Ranchi, Dec 22: With Christmas around the corner, preparations for the solstice festival are at their peak. People have begun decorating homes and preparing for making Christmas cakes at home. Those not baking a cake at home are rushing to pre-book orders at both traditional and home bakers.
As the traditional shops prepare for traditional cakes including plum and rum cakes, home bakers are experimenting with semolina (sooji) and ragi cakes, while keeping health in mind. They are also offering different flavours of cakes with new themes keeping in mind the interest of the customers.
The most attractive new gift for the season this year is the Christmas Cake Hamper. Bakers believe that the reason behind the demand for the hamper is that people often gift cakes to each other on Christmas. The hamper has traditional plum cake along with ragi cake, cookies, cream cake in different flavours, cupcakes, cake sickles (ice cream-like cakes with sticks) and chocolates.
This year, many people are coming to home bakers with this demand. The cost of these hampers may vary from Rs 200 to Rs 1500 on the basis of their size and variety of cakes. Apart from this, there will also be an option to put the favourite things of the person the gift will be given to in the hamper. This may also affect the price.
Swati, a home baker in Ranchi, has received several orders for healthier cakes. She said, “We have been working with Ragi, as they are better that the regular flour used for baking cakes. We don’t add additional flavours to the cakes as Ragi cakes taste best when their original flavours are used instead of adding artificial flavours.”
When asked about anything for diabetics, she said, “We sometimes experiment with stevia, brown sugar or even jaggery for sweetness when we make cakes for clients suffering from diabetes. Others mostly use sugar-free, but it may sometimes also give a bitter aftertaste.”
Another home baker Manvi, who is the owner of ‘Manvi’s Creation’ said, “I have been experimenting with Semolina as an alternative for flour. In the case of diabetic clients, I use a specific homemade sweetener that is completely safe for sugar and diabetes patients.”
Many home bakers have come up with healthy and attractive gift hampers for Christmas. These include plum cake, Ragi cake with dry fruits, red velvet cake jar in a red-white theme, gingerbread cookies and cupcakes. Chemicals are not used in homemade items and use original spices to provide warmth in the winter season.
Most people buy a vanilla-flavoured plum cake at Christmas. However, this year there is a lot of demand for banana-flavoured cake. Coconut, Choco chip Cake and Chocolate Cake are also in good demand. Theme-based cakes like red and white with splashes of green are also in demand.