Kathmandu:

Christmas comes early to Soaltee Crowne Plaza... every year. In the Soaltee Christmas tradition, the hotel threw open its doors to the ladies from embassies, media and corportate houses for the annual ‘Cake mixing ceremony’ on December 3.

A ‘For ladies only’ event, it is dedicated to ‘the’ Christmas delicacy — the Christmas cake.

Eleven ladies had participated in this year’s ceremony, which started with the chef showing the correct way of making the delicious and popular plum cake, and also made the yummy strawberry trifle of whipped cream and custard.

Said Pavan Kapur, director of food production, “Come December and one of the good things to look forward to is the Christmas season, along with the cake. It is also hte love and togetherness with which everyone gets together for merrymaking that makes it more interesting. It is believed that more the number of people involved in stirring the mixture, the better and bountiful will be the year be ahead. It is believed that cake stirring actually fulfils wishes.”

The traditional way of cake mixing includes soaking dry fruit in liquor, brandy, rum and other flavouring agents. The secret behind the rich taste is in the length of soaking time — the longer you soak, the richer your cake tastes. All the ladies had a hand in stirring the splendid mixture of different dry fruits like raisins, cashew nuts, plum, dates, figs, tutti fruity, ginger peels, candied orange, dry cherries, almonds along with powedered cinnamon, cardamom, mace, cloves and nutmeg with caramel sugar, black rum and other spirits.

Enthusiasm and excitement laced the air as the ladies were divided into four groups for

the highlight of the event — the cake decorating competition. Armed with cream and nozzles and decorative X-mas trees, the groups attempted to display their artisitic and decorative skills. Judges Anshu Pathak and Bobby Malla, though they said it was not easy to pick

a winner, declared Group A the winner of the competition. The team members went home with hampers of delicious Christmas goodies.