Christmas this year came with a food surprise. We get a lot of sampling goodies from big brands and shops. This year I made acquaintance with a home-baker family who is nothing less than a professional baker during Christmas – The Easo Family.
Mumbai is a transformed place during Christmas. As an outsider, I feel Christmas is bigger than Ganpati in most parts of the city. The roads and markets get decorated, Christmas stars make appearance on the streets and there is general festivity around every corner. Minus the ear piercing music. This is also the time when shops are lined up with array of cakes – Dundee, rum, mince, fruit etc. While you will find assembly line cake recipes that are made by the dozens, one can also find recipes that are passed down generations and retained in their original glory.
I was lucky to be in the cake list of Easos’ this year and that’s how one loaf of beautifully baked cake made its way to my house. On the first look, the cake looked as a simple non decorative fruit cake. And then I smelled it – I was filled with a sweet-spicy bouquet of cinnamon, rum, cherries, vanilla. Each slice of cake was soft and wholesome, almost old-fashioned quaint bakery style. The exquisite recipe belongs to Late Mrs. Mariamma Easo, mother of my colleague. Mariamma made these wonderful cakes for friends for over 20 years every Christmas and after she passed away her family has lovingly continued the tradition. The most obvious stand out was the preparation that went into making these cakes. The fruits are soaked in rum for a year – Old monk never fails you! In this process, the alcohol gradually evaporates leaving the sugar soaking in dry fruits. This simply means that every time you bite into one of these dry fruits, you can taste bitter-sweet old monk flavour without getting drunk.
The thing with fruit cakes is you can never finish them in one go and most fruits cakes become crumbly soon after. So I decided to put this cake to time-test. The cake lasted 4 days before it became crumbly. Though how I saved it for 4 days is no mean feat.
Thank you to The Easo Family for their lovely cake. They bake about 50-60 cakes that they distribute around Christmas week. I do wish they open a bakery soon with Mariamma’s recipes, Christmas will last full year.
PS – Picture Credit El Posto( they have one of the most amazing bakey in delhi).