Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Photo shoot at Farmers market and Chocolate fudge brownie recipe

Last weekend was a very productive one for me, it was Bloggers Buzz BBPC session 3 and this time it was outdoors in a busy sunday market to capture the fall colours. This time it was a group of six of us, Manjiri, Nisha, Nupur, Suchi, Gayatri and me.  The market was very colourful that day with all colourful pumkins around and we had fun shooting the coloured beauties. Smell of amazing food was all over the market and it was really hard to control all the tempatations while shooting the pictures. The Whole experience of going to market is really wonderful, seeing all the fresh local produce and the are comparatively cheaper to the supermarket ones and the great thing is they are local and organic too !I am definitely going to go often to farmers market  and get hold of some fresh local organic produce :) I am not going to talk more about it, let  the pictures speak more about it ! 

Coming to todays post its Chocolate fudge brownies I took  for a Halloween party at my friends place. Halloween is only tomorrow but we already  had a dressing up party  at my friends place. It was indeed fun to watch kids enjoying themselves, probably they were all sugar high after all the candies they ate. We had  great party, the food were contributed by all mums and this brownies were my contribution for the party. It was so chocolatey, yumm and  very rich too ! I had book marked this recipe from Rias space a long time back but since it was rich I was waiting for an occasion to try it and this party seemed like a perfect occassion . If  you are chocolate lover like me, I am sure you will love it and its perfect for taking to a kids party !

Ingredients ( makes 25 brownies )

Recipe adapted from Rias collection
(The cup I use for measurement is  a 200 ml cup)

Plain flour/ maida - 175 gm/ 1 1/2 cup
Cocoa powder - 2tbs
Instant Coffee powder - 1 tsp
Dark chocolate - 300 gm (70 % cocoa )
Eggs - 5 (large )
Granulated sugar - 200 gm/ 1cup 
Light Brown sugar - 100 gm / 3/4 cup
Unsalted Butter - 200 gm
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp

  • In a big bowl take 300 gms of chopped dark chocolate, coffee powder and 200 gm butter and place them over a simmering pan of water until butter and chocolate melts. 
  • Meanwhile in mixing bowl measure plain flour, cocoa powder, salt and mix with a spoon and keep it aside.
  • Add both the sugars to  the chocolate mixture and stir until dissolved.
  • Break 3 eggs into the bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Break 2 more eggs, add vanilla extract and stir in ( donot over mix)
  • Finally add the flour mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into a prepared cake tin and bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degree celcious for 35-40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out with moist crumbs
  • Let it cool completely in the tin and then cut them into squares.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Making of Ballerina Hello Kitty cake :)

How  r u all ? With all the festives around the corner u all must be busy cooking and baking and having fun rt ? Does Halloween calls for a party ? It was a definitely a spooky thing which I never liked before but things have changed now as  Lil A is being enthuthisatic about it. He want to  carve a pumpkin like last year and want to dress up and have  a party ! If Halloween makes kids happy then why not join the fun right ? 
Coming to todays post, my friends lil daughter turned 3 this month and I made this cake for this little hello kitty girl who love Ballet dancing. I think more than baking I enjoyed decorating this cake and making it girly ! Like everytime, eventhough I wanted to take step by step pictures, I only could few. Maybe with more experience, I  might be able to multi task, taking step by step pictures and doing the decoartion side by side. So just to give you all an idea how I did it, I am sharing few pictures which I managed to click :)

Drew Hello kitty on a White paper and cut out the outine.

 With the hello kitty outline, I first cut out an  whole hello kitty outline in fondant, before cutting the  templates in the pictures below.

Cut out the face, dress, arms and ballet shoes.

Roll out fondant and place the templates on top and cut out the fondant.

Stick the fondant face, arms, shoes etc on fondant outine.
Ballet dress frills were cut out using the Frill cutters and streched out with tool going back and forth.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chocolate fudge cupcake with dulce de leche buttercream and Cocktail night at Gilbert scotts

Remember, in my previous post I mentioned that I will be doing a detailed post on the exciting goodie bag voucher I got from SMW food photography event?? So today I am going to ramble about that fun day I had with my blogger buddies Nisha, Suchi, Manjiri and Gayatri.

Night out with friends is fun, especially with like minded blogger friends, so when we all found out that our goodie bag had this exciting voucher for a free cocktail at Gilbert scotts, we all decided not to miss the chance to go to the famous GB scotts and to taste their 1873 cocktail. On our arrival, we had a table  reserved for us. All thanks to Natasha, marketing manager for that :) We sat down and settled in our table admiring the beauty of the decor. This victorian style restaurant had so much to offer, the ornately painted high ceilings, revolving door, ball chandeliers etc etc. We were thrilled when we were given a hotel tour including the kitchen by Mark Cesareo, the restaurant manager. While we listened to the great history of the hotel, we clicked a few pictures too.This hotel named after the famous architect George Gilbert Scott is luxurious with beautiful decor thorough out and has got a magical charm.The intersting bit was that this hotel was bombed three times  during World war 2 but it remained unharmed !! Mark walked us thorough the restaurant, private dining hall, beautiful hall way, stairway and the great kitchen. Being in a kitchen of such a busy restaurant, watching  chefs cook was so exciting and was definitely the best part of the tour  for me. So with a content heart, we  headed back to our table and enjoyed our cocktails and some cocktail  bites. It was a perfect evening in everyway! 




