Art You Eat

“Keep props tasteful and simple. Remember the food is the star!
Robin Zachary

Eggs & ThymeFood photography and food styling are best friends forever. One cannot excel without the other, and it’s an endless learning experience. The net is never ceases to amaze, showcasing the vast talent that lies before us. Food blogs are an important contributors too, some who have inspired me endlessly for so many years. Does my blog look good in this {DMBLGiT}  …. Baby mustard greens stir fryor this…Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake…maybe this Strawberries… or this? Styling and shooting food is music to my ears, thoughts that fill my head all day long. Call it an obsession, call it wasteful pleasure, call it developing a skill set  or hobby, even shooting for clients, shooting is what I like to do best. I could spend hours with the camera, just whiling my time away, clicking colours, angles, produce, cakes … anything food. These are simple pleasures in the life of a food blogger. Where else would you find such a large-hearted community that is brought together by pure food porn?

bundts 800And that brings me in to announce the winners of the DMGLBiT {Does my blog look good in this} April 2015. I am eternally grateful to the sweet Sophia Terra-Ziva and Ludmila Slokoski for taking time out of their busy schedules to judge this event. It means a lot to the food bloggers community when stalwarts like you who inspire us through every frame connect with us like this. Also HUGE thanks to Neel @ LFP who has resurrected this event and agreed to judge it too, despite traveling across continents!

Summer Ready with GOQiiThank you ALL, the wonderful food bloggers for whole heartedly joining in. This event is on it’s feet only because of you. The enthusiasm, the spirit and the ‘wanting’ to learn is heartening to see. The judges have enjoyed looking at the submissions, and have offered feedback/comments on what you sent in. If you wish to hear how they felt, or how you can improve, then do drop me a line. I will be happy to share it with you. And now, time for the drumroll as we announce the well deserving winners.

DMBLGiT April 2015 Winners

Each DMBLGiT event has 6 total winners.  One in each of these categories Edibility, Originality and Aesthetics – so that’s three. And three positions for overall winners.

Edibility Category Winner

DMBLGiT_March_2015Nicole Branan of The Spice Train

Aesthetics Category Winner

DMBLGiT_March_2015 (6)

Madhuri Aggarwal of MADaboutkitchen

Originality Category Winner {we had a tie}

Rose sherbetAmbica Selvan of Lingering Aftertaste

DMBLGiT_March_2015 (6)Madhuri Aggarwal of MADaboutkitchen

Overall Winner – Third PlaceDMBLGiT_March_2015 (18)Sanjeeta kk of Lite Bite

Overall Winner – Second Place
DMBLGiT_March_2015Nicole Branan of The Spice Train

Overall Winner – First Place

DMBLGiT_March_2015 (6)Madhuri Aggarwal of MADaboutkitchen

Congratulations to all of you. Brilliant stuff! Thank you so much for participating.

Don’t forget to congratulate the winners by leaving a comment on their blogs. Also, do participate in May contest at Deepali from Lemon in Ginger. Official announcement should come soon.

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“When you celebrate, there is sure to be cake.”
Florence Ditlow

Coffee Dark Chocolate Roulade Coffee Dark Chocolate Roulade … that’s what I made because I was craving coffee in cake. It’s been a while since I did coffee in a dessert. Roulade or Swiss Roll also because a load of my friends have been making them of late, and yes, I got tempted. First it was Himanshu, then Ruchira. Yesterday, I sauntered into the kitchen with no specific plan in mind, and this is what I came up with. Was yum! Hit the right coffee spot!

KitchenAid Inida Probaker 2015Just a short while ago, I got an email confirming that I made it to KitchenAid India’s Probaker challenge, one of top 50 Indian home bakers. It’s going to be a fun challenge, and for me, hopefully will give me more creative exposure. Will be baking with friends, and cannot wait to see how differently ‘baking minds‘ think when presented with similar ingredients. ‘Marching‘ ahead in anticipation!

Spring I love this month. Come March, and there is inspiration galore. The weather fills you with energy, the air is nice and crisp, new blades of grass, ladybugs, flowers… so much INSPIRATION! There’s also something terribly inspiring about a cake that rolls. It’s a whole lot of fun too! My recipe for a V E R Y simple roulade lives in my head. I’ve made it with variations for years. 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour. Quick, simple, fun!

Coffee Dark Chocolate Roulade

A roulade is a dish of filled rolled meat or pastry. Traditionally found in various European cuisines, the term roulade originates from the French word “rouler”, meaning “to roll”. Some roulades consist of cake (often sponge cake) baked in a flat pan rolled around a filling. Cake rolled around jam, chocolate butter cream, nuts or other fillings, is an example of a sweet roulade like the bejgli or the Swiss roll. The bûche de Noël or “Yule log” is a traditional French Christmas cake roll, often decorated with frosting made to look like bark.

I find it comforting that everything sits snug inside a cake. It’s a funny way to look at it, but nice. One of my most memorable ones was a savoury Ricotta & Spinach Roulade from Ottolenghi. That was special and carried trademark Ottolenghi flavours and philosophy. Fresh, seasonal, simple. And then another, the Raspberry Pistachio Swiss Roll {or Spring Roll to herald in Spring one year!}

GF Mango Almond Quark Roulade I’ve done a couple of gluten free ones as well. Those I loved heaps! A GF Mango Almond Quark Roulade and a GF Strawberry Almond Roulade. I also like that you can customise them to moods and ingredients on hand. So Spring often sees loads of strawberry flecked roulades, while summer will definitely see a mango and cream. Oh and summer will also see an ice cream roulade. That is even more fun!

