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Cakes are the Flavor of Christmas: Recipe



New Delhi, December 21: During Christmas time, you will come across different homemade Christmas Cakes. Not all the world’s Christmas cakes are fruit cakes (yet a lot of them are). Around the world, Christmas cakes vary from fruitcakes, like those eaten in U.K, to rum Cakes in India and Jamaica, to poppy seed rolls, called Makowiec in Poland.


poppy seed rolls, called Makowiec in Poland

Christmas Cakes are generally assumed to be some kind of as Fruit Cakes only (so are we assuming), these cakes are some variations of Fruit Cakes.


Plum Cakes

These cakes are mostly eaten in the U.K. during the holidays. Christmas cakes are though varying upon the culture to culture, region to region. They come in many varieties. They could be Rum Cakes, Sponge Cakes, etc. Some of them are in different shapes and some covered in icing.

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In India, Christmas Plum Cake plays an important role. Rich, Dark and toothsome, plum cakes are the Flavor of Christmas in most homes in Kerala. These plum cakes are made only during the occasion of Christmas and it is kind of MUST in almost all Catholic homes in Kerala.

What’s in Plum:

So Christmas is almost here and if you don’t have any Catholic friend from Kerala from whom you could ask recipe of traditional Christmas Plum Cake, for then you can have this Quick Homemade recipe of the Cake.


Christmas Plum Cake
Serves: 8-10

Candied fruits and citrus peel – 1/2 cup, soaked for at least 2 hrs in the rum (I soaked it for about 8-10 hrs)
Dark rum – 1 cup (about 240ml)
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Cooking Oil – 1/4 cup
All-purpose flour – 2 cups
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Eggs – 3, beaten well
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
Vanilla flavoring – 1/2 tsp
Ginger powder – 1/4 tsp
Clove powder – 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp

* In a big mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and all the dry spice powders.
* Pre-heat the oven at 160 degree celsius. Grease a cake tin with some oil. Even if the cake tin you are using is non-stick. I used a springform cake tin as its easier to take the cake out once it is baked.
* Mix sugar, beaten eggs and oil to the soaked fruits along with the rum that was added to soak the fruits. Mix well. Slowly pour this mixture into the flour and spice mix, fold it all together till well-incorporated, and pour the batter into the greased cake tin.
* Bake this in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes. The top of the cake should turn a shade of golden brown. Check if a toothpick, when inserted in the middle, comes out clean. That means the cake is baked. Else, bake for another 4-5 minutes.
* After the cake is baked, take it out and let it cool down completely. It should be about 20-30 minutes, before you cut it.
* Cut up slices and enjoy with some red wine and other Christmas goodies.

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Wefornews Bureau 

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Use potato slices to treat puffy eyes



Potato on eyes

New Delhi, Feb 21: Waking up with puffy eyes is rather common and it is easy to treat them. Drink sufficient water and use refrigerated slices of potatoes to get rid of the puffiness, suggest experts.

Bubbles Singh, Founder at Just B Au Naturel and Ragini Mehra, Founder at Beauty Source, have listed simple ways to treat your problem:

* The easiest way to get rid of puffy eyes is to drink water. When the body is well hydrated, there is less chance of water retention that can cause your under-eye area and other parts of your body to swell.

Water also helps flush toxins out of the body.

* Iced compresses like chilled green or black tea bags can help soothe puffy and irritated eyes. They contain anti-irritant properties that help reduce swelling around your eyes. You could even try splashing your face and eyes with ice cold water.

* Slices of refrigerated potato or cucumber work as a fantastic natural remedy to get rid of under eye puffiness.

The enzymes and the astringent properties in these vegetables help reduce inflammation and help tighten the skin. This remedy will also help get rid of wrinkles and dark circles around your eyes.

* A mask made of egg whites helps in tightening the area around the eyes, as egg whites are a nourishing natural skin care treatment, reducing puffiness of the eyes.

* Puffiness of the eyes can be caused by seasonal or inherited allergies. Allergies prompts us to rub our eyes more, leading to further puffiness. Visit a doctor and get yourself checked in case of any such.

* Use natural products that help reduce dryness, reduce puffiness and hydrate your skin like an eye serum or aloe vera based eye creams which can also cool down the eye area.

These products do not harm the eyes, repair and replenish the skin around the eyes, ensuring that you see a difference in the brightness and texture under your eyes when you get up in the morning.


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Choco lava cake hot favourite among lovebirds



Choco lava cake

New Delhi, Feb 19: Lovebirds indulged in some sugary goodness, including choco lava cake, on Valentine’s Day, reveals a survey.

According to findings derived from Swiggy’s order analysis for Valentine’s Day on February 14 and eight Wednesdays before that, love-struck Indians stuck to their favourites, the most shareable pizza and fries, as their order increased sharply by 55 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.

Choco lava cake saw an increase of 73 per cent. There were four times more donuts orders and red velvet items were also ordered 3.5 times more, read a statement.

The 2018 Valentine’s Day food trends are on the basis of Swiggy’s order analysis of the cities of Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Jaipur.

“Despite the usual excitement around making Valentine’s Day special, an increasing number of urbanites made the choice to spend it at home with their loved ones.

“Deterred by urban challenges like long working hours, traffic, planning and reservation and parking, many couples opted to have their Valentine’s dates over great food, in the privacy of their homes,” said Srivats TS, Vice President, Marketing at Swiggy.


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Here’s how materialism may harm your married life



Couple fight

New York, Feb 16: Do you often end up having heated discussions with your spouse over money matters? Beware, your fondness for material possessions may affect your love life and push your marriage towards an unhappy ending, says a new study.

The study found that when materialism — the pursuit of money and possessions — gets prioritised over other dimensions of life, it harms conjugal bonding.

Materialism crowds out other life priorities and creates a scarcity of time for other priorities such as communication, conflict resolution and intimacy.

It thus decreases the importance and sense of satisfaction in a marriage.

“Marriage dissatisfaction occurs because those who highly value money and possessions are less likely to value their marriage and are thus likely to be less satisfied in their relationship,” said lead author Ashley LeBaron, Professor at the Brigham Young University (BYU) in Ohio.

Further, materialism may also be associated with a possession-oriented rather than a relationship-oriented approach to happiness.

In other words, materialistic spouses may be seeking happiness in possessions, rather than people, which means they end up putting less time and energy into making their marriage a success, the researchers noted, in a paper published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Despite the findings, the researchers believe that changes can be made by couples to solve this issue.

“Many people are not fully aware of their materialism or the degree to which the pursuit of money is becoming an unbalanced priority in their life,” explained Jason Carroll, Professor at BYU.

“It is helpful for spouses to evaluate and openly discuss the time patterns in their lives and make sure they are devoting enough time to prioritize and strengthen their marriage relationship,” Carroll suggested.

For the study, the researchers asked 1,310 married individuals to fill a questionnaire in order to measure their materialism, perception of marriage importance and marital satisfaction.


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