January 30, 2009

Cicadas Observation and Pastry-Making in Summer

Mid Summer is now marking its pinnacle of the hottest season amongst four, whistling in between a hint of upcoming Autumn breeze, brings us cooler nights though still very far from the bone-chilling weather. Still quite enjoyable with abundant fresh stone-fruits and a little more crop of strawberries, loganberries, and raspberries we still can pick fresh from the orchard and our little patch of berries in the garden.

The outdoor activities are still in the business of swimming, cricketing, petanque-ing, picking fruits, watching sheep shearing, or even cycling in the end of the day, while we still can spend the long Summer day light.

cicadas-red rim of wings by ab '09

Our instinct of nature observance once again is tickled by the presence of the distinctive noisemakers in the world, readily accompanying us while riding around, clicking dB loudness strength of their tympanum sounds wherever we may go, to let us know their existence, their special signature of Summer joy.

Cicadas is only one of my childhood insects I like to observe (now is shared with my children). As far as I remember, the species I often found in Sumatran forests is much bigger in appearance than their cousins found here in New Zealand. I found several different colours of wings rim around the garden and orchard here, others are bright green all over, and some of them are dark gray while the usual cicadas I found in the Sumatran forests is always dark gray.

cicadas

cicadas shell by arfi binsted '09 cicadas shell-2 by arfi binsted '09

Do you know that they have to go through a cycle which the evidence of life you can find just before your very eyes? We expect cicadas shells or skins clinging on bark of trees when the mature babies are ready to fly for adventures, let's say for two to five years span of life, the most of time they can spend. Until next Summer, when we start noticing there is loud noise in the garden again, we then will find more cicadas skins in the orchard.

Before I am going really far, there's an auction happening on the Books for Love blog. Jenn of the Leftover Queen has helped me with spreading the words to the world through her blog post, and yes please, we still need help for your participation, donation, bidding that makes every dollar counts to help these children. The price is made in New Zealand Dollar and if you should be aware of currency rates, you may go to find the conversion on Universal Currency Converter website. With your trust and kind help, this event can be running. There are three auctions scheduled, so far they are books:

1 Mix 100 Muffins
Cooking with Foods that Fights Cancer
Wilton Cupcake Fun, Over 150 Cupcake and Treat Design for Every Occasion

There'll be more books and photos of Indonesia donated by two Indonesian photographers and one famous Indonesian broadcaster and TV personality to come updated, so please, keep looking out. I am trying my best to work more in the weekend. Stay with me.

Now, let's go back to the kitchen. Since the weather is so hot and my kitchen is quite like an open fire, hot and humid, as the direct hot afternoon sun can be easily dispersing through the large kitchen windows and spreading right into the kitchen and dining room. While learning from experience that pastry hates hot kitchen, it seems not a good time to deal with pastry at the moment, but it is Klub Berani Baking (KBB) 9th task and we DARE to say YES to any baking challenges. So, what I do is just to make an adjustment to the feel of the dough. Even when the recipe does not say to put back to the fridge to chill, I do it depending on softness of the dough has become.

My second-attempt of this non-yeast proofed puff pastry nothing like Benjamin Christie pastry craftwork at his restaurant, but more like (well, it is!) a home-baked version, with say, little or, welllllllll... less than bigger, imperfect process. My first attempt of home-made Danish Pastry was a year ago using the yeast-proofed recipe. Compared to this non-yeast, I prefer the yeast-proofed puff pastry for the layers are much more moist although the non-proofed version wins the tastes that it is more buttery with thinner layers than its sibling. Perhaps, it is just my thought.


breakfast with homemade danish pastry-2 by ab '09

Practically, I don't really find it hard to make puff pastry. This classic puff pastry is less time consuming than its counterpart yeast-proofed one. There is a little accident when the butter block was gone rather soft in the envelope shaped dough and made its way out of little holes through the air bubble formed when it was rolled out. That perhaps was the sign to put the dough back to chill, which I did. Everything else was just quite alright to proceed.

mini croissants by ab '09

While I was making croissants for our breakfast, I managed to make strawberry jam using the latest small crops from our patch. It was quite pleasant to eat home-baked croissant with home-made strawberry jam. The photo above shows the little version of croissants which turned to be biscuits because I left them longer in the oven. You tell me if I failed them, all I know that they were quite nice for morning tea. Just buttery and was perhaps even better with sugar sprinkled on top. The bigger version showed on the photo below is the second attempt on the same task. I made them bigger which was rather good to enjoy flakes by flakes.

Now, If you notice blue or yellow hue on some of my photos, I apologize to make such inconvenience visual reading throughout the passage because of it. There's something wrong with my camera as the white balance has shifted somewhere. I need to fix it sooner or later. Anyway, I just hope they are still eligible to get some mentions?


homemade danish pastry, fan shaped

The Recipes.

HomeMadeS Strawberry Jam


1kg fresh strawberries, hulled and cleaned. Put them in the saucepan with a little water, and a squeeze of lemon juice from one lemon. Add sugar as you go, taste it according to your preference. Cook this jam until bubbly and thicken. Pack the jam in sterlised jars and sealed. Very easy and it is chemical-free.


homemade strawberry jam by ab'09



Classic Puff Pastry




KBB #9 Classic Puff Pastry entry.

