“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”
Etty Hillesum

Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam The other day I got a package from Britannia Foods with samples of their recently launched snacks, ‘Snackuits‘, which offered the promise of a break from baking; something that looked like the kids would enjoy. I must be a glutton for punishment because even though I was absolutely exhausted, I decided to make some Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam to go with it!Caramelised Onion & Garlic JamThe morning saw a tiring pizza session, absolutely delicious, but gosh, so much work!! Preheating the oven to make a batch of balsamic roasted strawberries for these Hot Cross Buns I was annoyed with myself. It was bugging that the oven was on, had some extra room and I hadn’t got my act together in time to bake something alongside.  It’s a happy feeling to know you can kill two birds with one stone …  catch my drift? Does that happen to you sometimes?Caramelised Onion & Garlic JamPouring in the balsamic vinegar I remembered earlier references to an onion jam that used balsamic vinegar but the recipes I recall were all stove top. Figured I could roast onions in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar alongside the strawberries. Something sweet and something ‘savoury sweet‘ …nice!Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam

Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam Garlic had to be in there because roasting garlic brings out the sweeter side of it. We are a garlic loving family. It’s something that just seems to make life better, even on tiring old days! Being in the kitchen, creating, baking, stirring is all pretty unwinding and relaxing on most days! Summer is here so I’m up pretty early much to the dogs excitement. She takes a chunk out of my earlier free mornings, but she is so CUTE that I don’t mind it!Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam I had those Snackuits in my head. Light, crisp cracker like biscuits would go well with a smoky oniony garlicky jam! If the crackers were a little bigger, they would make a nice base for canapes, great cocktail snacks. They do look pretty versatile, and taste rather good!!Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam

Tired of being bogged down with family chores and responsibilities? Now take some time off for yourself! Your ultimate happy snack is here to help you break life’s monotony and have some girl fun. Let your hair down and show people the witty-whacky side of you. Chilling out and gossiping with your girl gang, Snackuits gives you the license to show your fun side and break free!

Britannia Industries is one of India’s leading Food companies and a leader in the Bakery and Dairy segments in the Indian marketplace. It’s latest launch is 50-50 Snackuits giving every modern day homemaker the option of guilt-free snacking. It’s baked, has cut back on cholesterol, MSG, Trans Fat and oil. With flavours from gourmet food cuisines across the world  & the goodness of biscuits, 50-50 Snackuits has a unique combination of stimulating flavours that bring alive the gourmet taste of authentic Swiss Cheese, Chinese cuisine & Italian pizzas.

Caramelised Onion & Garlic JamI was quite surprised at these tasty little bites. The balance of flavours, the spices and the crispiness are certainly addictive. The kids gave them high fives and I have to agree! The market has recently seen baked chips making a foray, but IMHO, these have stolen a few points from those! My little bag of samples had 2 of the flavours Chinese Hot & Sweet and Pizza Italiano, both quite nice! I believe there is a 3rd flavour too, but that was missing from my sample bag … Caramelised Onion & Garlic JamThe portions are small, snack sized, enough for a single little bowlful. The blend of spices is good and both flavours were really well received by the kids, which I find really shouts the verdict out loud. I found them very slightly on the saltier side but I guess that’s just the mother in me taking note. I’d give them a 9/10 … wonderful tasty bites, handy to have on hand!Caramelised Onion & Garlic JamI served them with the Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam and the ‘now beginning to get pretty tiresome‘ pre-teen lapped it up asking for more. Did I say the portions are small, though good for the price {Rs10 for small bag}? A small bag of chips costs the same, and these were much much better. I would love to keep a couple of bags on hand … I really liked them!Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam

Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam Ran them past the ‘not so tiring any more’ teen and she loved them. Offered her onion jam, and she went “EWWWW. Nevah!!” After much cajoling and convincing, a little blackmailing, I finally got her to taste some. She enjoyed it, though hesitatingly said, “Would you mind not calling it jam please? I don’t like the idea of onions in jam!!Hmmm …Caramelised Onion & Garlic JamSo go on, if you live here in India grab a bag of these Snackuits next time you are at the grocery store and tell me if you like them. And if you aren’t in India, grab some onions and make some Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam. Make more than what I made because its pretty darned addictive and hits all the good spots in the most delightful way. I LOVED it. Sweet and savoury is right up my street, add garlic and I sing out LOUD! This did not disappoint!Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam

