the classic fruitcake. They can be light, dark, moist, dry, heavy, spongy, leavened and unleavened. They are made in many different shapes, with frosting, glazing, and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or plain.
Christmas cakes are always made in advance. Dried fruits of the best quality are procured during the initial part of the year. These are cleaned, washed and dried. The fruits are then cooked for approximately 20 minutes, with honey, sugar, salt, lemon juice, lemon rind, candied lemon peel, and candied ginger peel. This mix is left to cool off for a day.
After that, the fruit soaking is carried out, while nutmeg is sprinkled generously over the fruit mix. After that, bottles of rum are poured onto the fruit mix. The mixing of the entire batch is done with the help from the bakery brigade. The mix is then stored in barrels and left to mature for four months. Upon maturing the fruit mix is added to a cake batter, consisting of flour, sugar, butter, ghee, eggs, caramel syrup and vanilla essence.
The cakes are baked at 150°c for 1 hour and 45 minutes. After baking, the cakes are left in temperature and humidity controlled settings for another three months to further mature, after which, they shall be ready for packing and distributing.
In an effort to reduce the impact of harmful transfats, the Casino Hotel has introduced the ‘Zero Transfat Matured Plum Cake’ since December 2010. A healthy substitute to the classic matured plum, the zero transfat version has all the goodness and none of the transfat!