The change in Cochin’s confectionery ecstasies is palpable from the body of work of its passionate home bakers. This year, more of them have come forward with carefully curated festive hampers showcasing the best food treats from their repertoire of Christmas themes. They were open for orders since the last week of November. The last set of goodies would be going out about now after which most of them would take a long break from their busiest season in their yearly baking calendar. A few of them spoke to me between breaks, in the true spirit of Christmas.
Once upon a time, Christmas in Kerala was synonymous with the gifting of the spiced, dark-brown plum cakes studded with raisins and nuts covered with hard icing, a piping of pink roses and its green leaves. Privately we would dread the sight of these cakes after a certain point in the season. The initial excitement of the mixing, chopping the fruits and nuts, adding them to the rum to soak and, having them mature over time wears off as we get inundated with gifts in the form of cakes from family and friends.