{Disclaimer: I have not received any remuneration from Britannia or any agency for this post. This is my personal opinion on the product which I have reviewed.}

[print_this]Recipe: Caramelised Onion & Garlic Jam
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Summary: A different take on what we traditionally think of as jam. This is pretty darned addictive and hits all the good spots in the most delightful way. A ‘smoky oniony garlicky’ jam that pairs well with crackers, rolls, canapes, bread, pizza etc!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes minutes

  • 4 onions, sliced fine
  • 6 cloves of garlic, whole with peel
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of sea salt


  1. Toss the onions in 2 tbsp olive oil, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Place the whole garlic cloves in a piece of foil and drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil over it.
  2. Turn the onions into an oven proof casserole, make a small nest in the centre and place the foil in the middle.
  3. Roast at 190C for about an hour until the edges begin to brown. {I like to do this as I bake something else alongside, or then bake a large portion as this keeps for long}
  4. Remove from oven. When the garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted garlic out. Discard the peels and place the roasted onions, garlic and sea salt in a heavy bottom pan.
  5. Taste and adjust the brown sugar or/and balsamic vinegar as required. Simmer on low with little water added if it is too dry for about 10 minutes for the flavours to mature. Cool and store in a glass jar in the fridge.


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“Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did” 

William Allen Butler

I don’t think there ever was or can be a more luscious, a more colourful and a more passionate berry than the strawberry. It’s beautifully shaped… c’mon, how many more berries would give us perfect hearts on being cross sectioned? Each time I see them, my heart skips a beat.

I’ve done loads of strawberry stuff this season, and would have happily done loads more had I not felt guilty of dessert overdose. I think strawberries are the perfect dessert ingredient, and compliment most cheeses and tropical fruit. Strawberries in pastry, in cake, in scones, in salad, in cream, with OJ, in a parfait, as ice cream sauce … infinite options and each charmingly different in it’s own way.

With little boxes of these colourful berries flooding the market, I can’t stop myself from buying them. So I bought 4 more little boxes the other day. The daughter loves her PB and J sandwich and goes through jars of peanut butter (home-made of course as Barbara would ask…),  and jam quite rapidly. She slaps on a sandwich (brown bread is the only bread I buy) when she gets back from school, and if in a good mood, does one for her ever doting kid brother too.

The other day she scraped out the last remaining bit of the store bought jam from the jar, and I knew what I wanted to make next! Most searches on the net led to the same strawberry conserve recipe so that was decided. It was a great recipe on many fronts, primarily because it doesn’t pressurise you to make the jam immediately. I made a few changes like adding a vanilla bean to bring out a slightly different flavour, using vanilla sugar instead of regular sugar, and increasing lime juice in the recipe from 2 limes to 3.

In the recipe, these very delicate and perishable fruit is layered with sugar, lime juice added and is allowed to rest for 24 hours. BLISS! Takes the pressure right off. I loved it because I was really pressed for time, and was afraid the strawberries would spoil if they weren’t put to use very soon. Next day, a five minute simmer after a boil, and rest again… and then things are pretty much under control. By day 3, I was quite eager to begin the jam making process and the conserve was finally ready! It did take about an hour on simmer before it reached setting point, but was super easy to make.
Got 3 nice jars of conserve, and am enjoying using it. Have made some delicious Double Chocolate Strawberry Energy Bars with it (yet to post recipe). Also used some in my last post of Strawberry, Chocolate & Mascarpone Cakelets. This is a nice way to preserve extra strawberries, and I dare say that if you have the time, the jam can well be made the same day like I did the Bitter Orange Marmalade here. A friend of mine makes it like I make marmalade, and it works just fine she says. I find the luxury of additional time very therapeutic in some way!

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Conserve
adapted from here
1 kg of either very small strawberries or halved hulled larger strawberries
1 kg granulated vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
1 vanilla bean, split
Juice of 3 limes (or 1 lemon)


Place alternate layers of strawberries and sugar into a bowl; add the lime juice and vanilla bean, cover and leave to stand overnight. (Make sure the bean is submerged in the liquid to help infuse well.
Next day, transfer the fruit and sugar to a pan, bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour back into the bowl, cover and leave again for another day.
Finally, transfer to a pan, bring to the boil and simmer until setting point is reached. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little until the fruit begins to sink in the syrup. Stir and pour into small, hot sterilized jars and cover immediately.