                                                                                            Image coutsey - Gilbert Scott

                                                                             Image courtsey - Gilbert Scott

Coming to todays post, I made these cupcakes for submitting it for Bloggers buzz BBPC assignment. Since we were asked to post a cupcake picture and a recipe I decided to come up with something I havent tried yet. After lots of thinking finally I decided to try  chocloate fudge cupcakes and for frosting I decided to go with dulca de leche buttercream as I had some Nestle caramel waiting to be used in my freezer. I am so happy with the outcome, the cupcake itself was so delcious and I dont see any need of frosting but since it was for an assignment I decided to frost it and they were absolutely delicious !

Ingredients( for cupcakes) makes 12 mini cupcakes
Recipe for cupcakes adapted from  - Easy desserts by Marks and Spencers

Plain flour - 112 gm
Almond flour / ground almond - 27 gm
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Salt - pinch
Plain chocolate - 42 gm (melted)
Unsalted Butter - 112 gm (softnened )
Light muscavado sugar - 112 gm
soft Vanilla fudge(diced ) - 57gm
Eggs - 2 large
Boiled water - 1 tbs

  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and keep it aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Beat two eggs lightly and add them gradually to the creamed butter.
  4. Add sifted flour and fold in.
  5. Mix almond flour in 1 tbs of boiled and cooled water and fold this in to the batter.
  6. Add melted chocolate and fold in.
  7. Add diced vanilla fudge and fold in.
  8. Line a cupcake tin and fill the cupcake liners with 3/4 th batter and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree celcius for 20- 25 minutes until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

For Dulce de leche buttercream ( for decorating 6 mini cupcakes)

Butter - 100 gm
Icing sugar - 200 gm
Double cream - 50 ml
Meringue powder - 1 tsp
Dulce de leche/ nestle caramel - 1 1/2 tbs
Vanilla extract - 1tsp
Salt - pinch

  1. In a mixing bowl add 1/3 rd of the sugar,salt, meringue powder and mix.
  2. Add cream to it and beat for 5 minutes in an electric mixer with paddle attachment.
  3. Add remaiining sugar and beat for 3 minutes.
  4. Add butter little by littel and beat for 5- 7minutes
  5. Add vanilla extract, dulce  de leche and beta for 30 seconds in very slow speed.

F 2.8, ISO 100, SHUTTER SPEED 1/60

sending this post for BBPC # session 2 assignment

Friday, October 11, 2013

Great British Chefs SMW food photography workshop

Couple of weeks back a bunch of  food bloggers got really lucky when we got an opportunity to go for a social media Photography event hosted by Great british chefs in association with  google local at Google's London Office. Being a hard core foodie and wannabe food photographer I was so excited about the whole event. I went for the event with couple of my blogger friends and we were so glad to see a whole lot of food bloggers there. We were all welcomed by Mecca Ibrahim head of Social media at GB Chefs who organised this beautiful event for us. After few minutes of socialising with other bloggers over cocktails and canapes, the workshop began with a small welcome talk by  Ollie Lyod, C.E.O of  GB chefs. Other  highlights of the events were inspiring  talk by the award winning Michelin star chef  Chef Marcus Wareing,  food photography workshop by David Griffen who is well know food photographer and last but not least the delcious canapes , cocktails, dishes and drinks.

It was indeed a privilege to be in the same room with Marcus wareing, when he came on to the stage and  asked us whether we have any questions for him, he would have never guessed the first question would be a tricky one, he was asked  about his thoughts of food bloggers, for which he replied after a pause !! I thoroughly enjoyed his replies for all the questions he was asked too.

We were so lucky to get some great photography tips from David Griffen. He talked about lighting, compostion and Post processing. He showed us that to take a good picture we dont need a big fancy camera or even a digital camera. The mobile pictures we were shown proved that he was right. For post processing David recommended using Snapseed and showed us some brilliant examples. In future if I can take pictures half good as his I would be a happy girl :) Anyway I am going to keep all those tips in mind when I take food pictures and hopefully I might be able to do better !

Afterwards we were taken to the canteen to photograph and ofcourse eat the dishes from Gilbert Scott. All thanks to the Head chef Chantelle Nicholson of Gilbert Scot and sous chef Felix   for the wondeful dishes :)

To sum up it was a wonderful night indeed and we came back home with a goodie bag with an exciting voucher  and a small treat. A detailed post on how we used those vouchers and some exciting pictures will be  up on blog stay tuned !! Till then here are the few pictures of the wonderful dishes we had that day for you to enjoy.

