Monday, March 30, 2015

Glimpse from A White Morning

Winter of 2015 was literally brutal in this part of New England. We received a record amount of snow, about 110.6 inches (source: Even after staying on the East coast for 7+ years, both me and my husband, haven't yet got used to it's winter. A few days back we were joking that every winter we should just hibernate and altogether avoid going out in this cold and freezing weather. No matter how much I hate winter, view of the snow covered trees and the white surrounding has it's own serene aura. On such a snowy morning we went out for a walk to capture some of that white beauty. Here are few photos from that day. 

Also I have taken many quick photos of my snowy surroundings on my phone and have uploaded them onto my instagram account (zestandleisure). Here is a collage of some of those pictures.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pistachio-Yogurt Cake - Guest Post by Moumita Chatterjee

Let us extend a very warm welcome from Zest and Leisure to Moumita. She is an excellent baker and the stunning photos of her baked goodies always leaves me hungry. I connected with Moumita through Facebook as we both share similar passion for food. It is a great privilege to host her for a guest post on this blog. Today she shares with us one of her baked creations. Thank you Moumita for sharing the recipe and photos.

Hello everyone! I am here with my guest post today. When Soma asked me if I would like to share my recipe on her blog, I felt extremely happy. Thank you Soma for giving me this opportunity! We came to know each other through Facebook as we both share a common interest in food. 
I come from the land of spices and wasn't exposed to global cuisine until a few years back! I am particularly fond of baking and love to experiment with different variations of cakes.
A few months back I baked a very unique cake, but it needed to be redone to enhance it's texture and taste. When Soma asked me to bake something for her blog I decided to give this cake another chance. After tasting the first slice, my better half immediately gave the thumbs-up signal.
So here below I am sharing my Pistachio-Yogurt Cake recipe.
Will love to hear your feedback about this cake. Happy baking everyone!

Pistachio-Yogurt Cake:
(Preparation Time: 15 minutes; Cooking Time: 50 – 60 minutes)

For Cake:
Plain/All-purpose Flour - 185 gm
Baking Powder - 1 Tsp
Pistachio (Chopped) - 130 gm + 25 gm for garnishing
Cardamom Powder - ¼ Tsp
Caster Sugar - 170 gm
Unsalted Butter - 150 gm
Eggs - 3
Yogurt - 125 gm
Cake Tin - 6" / 8" round pan or 2 lb loaf pan

For Syrup:
Water - 50 ml
Caster Sugar - 70 gm
Lime - 1 (juice)
Zest of ½ a Lime (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F.
Start with sifting the flour and baking powder together in a bowl.
Add the other cake ingredients in the same bowl and mix everything with a balloon whisk.
Prepare the baking pan with non-stick baking spray or line with grease-proof papers.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 50 minutes to an hour or till an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake cool down on a cooling rack.

In a small saucepan take all ingredients of the syrup (except the Lime zest) and heat it over medium flame for 4-5 minutes.
Switch off the flame and add the lime zest into it.

Take the cake out of the baking pan and with the help of a toothpick/cake tester make some tiny holes on top of the cake.
Pour over the lightly-warm syrup onto the cake.
Garnish the cake with chopped pistachio.
Relish your evening tea with a slice of Pistachio-Yogurt cake!