Unending stretch of meadows dotted with a million flowers line up the pathway to the cottage.
Some Cosmoses too, show up between the dainty flowers that outnumber all other wild flowers in the Valley.
There is a sound..... It seems to be some kind of hum….very cosmic, very incomprehensible. Soon the source is discovered. A thousand bees or more, swarming on the wild flowers generate the reverberating murmur that pervades the air. It is a rare experience these days and we savour it while treading on the meandering path that leads to the veranda of Norah Richard’s art center in Andretta village in Himanchal. Another enchanting spectacle greets us as we pull our cane chairs and drink the beauty of the snow clad Dhauladhar ranges in the backdrop of the forest.
It was a lovely evening walk. Back in room we sip steaming tea with Egg less Vanilla Tea Cake that was made for the trip.
This is a very simple cake. Best enjoyed with tea. This can be also be served with ice cream or custard or mango puree as dessert.
Egg less Vanilla Tea Cake | Butter free Cake
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ to 1 cup castor sugar (quantity depending on preference for sweetness)
1 cup thick yogurt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Handful of roasted and chopped nuts of your choice
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Line, grease and dust one 6 ½ inches round cake pan.
Beat yogurt till smooth. Add baking powder and soda. Mix well. Keep aside for 3 minutes. The mixture will start bubbling.
Add oil, sugar and vanilla essence and mix till uniformly incorporated.
Add flour in parts. Mix gently till just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Level with a spoon, sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly on top.
Bake at 200 degrees C for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 175 degrees and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges by running a knife along the sides and remove the cake from the pan. Cool in the rack.
Slice next day.