Jaipur’s Vinit Samuel Joseph Teaches Rum Cake For Christmas
- IWB Post
- December 22, 2016
Twinkling lights, glistening snow, colorful bells, ho ho ho!
Okay, agreed that I am not a good poet *heartbroken*, but it has begun to look a lot like Christmas.
And with Christmas less than a week away, it is legit to desire and seek all things sweet and fattening. No dear diet, you cannot hold anyone guilty at this time of the year. You just can’t.
Bearing that and the merry Christmasy spirit in mind, and in the tummy, I visited Tasty Bites Bakery owned and run by a young lad – Vinit Samuel Joseph, to learn the delicacy of the hour – Rum Cake.
Excited much? Eager much? Are you drooling over the products on the table? I know the feels. I experienced the very same when I waited outside the kitchenette of the bakery while inhaling the delicious aromas floating in the air.
Vinit: Sorry to keep you waiting. The ingredients are all set. Please come in.
I complied. And at that moment, I swear I felt like Hansel and Gretel trespassing into a forbidden territory of cake and confectionery. Perks of my work. #JustSaying
Me: Everything around and on the table looks yum! Shall we begin?
Vinit: Sure! Let me get you acquainted with the ingredients.
Vinit: We will need 200 gms of salted butter, 180 gms powdered sugar, 200 gms flour(maida), 3 eggs, some caramel color, some fruit jam, 1 tsp baking powder, a mixed bowl of dry fruits, some garam masala.
Me: Wait, wait, wait! Did I hear that right? Garam Masala in rum cake?
For a second, I thought that the aromatic fragrances I was amidst were taking a toll on my hearing capabilities. *Facepalm*
Vinit: *Chuckles* Yes, you heard that right. But it is not the garam masala you think it to be. What we use in the Rum cake is a mixture of tiny amounts of cinnamon powder, nutmeg, mace, green cardamom powder, and black pepper powder. Together all of this culminates to become the ‘garam masala’.
Me: Oh okay! Noted. That bowl of dry fruits is so appealing! Care to enlighten me about its constituents?
Vinit: Sure! There’s orange peel, ginger peel, raisins, tooty-fruity, walnuts, cashew nuts, black currant, dates, and red cherries.
Me: Niceee. No wonder the bowl looks so colorful right now!
Vinit: Getting back to the ingredients of the rum cake recipe, there’s also rum (of course), and vanilla essence.
Just as I said that Chatur Ramalingam’s pronunciation of ‘Rum’ from the movie 3 idiots echoed in my mind.
Vinit: But this central ingredient needs its own time. Traditionally, the dry fruits are soaked in rum and kept in an air-tight container for as much as a month before Christmas. During this time, the dry fruits swell-up by completely absorbing the rum and its flavor.
Me: Oops! Looks like I can’t bake the cake for Christmas, after all.
Vinit: No worries. There’s always a short-cut. You can dip the dry fruits in rum for as much time as possible, or you can do it on the spot as well like we’re doing now.
Vinit: Let’s get started by taking the butter and sugar in a bowl and churning them with a hand-blender.
Vinit: A little tip to note here. All the ingredients of this recipe should be at room temperature.
Me: Okay. What’s the next step?
Vinit: We will keep churning the butter and the sugar till they merge to form cream like texture.
Vinit: Once it’s done, we will add the eggs, one by one.
The sequence of events: Crack an egg. Pour into the mixture. Churn. Repeat.
After the process, your mixture will have a lustrous glaze to it and will look something like this.
Me: One question on behalf of the vegetarian folks out there… can the eggs be avoided?
Vinit: *Smiles* Rum cake cannot be made without eggs.
Vinit: Now, it is time to add the caramel flavor, our garam masala, vanilla essence, …
Vinit: and maida.
Vinit: Once all this is blended well, we will add our rum-soaked dry fruit mixture and mix them in our churned mixture.
Mix, mix, mix away!
Me: I speak as an eye-witness to the entire process, your final batter should look something like this.
Trust me when I say, I had to exercise a lot of patience to curb my desire of dipping one finger in the batter and tasting it. Ultimately, manners and ‘You’re-on-work-you-can’t-do-this’ realization prevailed.
Vinit: To further the Christmasy feel, I’ve picked a Christmas tree shaped mold for our cake. Pour the batter into it but do not fill it to the brim as the cake will rise and expand in the baking process. Also, add some nuts on the top after pouring the batter.
Doesn’t this tempt you to pull it out from the computer/mobile screens? If not, the baked version definitely will! I bet!
Vinit: After about 30-40 mins of baking at 180 degree Celsius in the oven, the cake should look like this.
At this point, came in Vinit’s sister Anshika. I guess the sweet scents emanating from the kitchen teased her taste buds too!
Vinit showed me some of the other delicacies that he was baking for Christmas. Anyone up for Christmas-tree shaped cookies?
And then both Vinit and Anshika played the ‘Guess Who?’ game with me. Scroll to find out how!
And there were rum chocolates too, other than the rum cake and cookies and ginger cookies!
I just couldn’t resist posing, or should I say, eating these.
After the baking and posing and eating session, we sat down for a little chat.
Me: Tell me more about yourself and this bakery! How did it all start?
Vinit: I have been fond of baking and cooking since my childhood. I always dreamt of having my bakery someday. Which is also why I pursued Hotel Management.
Vinit: … It’s been three years since we started this bakery, and it is doing pretty well. Midst this 3-year long journey, I also enrolled myself In Australia’s Canberra Institute of Technology for a two-month fondant course.
Vinit: I dream of baking fondant wedding cakes! And I am on the way of making that dream come true real soon!
Me: Team JWB wishes you all the very best for your greater pursuits! Thank you so much for teaching our readers and us the mouth-watering Rum Cake!
On that note, and with many tasty memories, I took my leave. For those of you who are longing for more, here are some more snippets!
Photo Courtesy – Himanshu Goel
[This article was first published on 20, December 2015]