This article was published in the Hindu (Retail Plus) on December 19, 2010: http://www.hindu.com/rp/2010/12/19/stories/2010121950070200.htm
The Christmas season is rolling around yet again, snowballing us with an overdose of Christmas decorations, gifts and general merriment. It is also that time of the year when the Christmas cake is prominently displayed in all bakeries across town, from the local Iyengar bakery down the road to sophisticated cake shops in plush hotels. Deciding that it was time to separate the plums from the raisins, I took upon myself the task of figuring out the best Christmas cakes in town. Weighed down by this chore, and massive amounts of cake, I recruited the help of a few friends. We purchased plum cakes from a few bakeries across town to sample the variety on offer.
La Chocolate Patisserie (Rs.300/500gms): The presentation of this cake (with colourful, and over-the-top, icing) will definitely appeal to the little kid in most people. This cake had good, tart plums which hit just the right spot. The nuts that they used were blended perfectly and added to the texture of the cake. However, the cake could have been richer and added more spice. The icing was a tad too sweet.
Sandy's Chocolate Laboratory(Rs.414/500gms): Sandy's interpretation of the Christmas cake was by far the most interesting. Served with a lovely mascarpone sauce, this light cake had a wonderful spicy aftertaste (which is unusual for most cakes). The cake wasn't as rich and I'm not sure whether the sauce, as lovely as it was, was the perfect complement but somehow it all came together and worked well. This was my personal favourite but if you are looking for a traditional cake, then you should give this the miss. If you want to try something different, then head right over.
Cake Walk(Rs.275/500 gms.): This one is for those with an extreme sweet tooth. This tasted more like fruit cake and was a little too sweet for my liking. It lacked the subtle spice flavour that sets apart great plum cakes. But the texture was great and the cake was nice and rich.
French Loaf (Rs. 249/500gms): Dark, soft and sinuous: this is how God intended plum cake to be. Everything from the smell to the taste was spot on in this one. The cake was dense, rich and not overpoweringly sweet. The distinct taste of spice and alcohol was my favourite bit. If you are looking for good, traditional plum cake that brings back warm memories and makes you feel good inside, then head towards French Loaf.
Of course, all this cake consumption was definitely bad news for my waistline and weight loss efforts.
Have a very merry Christmas and see you next year!
Sandy's is on 42303852; call La Chocolate Pattiserie on 42148183, Cake Walk on 24917022 and French Loaf on 45000779.