Coffee Dark Chocolate Roulade This one went the  coffee way. I prettied it a lil too as everything came together really quick which meant extra time. I had forgotten how soon these come together. With March still quite cold, the bake cooled a lot faster too. So I saved some ganache in a piping bag and did some free hand doodling over the roll. Wasn’t sure if the contrast would work, but I think I did OK. It looked pretty, subtle but pretty!

Barnis {Indian Pickling Jars}Oh and before I go, did I show you the very sweet Barnis {Indian Pickling jars} I got in the mail 2 days ago? My dear and very talented food blogger/food stylist friend Sanjeeta mailed them from Chennai. It was love at first sight. I couldn’t resist filling one with coffee beans and sneaking them into the frame!

Coffee Dark Chocolate Roulade

You can find loads of COFFEE in my desserts here. That’s my most favourite flavour ever!

[print_this]Recipe: Coffee Dark Chocolate Roulade
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Summary: A quick Coffee Dark Chocolate Roulade that comes together with minimal fuss. If you like love coffee, then this is for you. Paired with a dark chocolate ganache, flavoured with a hint of Kahlua, dressed up with doodles, what’s not to love about it! Serves 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours

  • Coffee Roulade
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup – 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp instant coffee
  • Coffee Syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 25g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 1tsp Kahlua {optional}
  • Filling/Chocolate Ganache
  • 120g dark couverture chocolate
  • 100g single cream
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua {optional}
  • Icing sugar for sifting


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a jelly roll pan with baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric beater, whisk the eggs and brown sugar until tripled in volume and light and mousse like, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the coffee and vanilla extract, and beat for another minute.
  4. Sift the flour over the bowl, and gently fold in making sure you don’t release the beaten in air.
  5. Turn batter into prepared tray, smoothen out and bake for approx 25 minutes until light golden and firm to touch. Keep an eye during the last 5 minutes.
  6. Lay a kitchen towel flat on the counter and sift over with powdered sugar. Turn the baked cake onto it, and gently peel off the parchment. Sift over with icing sugar, cover with sheet of parchment and roll gently into a tight roll, using the kitchen towel to guide you. Leave to cool completely.
  7. Coffee Syrup
  8. Place all ingredients in a small pan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Cool and stir in the Kahlua if using. Reserve
  9. Filling/Chocolate Ganache
  10. Place the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl. Heat until the chocolate is 3/4 done in the microwave, one minute at a time, or over a double boiler. Whisk until smooth. Add the Kahlua if using, whisk again. Cool completely. Reserve 2 tbsp in a piping bag if you wish to decorate the outside.
  11. Assemble
  12. Gently unroll the cake, paint over with syrup, and then spread the chocolate ganache all over it. Roll back gently but firmly, wrap in cling wrap and allow to chill seam down for an hour or two {or overnight} to allow the flavours to develop.
  13. Unwrap and place on serving platter. Pipe a design over the roll if desired, slice and serve.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

” A picture is worth a thousand words ….”

Well this is going to be a difficult post for me … words only, no pictures. For an obsessive shutterbug this might prove to be the most difficult challenge yet, but with a little shove from a dear friend, I am game to give it a shot!

“They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Can you use words to describe a great picture? Using words alone, write a blog post that describes a mouth-watering, perfect meal and how you can make it more beautiful with Borosil Glassware from”

Interestingly we’ve had a few meal experiences on our very recent trip to Leh, some good, and others best forgotten. The best one possibly was our first one on the banks of the river Indus. The open air tented breakfast and lunch room at the eco camp is set by the gently bubbling Indus. The river is low on water as the summer heat has yet to melt the ice on the glaciers that feed it.

Set amidst beautiful greens, nestled in the Himalayas at 11000ft,  we would have never imagined a meal under tents, the brown wood and canvas blending perfectly with the surroundings. Keeping us company were a few cows from nearby villages, a mongrel called Kali, a wild cat who endlessly bothered a handful of warring black billed magpies, finches and oriental turtle doves, also wild asses grazing just across the river.

Lunch was soon served by the very efficient chef who has honed her skills in Delhi {ex Olive} and now develops recipes to serve at the camp using local ingredients. Just my kind of chef. She has another tough job on hand … adapting the recipes to cook at high altitude. It’s a different ball game altogether, one which she seems to have perfected. {And it’s not an easy one as we were to learn later!!}

Fresh local salad greens and watermelon balls tossed in the most awesome honey mustard dressing was the first to arrive. Mixed together with pretty and delicate bamboo salad forks from Meghalaya, it was the best salad ever! It has inspired endless salads that we enjoy everyday since our return. {Wish I could share a picture!!!}

We were really hungry ; must have been the mountain air and the lack of oxygen. It was Budh Purnima which meant Ladakh has to be ‘vegetarian’ on the day. The meal was simple yet bursting with flavour. The Palak Paneer {spinach cottage cheese} made from local spinach and cottage cheese had a nice tang to it, pleasingly different from the one we eat here in the NCR. I loved it!! On the side was a stir fried Zeera Aloo {cumin potatoes} also beautifully seasoned and cooked just right. Fresh chapatis {flatbreads}, a yellow dal and short grained boiled rice completed the menu. I can well imagine how beautifully the essential combination set would fit in with this menu!!

Did I just say completed the menu? No wait, there was more! An absolutely smashing good banofee pie set in the sweetest little glasses. The toffee sauce, whipped cream and bananas were marriage made in heaven. Scrape, scrape, scrape … we could have licked the glasses clean! I can visualise how stunning the dessert this might look layered as it were in the borosil glass katoris! Desserts do look wonderful in glassware.

The meal was one of the most memorable and picturesque ones we’ve enjoyed of late. Hopefully I managed to convey the picture of #BeautifulFood!!

Don’t miss a post Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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