Foodie Event | TRADITIONAL CAKE MIXING CEREMONY…can you hear the bells ringing?

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!”
Hamilton Wright Mabie

Time flies and how. Seems like the year is on a gallop. I missed the walk, the trot and the canter completely. Every day is whizzing by; it’s October already! That winter is almost here struck me when some of my girlfriends like Barbara began the ’12 weeks to Christmas Cookies’ countdown.Then a few days ago I got an invite to a ‘traditional cake mixing ceremony‘, and I was like “Whoa? Is it the time of the year already?

Traditional Cake Mixing Ceremony

The age old ceremony of cake mixing starts a few months before Christmas and the winter festivities and is considered to be an usher for good tidings and happiness. Executive Chef of Hilton Garden Inn, Rajat Tuli will be present. This will be followed by High Tea of select guests and food bloggers and critics at India Grill.

The ceremony was hosted by the Hilton Garden Inn, the first of this brand of hotels to open in the Asia-Pacific region. The warm, friendly hostess Monisha Dewan, the General Manager of the hotel, led everyone to the ceremony. As she said, it is a tradition at the hotel to welcome the holiday season with a fruit soaking ceremony ahead of Christmas. There were massive steel basins with candied ginger strips lining the bottom, and huge trays filled with fruit – raisins, black currants, candied peel, candied cherries, tutti frutti etc. And of course the all important ‘spirit of the season‘ in bottles – wine, rum and whiskey etc to soak the fruit with.

To set the ceremony off, we were each handed gloves, aprons and chefs hats. We set to work with handfuls of fruit ceremoniously dumped into the steel basins, the menfolk mixing the fruit. Once all the fruit was in, and well mixed, the bottle were emptied in one by one, with warnings on ‘no swigs allowed‘. That done, Chef Deepak got his merry band of men in to complete the mixing as it was now all down to muscle power! A load of fun and a load of work, all amidst great cheer and fervour. The holiday season was rung in under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Rajat Tuli, who was summoned in by the GM each time before any culinary move was made!

The fruit is now going to placed in a secure place to soak in all liquid and mature beautifully in time for Christmas, and will then be used by the in-house bakery to make plum cakes, puddings etc. I loved the tradition and thought it was a novel way to  ring  in the festive season. The great thing was the camaraderie all around, and the whole-hearted manner in which the GM involved everyone in the ceremony, including her chefs. We had a lobby full of guests at the hotel from across the world and each one was invited to join in, which they did happily! There was lots of cheer, loads of mixing and loads of cameras clicking!!

The ceremony was followed by High Tea which has recently been launched by the hotel, again a novel concept. The Hilton Garden Inn is located in the heart of a commercial district in Delhi, and is attached to a popular mall,’The Select City Mall’. Visitors from the mall can walk in and enjoy the luxury of a beautiful array of teas from India and across the globe … Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Jasmine amongst pots of others. You can choose the one you want, and sit and enjoy a spread of delectable finger foods. {I had a wonderful Cafe Latte as I am much the coffee person.}The menu for High Tea that evening included Mushroom and Asparagus Vol-au-vent, Smoked Salmon Vol-au-vent, Ginger & Raisin Scone with Chantilly Cream, Mocha & Cinnamon with Quark Cheese {that certainly caught my attention}, Grilled Chicken and Prune Open Sandwich, Roasted Pepper and Feta Open Sandwich, Bitter Chocolate Chunk Soft Bake Cookie, Raspberry Cream Cake, Passion Fruit Cupcake, Blueberry and White Oat Brittle Cookie, Fruit and Nut Cake, Chocolate & Banana Torte, Cucumber & Tuna, Melon and Apricot Canape. Quite a spread, and beautifully presented along a charming framework of wood, the evening sunlight lighting the place up. It was warm and inviting, an atmosphere so relaxed, an ambiance that was perfect to soak in.The Executive Chef and the General Manager made the place very homey. They were wonderful to talk to. The banter went on endlessly – bread, macarons, quark, cheesemaking, menus, baking, kids, food … all discussed in absolutely no hurry, till the cows came home. We then shifted back to the tables where the gracious GM asked for thin crust pizzas as she was very proud of the ones they make in-house. We were served Spinach and Four Cheese Pizza, followed by Pepperoni. I had the former, the Spinach and Four Cheese one, and it was the best I’ve had in a long long time. Perfect crust, and a great balance of flavours.

It was a wonderful evening! Do check out the High Tea at the Hilton Garden Inn Saket, New Delhi if you happen to be on that side of town.
{A4 DLF Place Saket District Centre, New Delhi, India 110017 .
Tel: 91-11-39191919 Fax: 91-11-39191920}
Thank you Rajat and Monisha for hosting us.
Thank you Baani & Tinky from the Perfect Relations Digital Team for making this happen!

