DMBLGiT June 2015 – THE WINNERS!!

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I’m super-excited to announce the winners of the June DMBLGiT contest! We had a lot of great submissions and I want to thank all of you talented photographers and bloggers out there who entered!

A huge thank you to the three fantastic judges, Amanda of chewtown.com, Evi of whipandclick.com and John of heneedsfood.com, and to Neel and his team over at learnfoodphotography.com!

And here we go:

Overall Winner, 1st Place:

Cherry and Coconut Tres Leche CakeCherry and Coconut Tres Leche Cake by Himanshu Taneja of The White Ramekins.

Overall Winner, 2nd Place:

Stuffed Pomfret Semolina Fry

Stuffed Pomfret-Semolina Fry by Farrukh Aziz of Cubes N Juliennes.

Overall Winners, 3rd Place:

Whole wheat pear & Cardamom Olive Oil CakeWholewheat Olive Oil, Yoghurt, Honey & Pear Cake by Noha of Matters of the Belly.
 
Blue Cinnamon LemonadeBlue Cinnamon Lemonade by Souvik Mukherjee of Giggling Spoons.

 

Edibility Category Winners:
Cherry and Coconut Tres Leche Cake Cherry and Coconut Tres Leche Cake by Himanshu Taneja of The White Ramekins.
 
Stuffed Pomfret Semolina FryStuffed Pomfret-Semolina Fry by Farrukh Aziz of Cubes N Juliennes.

 

Originality Category Winner:
Blue Cinnamon LemonadeBlue Cinnamon Lemonade by Souvik Mukherjee of Giggling Spoons.

 

Aesthetics Category Winners:
Whole wheat pear & Cardamom Olive Oil CakeWholewheat Olive Oil, Yoghurt, Honey & Pear Cake by Noha of Matters of the Belly.
 
Blue Cinnamon Lemonade

Blue Cinnamon Lemonade by Souvik Mukherjee of Giggling Spoons.

 

Next month’s contest will be hosted by Neel and his team over on learnfoodphotography.com. Deeba of passionateaboutbaking.com, Deepali of lemoninginger.com and myself will be co-hosts! The announcement will come soon on learnfoodphotography.com. Be sure to enter! :)

 

DMBLGiT June 2015

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Lemon Cardamom Cake

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Lemon cardamom cake – moist, delicate and full of flavor.Buy 565
I’ve got a very delicate, moist and intensely citrusy cake here today. It’s easy to make and a perfect summery afternoon treat. The recipe is an adaptation from Ina Garten but I added cardamom to it because I love the flowery and slightly minty notes it adds. (Well, and also because this is, after all, The Spice Train). Hope you like it!

P.S.: Be sure to come back here on Sunday when I’ll announce the winners of the DMBLGiT June 2015 contest!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Lemon Cardamom Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • This recipe is for one 8.5 inch by 4.25 inch by 2.5 inch loaf pan.
For the cake:
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice (or more, depending on the humidity in your kitchen)
  • chopped pistachios
Instructions:
For the cake:
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the loaf pan, sprinkle flour on it and then shake out the excess.
  3. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add the eggs and continue to beat until incorporated.
  5. Beat in the lemon zest.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and soda, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
  7. In another bowl, mix lemon juice, yogurt, milk and vanilla. Set aside.
  8. Beat in the wet and dry ingredients, little by little, alternating between the two.
  9. Fill the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 -50 minutes.
  10. Let the cake cool.
For the glaze:
  1. Whisk the two ingredients together and keep adding lemon juice until you have a slow-moving icing.
  2. Drizzle the icing on the cake and sprinkle the chopped pistachios on.

Food Photography and Styling: I wanted this shot to look bright and summery and used my beige, textured tile as the backdrop, a piece of linen fabric as the “tablecloth” and this pretty ceramic cutting board (from The World Market) as a surface for the cake. Since you can’t tell just by looking that this is a lemon cake I placed a few lemon slices in the composition as well. I lit this photo with natural light from a south-facing window to the left of the set.

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

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Prop Talk – Tile

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Hello, hello! As some of you have very nicely reminded me recently, I haven’t done a prop talk in a while!

(Quick explanation for my new readers: every once in a while I write a post about my favorite props and other behind-the-scenes food photography stuff. This is one of those posts. To see all previous installments just click the Behind the Scenes tab in the menu bar at the top).

Today’s post is about tiles. I’m talking about just regular tiles that you can buy at the hardware store and that are meant to go on the floor of your bathroom, kitchen or anywhere else in the house. I’ve got several tiles and use them as backdrops or surfaces. What’s nice about tile is mainly its texture, a textured background  or surface always looks better than a smooth one. They also tend to come in nicely muted colors that work well in a food photograph. My two favorite tiles are the two you see below.

Prop Talk Tile

The beige tile to the right looks like a concrete wall when it’s propped up behind the set and out of focus, which is a nice look for bright and airy photos. I used it in the hot chocolate with whipped cream photo you see below.

Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream

Buy 556

The gray/brown slate tile works great as a backdrop for dark photos, such as this photo of chicken satay. I have also used it as a surface, for example in the photo of cinnamon sticks below. The colors worked well with those of the cinnamon and the texture kept the shot from looking too boring.

Delicious chicken satay with peanut sauce. Easy, quick and bursting with flavor!

Buy 554

Cinnamon Bark

Buy 85

 

Do you use tiles in your food photography at all? Do you have a favorite tile? Let me know in the comments! :)

Honey Soy Wings

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Honey Soy WingsBuy 566

These mouthwatering chicken wings come straight from the pages of one of my new favorite cookbooks, “Baked Wings – Crispy. Crunchy. Sticky. 33 oven baked wings to satisfy your craving.” Wonderfully written and beautifully photographed by my friend and blogging buddy, Nagi, of RecipeTin Eats, this ebook is everything a wing lover could ask for. Easy and super-flavorful recipes, gorgeous photography and design and to-the-point and easy-to-follow chicken wings cooking tips!

The book has everything from sticky (such as Sticky Maple Bacon Tossed Wings…yum!) to super-crispy, crunchy and breaded (like Parmesan Garlic Crumbed Wings…delicious!).

What you see here are sticky wings glazed with a perfect honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and ketchup sauce. They were so good I made them again the next day! If  you love wings, I guarantee you’ll love this book.

RecipeTin Eats Wings Cookbook

5.0 from 3 reviews
Honey Soy Wings
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer/Main
Ingredients:
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 9 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine or mirin
  • 3 pounds chicken wings
  • sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Instructions:
  1. Whisk honey, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, ginger and Chinese cooking wine together in a bowl then pour into a ziploc bag.
  2. Add the chicken wings to the bag and massage to coat them evenly. Put the bag in the fridge for 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack on the baking sheet. Spray the rack with oil.
  5. Shake excess marinade off the wings and gather it into a saucepan.
  6. Place the wings on the rack, skin side up, put into the oven and set your timer for 20 minutes.
  7. Heat the marinade in the saucepan on medium-high heat until syrupy and reduced by about ¼.
  8. After 20 minutes, baste the wings with the marinade, then return to the oven.
  9. Repeat the basting after an additional 15 minutes.
  10. The wings should be done after about 40 minutes of baking time total.
  11. To serve, drizzle with remaining basting sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Food Photography and Styling: Thanks to Nagi’s book I finally learned how to properly cut chicken wings. Until now I had always left them intact in their zigzag shape, which makes it really hard to style them. Once they are cut into their three components, they are much easier to handle. I went for an Asian-inspired look here with a sake cup and again used my two wood trays, one as the “table” and the other as the backdrop. I lit this photo from the side with my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm)).

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

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