Makes about 1.5 kgs of conserve.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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“The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All of a summer day,
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts And took them quite away!”
Lewis Carroll

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.
Inspirations and References: Allan Davidson, Tamasin Day Lewis, Anton Edelmann, Jane Grigson, Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver
A giant tart, medium tarts or little tartlettes
Mandatory element 1: Sweet Shortcrust Pastry. Yes, it’s a pie pastry.
Mandatory element 2: Frangipane – it’s rich, sweet and slightly luxurious.
Optional element: Home made jam or curd
My inspiration for the frangipane: Aran @ Canelle et Vanille
Rich, delicious & indulgent. That’s what the tart was… & more.
The pastry excellent & crisp.
The challenge providing an optional opportunity to make jam, something I love to do.
The timing just right for jam as stone fruit flood our market, & I bottled up some peachy memories in a jar. You can view my ‘Peach-Rosemary Jam’ recipe here. I posted it a short while ago.
A Wonderful Challenge!
I adapted the shortcrust recipe a bit as am vary of egg in pastry. It’s more of a psychological thing, & I cannot enjoy it if I knead egg into it. Nevertheless, with the family in mind, I amended the recipe slightly. The resultant pastry was still beautiful, light & crisp. The only little hassle I had was that it remained soft, actually far too soft to roll after a couple of hours in the fridge as our weather is HOT (42-44C) & not pastry rolling/making weather. I rested it in the fridge overnight & got up early the next morning & rolled it out. It still broke up a few times, but patchwork in this recipe works magic, & I got a decent base. We had it at room temperature the first day. Seconds were delicious served cold the next day, & the base remained crisp in the fridge. I think the frozen butter & quick, minimal handling of dough is key here. It’s a beautiful recipe, a keeper! Sweet shortcrust pastry
as adapted from the recipe here
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) vanilla sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
100g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
1 egg yolk
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
5ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water
  • Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
  • Lightly beat the egg yolk with the almond & vanilla extract and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
  • Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes . I rested it overnight.

adapted from Aran @ Canelle et Vanille
100gms unsalted butter, softened
100 powdered vanilla sugar
1 egg
1tsp almond extract
1tsp vanilla extract
100g ground almonds
30g all purpose flour


  • Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the egg and beat well one The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. Pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour. Use immediately or refridgerate for a day in a ziploc/baggie.
  • My Peach-Rosemary Jam recipe can be found here, as adapted from Martha Stewart.

Assembling the tart

  • Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
  • Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish. When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough. The origins of the tart are not clear, however the generally accepted story is that it was first made by accident in 1820 when the landlady of the White Horse Inn left instructions for her cook to make a jam tart. The cook, instead of stirring the eggs and almond paste mixture into the pastry, spread it on top of the jam. When cooked the jam rose through the paste. The result was successful enough for it to become a popular dish at the inn, and commercial variations, usually with icing sugar on top, have spread the name. The name is believed to have come from a customer who decided that the tart was “baked well” thus the inn called it their “Bakewell” tart, a pun on the town of Bakewell and a well baked tart.

The tart tasted spectacular. An easy & delicious challenge for the month, with room for creativity in the filling once again. I was thrilled to see it because I have been enamoured with the name frangipane for ages. A romantic sounding name, I often wondered how it tasted. Have seen it used beautifully by Aran @ Canelle et Vanille, & that recipe stuck in my head. The moment I read the challenge, I was off to compare recipes. Aran’s recipe appealed to me primarily because it used fewer eggs, & marginally less butter. The portion was enough for 1 rectangular tart, though I had some pastry dough left sans filling.I could have left the pastry a few mms thicker to use all the dough. Made a few rustic heart shaped tart cases with the left over dough. I filled those with some left over Bavarian cream from my peach monster’s 10th birthday cake. I used the recipe for the Bavarian cream from Helen‘s post @ Tartlette here. These little hearts were divine too.

Thank you for another great challenge ladies – Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict & Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. I love being a Daring Baker, & the family loves being a Daring Baker family, because now they’re also interested in what the next challenge is going to be. The good thing is the pin-drop silence & tip-toeing around when they know it’s the baker being daring in the kitchen!! LOL!

To see how well the other bakers have done on the tart, do stop by at our blogroll here.

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