Butternut Squash,sage and  brown butter tartlets

Oxtail slider
Rabbit and prawn pie
Mrs Beeton's Snow egg
Gin and lavender cocktail

Thursday, October 3, 2013

BEN 10 Cake and How I made it :)

Last weekend was a special one for us, it was our lil ones 5 th birthday party. I have been busy planning the party and organising it and finally I can relax now...its all over and it was a great party indeed. Throwing a birthday party is not that easy but with little pre planning anyone can throw a great party without any stress. This time we also got to fix all the mistakes we made last year which helped us in successfully executing this one. I am so happy that all the kids who came for the party had a great Magical experience with the Magician and great fun with the instant balloons she twisted upon their request :) 
It was basically a kiddie party with full focus on kids. All the party food for kids were almost the standard party menu which we see in kids parties here and it  involves no cooking :) So everything was bought readymade and it made my job easier. Here is the list of food I served for kids

Chicken sandwiches
Cheese sandwiches
Jam sandwiches
Mini Pizza's
Cocktail sausages
Carrot sticks
Cucumber sticks

There was an adult platter for parents too ...

Pepperoni pizza
Mozerella and Spinch Pizza
Spring rolls
Prwan toast
Mango Juice

And about the cake, it was red velvet cake with Cream cheese frosting  and I am so glad I finally got a bit of red colour this colour this time, I always had trouble getting the colour, as none of the colours worked. I also wanted a Natural colour since adding artificial one is a strict no to me. This time also when the came came out of the oven  I didnt see the red colour outside so I was a bit  disappointed and I even told my friends about the disaster, but the next day when  I cut the cake for levelling and decoration, voila there was this red colour inside !! 

After lots of thinking and confusion finally my boy said  he wanted a Ben 10 cake for his party. Eventhough I tried to convince him that making a Ben 10 quite a lot of work,  he insisted that he wanted Ben 10, So I had no choice other than making one. This time I decided to do a  fondant cut out for Ben 10 rather than making a figurine,  I could have easily bought Ben 10's edible picture from shops but I wanted to take this as a challenge and I thought incase if I screw this up I can always order one edible picture from our cake shop nearby :) But I was quite happy with the way it came out and he loved it. 

Here are few pictures of my step by step progress, I only managed to click few as  it was a toughh really tough work for me ! It tested all my patience, and if you look closer you can definitely see my lack of patience here and there :)

Using the print out of the picture I rolled fondant and cut out the outine.

I cut out the hair and the trousers and watch from print out and used that to cut out fondant  hair, trousers, sleeve  and watch from  black, green and white fondant.

I drew the outine, nose, ear, pupil  and fingers with an edible black pen. Eye brows and eyes were made swith mall fondant cut outs.The ghostly figure on the watch was drawn with a black edible pen. Finally sticked some polka dots and gave a border and wrote is name :)

Also before I sign off  here are few pictures from our party !

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Thai Red Chicken curry

Couple of days back I ran into an old friend of mine at a bus stop, after few minutes of catching up, our topic moved onto Food. She was from Thailand , so the  first thing I asked her was about  good Thai eating places around. She replied that  her close friend was a chef in  one of the  popular restaurant around and eventhough its popular she said its not the authentic kind of Thai and she wouldnt reccomend it !! I guess thats the story of all resturants outside the homeland :)
So my next question was about the famous thai red curry paste as I absoultely love  Thai curries, especially Thai red curry. When I asked that  I was expecting a recipe of Thai curry paste from her but her  answer was quite surprising, she said she buy it from the  Thai section of Asian grocery shop where  I go. So thats was it, I knew I will be picking the paste and making the curry soon. So during this weeks trip I picked Thai curry paste, Palm sugar and fish sauce from the shop. I was apprehensive about how it would taste but I am super glad I cooked it as it was one of the tastiest and quickest chicken curry I have ever made. No sauting onions, no roasting  or grinding , just fry the paste, add conout milk, chicken and some veggies and simmer, a delcious curry will be ready in well under 30 minutes ! 

Boneless chicken - 500gm
Thai red curry paste - 100 gm
Carrot - 1
Green pepper/ Capsicum - 1/2 ( I didnt use it )
Baby corn - 5-10
Beans -5-10
Palm sugar - 4 tsp
Fish sauce - 1 tsp
Coconut milk - 400 ml
Water - 1 cup
Sweet basil leaves - few (optional, I didnt use it )
Thai red chillies ( to garnish )

  • In a saucepan add oil and fry the thai red curry paste for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add chicken ( cut into cubes) and veggies ( cut lenghthwise ) and saute until its well coated in the curry paste for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk, water and bring to boil.
  • Add palm sugar, fish sauce and cook it covered until chicken and veggies are cooked.
  • Finally add some sweet basil leaves and turn off the flame.
  • Garnish with chopped redchillies and serve warm with steamed rice