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Wow, that’s a great tradition! A great way to mark the beginning of the season. I had no idea something like this happens in India too. Something more to look fwd if we move back :-)

  2. I want to live in there as you have been going to so much dmos.

  3. Krista says:

    How fun!! You look so cute in your hat, Deeba :-)

  4. Oh Deeba! What fun that must have been! Look at all that booze you’re soaking the fruit with! I used to make fruitcake, haven’t in years though.

    You look very professional in that white chef’s hat!

  5. What a fun, luxurious way to spend an afternoon. You’ll have to go back and have one of their Christmas treats. It made my day to be mentioned in your post GF!

  6. Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog says:

    So cute place and ceremony! I understand why you’re a master in baking and cooking :) Can I go there?? Yummy!

    Cheers,

    Gera

  7. Deeba…that looks like so much fun…..makes me realize it’s time to make my Christmas cake…keep on having a great time doing what you love!!
    Patricia

  8. Wow what a great celebration.. Thanks for sharing with all of us.. Its a treat to see atleast. Hope you had wonderful time. Awesome pitures and I can see the joy in everyones face…

  9. Wow Deeba,

    I had no clue that these kind of things happen in India, and that one can get to see it and participate in it too…Looks lovely and its true that the festive season especially christmas and the new year ring in so much of merriment and charm and joy! Looks like you really had a blast, and the high tea seems to be the icing on the cake!!! Yo lady, you rock!!!

    Shobha

  10. saras says:

    Like some others, I was equally unaware that traditions like this happened in India. Would have loved to be part of it. I envy you but you deserve to be there. Reminds me of the fruitcakes I baked in the US every Christmas.I would soak them in rum after Halloween. Your post has inspired me to continue with my tradition while I am in India…..

  11. This looks like so much fun! Love the pic of you in the chef’s apron and hat. Wish I could be there too :(

  12. Lovely read, and a memorable experience for any blogger. Yes I can hear the bells ringing :)

  13. Preparing for Christmas already? I’m so not ready! But the event sounds amazing, I’m sure the food was delicious.

  14. I’ve never heard of a cake mixing ceremony but it sounds great fun. I can’t wait to make my fruit (which has been marinating for weeks) into a cake.

  15. A very charming ceremony. I know so many people in India who have enjoyed meals in such hotels and the events and buffets are so magnificient, they transport you to another world. Your blog is a very charming place to visit. Every time I visit India I visit Delhi and enjoy it for a day or two.

  16. I’m not sure I’m ready for the holiday season just yet, but this sounds like a really fun event! All the items from the High Tea sound delicious too.

  17. That ceremony sounds like a lot of fun. I love getting together with a bunch of people to cook or bake or both. It’s pretty amazing that the fruit sits for a little more than a month like that. I have such a hard time waiting for delicious things when they have to sit for a while. I just made my first batch of home-brewed beer and it was the same thing. We had to wait for about a month before we could actually have it but it just lurks in the back of your mind the whole time that you want to try the thing you’re making.

    Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer

  18. wow, that looks like loads of fun. An excellent way to start the holiday baking.

  19. Brittany says:

    That pot of mixed fruit looks amazing! I could dive right in. Looks like a great event with lots of yummy food; what more could a foodie want???

  20. Deeba! You are so adorable!!! Love it! And you get invited to the most fun stuff ever! I don’t think I want to visit you. I want to move in and live with you!

  21. Wow! What a great event and ceremony. Looks like a great time was had by all. All the food looks delicious! – mary

  22. Now THAT looks like a party I would happily go to … what fun! Great concept, and looks like everyone had a blast. You look adorable darlin’ Deeba :D

  23. what a fabulous event for you to be involved in. congrats to you for being invited. your baking talents should not go unrecognized and I hope everyone in that room appreciated you! the photos tell your story beautifully!

  24. It is a great event.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Deeba Rajpal, Deeba Rajpal. Deeba Rajpal said: TRADITIONAL CAKE MIXING CEREMONY…can you hear the bells ringing? http://goo.gl/fb/g4gjW [...]

  2. [...] in its own sweet way. This year has been especially nice as we flagged off the season with a Traditional Cake Mixing Ceremony at the Garden Hilton. A first for me, it just set me into a baking fever! My first love is to bake [...]

  3. [...] Traditional Cake Mixing Ceremony…can you hear the bells [...]

  4. [...] I was invited to a Traditional Cake Mixing Ceremony at The Hilton Garden Inn, Delhi more than a month back, I decided to do a little cake mixing of my [...]

Speak Your Mind

*