Earl Grey lemon coconut cake

It’s Christmas eve here in India, and since I am at my parents and my niece is visiting us there’s a lot of excitement around christmas in the house. We decorated our small little christmas tree today with some lights, and although my niece who found her presents and already opened them, she is still pretty excited about christmas.

My parents are leaving for Kasauli for two days to celebrate their anniversary with their friends. I will be babysitting my niece. I think I am being brave by planning an outing with my friends with her around, but hopefully she too will have a good time tomorrow. I would like her to see all the christmas decorations in the mall and maybe make her meet Santa as well. We baked a red velvet cake together for my parents anniversary, and even am glad to have my little helper with me always being so appreciative of my efforts.

Today I am sharing the last of the videos I did for TeaBox and Bake With Shivesh. Its an earl grey lemon coconut cake. I am in love with all the tea infusing in my baked goods and I am surely going to be experiment more with it. Since I planned to post this video just before Christmas, I made sure it had a more festive tune to it. Hope you like the upbeat music and the video.

Wishing all the readers of The Novice Housewife a very merry christmas and happy holidays!

Early Grey Lemon Coconut Cake from Shumaila Chauhan on Vimeo.


  • Video: MuddyChoux Photography/ The Novice Housewife 
  • Recipe: Shivesh Bhatia, Bake with Shivesh
  • Brand: TeaBox
  • Music: Jingle Bell Rock- Megan Nicole (cover)


Black Forest Pavlova

The next couple of days you will see a lot of recipe videos on the blog. In my last post, I shared the orange spiced christmas cookie video that I shot for Bake with Shivesh in collaboration with TeaBox Tea. Today I am sharing the video for this decadent three layer Black Forest pavlova that Shivesh developed for Big Banyan.

As a child I have had my share of black forest cakes. In India, when I was growing up, cake options from bakery were limited to primarily two flavours- pineapple or black forest, both of these cakes as a result graced many occasions. Recipe for the swiss version of the black forest cake has previously been posted on my blog and you can check it out here.

Pavlova has been a more recent addition to my taste buds, although since my mom baked quite a bit I had seen it in her baking books, though my mom not a fan of meringues always looked past it. I only got to taste a pavlova when I was living in Morenci, Arizona. Lucky for me, it was at an Australian’s house so it was as authentic as could be.

Black Forest Pavlova

My first attempt at a meringue based cake was the mascarpone meringue cake I baked for Daring Bakers, one which surprisingly came out well. The picture in that post were taken at a time when food photography was not one of my strengths, and they really don’t do justice to how divine it tasted.

Having tried my hand at meringue based cakes, I attempted a chocolate pavlova which was delicious and posted about it here. A black forest cake version has been on my list ever since I saw it on Meeta’s blog and even though I did not make this, at least I got to shoot it for someone who did.

Shivesh used the Merlot from Big Banyan in the cherry filling, instead of the traditional Kirsch, and I am not complaining. I am not the one to drink while I am on a shoot, but then somebody had to drink that glass of poured wine. 😀

Black Forest Pavlova

The recipe for the Black Forest pavlova can be found on Shivesh’s blog here, and you can learn more about the wines from Big Banyan here.

Check out the video below and let me know what you think. And in case you missed out on the Christmas cookie video you can check it out here.

Black Forest Pavlova from Shumaila Chauhan on Vimeo.


  • Video: MuddyChoux Photography/ The Novice Housewife 
  • Recipe: Shivesh Bhatia, Bake with Shivesh
  • Brand: Big Banyan
  • Music: Our Place- Arrow & Olive

Cook with Hyatt Culinary Challenge

Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, one of the two celebrity chefs for the event, cooking his Gosht Badam Pasanda

Last weekend I got the opportunity to attend the Hyatt Culinary Challenge 2016 Grand Finale at Hyatt Regency, Chandigarh.

This is the third year of Hyatt Culinary Challenge, which started in 2014. To actively involve as well as encourage Hyatt’s patrons in the corporate world to explore their passions in the field of cooking, Hyatt India introduced this concept of a culinary challenge between senior representatives from the corporate world across 13 cities and its 24 hotels in India. Each of the participating hotels invited elite corporates to participate in a cook off in their respective cities and show off their cooking skills. A winner was selected from each city and on 19th November the 13 winners competed in the Finale for a chance to win the grand prize.

For the culinary challenge, Hyatt India partnered with SMILE foundation and a child from the foundation was paired with each guest participant for the cook-off, assisting them during the 90 minutes they had to prepare and plate their dish for the judges. The idea behind this is to expose these kids to various different professional options in the hope that for some it may lead them to discover and harness a skill they never thought of exploring before.

Cook with Hyatt Culinary Challenge

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