Source: King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook
1 pound (4 cups) unbleached all purposed flour(or 3 ½ cups all-purposed + ½ cup cornstarch/cornflour
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, ½ stick chilled, the rest at room temperature
1 – 2 tsp salt (1 for sweet, 2 for savory)
1 ¼ cups cold water(or substitute it with 1 Tbs lemon juice for 1 water if you wish to further temper the gluten in the flour)



Dough

Measure the flour into a mixing bowl. Remove ½ cup and set it aside in another bowl.

Take the half stick of chilled butter, cut it into small pieces and drop it into the flour. With two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter into the flour until it resembles cornmeal.

Add the salt (and optional lemon juice) to the water and add this to the flour. Mix gently with a fork until you have a rough dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you need to add more water, do it a tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and the gluten has been somewhat developed, about 2-3 minutes. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

KBB#9 Pate Feuilletee (Classic Puff Pastry)


Butter (Block)

Take the remainder of the butter and the reserved flour and mix the two together until they're well blended and smooth. You can do this with a mixer, a food processor or with a spoon, by hand.

Pat this butter/flour mixture into an 8-inch square on a lightly floured piece of waxed paper. Cover it with second sheet of waxed paper and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. By mixing the butter with flour, you stabilize it somewhat so it won't decide to 'flow'.


Rolling-Folding

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and put it on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it into a square about 12 inches on a side. You don't have to be obsessive about the dimension but be pretty close.

Put the butter square in the centre of the dough square but turn it so that the corners of the butter square point toward the sides of the dough square. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter until they meet in the middle. Pinch and seal the edges of the dough together.

Turn the square over and tap it gently with your rolling pin or by hand into a rectangular shape. Rolling the dough into a larger rectangle 20 inches long and 10 inches wide.

When the dough is the right size, fold the bottom third of the dough up to the centre and the top third over and turn the dough package ¼ turn to the right so it looks like a book ready to be opened. If the dough is still nice and cold and still relaxed, do another rolling and turning the same way. (If it begins feel too soft or wants to resist being rolled, cover it, put it on a small baking sheet and refrigerate it for 15 minutes).

If you've successfully rolled it out and folded it twice, you've completed 2 turns. Classic puff pastry gets six. Continue refrigerating it after each 2 turns (or more often if necessary) until all 6 turns are completed.



Chill

When all 6 turns are done, put the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour (and preferable overnight) before shaping.



Shaping

After being thoroughly chilled, the dough can be shaped into croissants, patty shells, twists, straws, etc. Scraps can be chilled and rerolled.


Freezing

Like other pastry doughs, you can freeze puff pasty in a non-self defrosting freezer for up to a year if it's well wrapped. It can also be frozen at any time during rolling, folding, turning process. Defrost it thoroughly before you use it, just to make sure it does not get too soft.


January 28, 2009

Cooking with Foods that Fight Cancer: An Auction

Just a short note. Books for Love #2 Auction has started. You may want to view it, please visit Books For Love blog.



I am donating this book, as the auction #2. Perhaps you want the book? All you need to do just put a bid and leave it run. I have started the bid with NZD 5.

Come on have fun with this auction while helping to fund poor children with cancer in Indonesia. Every donation counts and we thank you for your kindness.

Have fun!

P.S.: There'll be photos of Indonesia will be auctioned which the schedule to be informed. So, stay looking out at the auction blog!

If you need a currency converter, you may want to use Universal Currency Converter website.

January 23, 2009

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta with Blueberry Compote

I don't know where to start. I just am really thrilled to be nominated Best Food Blog Overall category, which is currently running by Well Fed Network. I would be missing this if my dear girlfriend Barbara of Winos and Foodies did not inform me through my Wall on Facebook two days ago. I know I am less popular than the other candidates, popularity is not my main goal. I am just so honoured that HomeMadeS has got an opportunity to introduce itself through this nomination to new readers, therefore, I have been given an opportunity to know you all, share with you, and let you enjoy my photos and stories as I do yours. Hopefully, there are joys we can always enjoyed together and friendship that we can always cherished. Thank you so much for all of you who are voting for me. Very much appreciated.

I have been meaning to capture moments with my camera, to participate on photo events (not to compete, but to contribute. If it gets chosen then it's my good luck, if does not then it is just a little contribution from me to the blogging world with a bonus on my side to get a chance to explore something new), but there's always discomforts springing up and down, on and off. My mood swings, my emotion floats, I can't sleep at night and if I do I always tend to wake up in the middle of the night not be able to go back to sleep anymore. Perhaps, you say 'go see a doctor', but I haven't found a doctor who cares of a patient, who really investigates on what's going on, not only gives 10 minutes of his/her time and then scribble down a piece of paper to go to a chemist. It is so frustrating.

Anyway, I still have a job to do: run the auction to help the kids with cancer. Please, come and join me with information on the auctions you can view on Books for Love blog. I will update the schedule this weekend.

In the meantime, I managed to make Vanilla Bean Pannacotta with Blueberry Compote the other day. This is not to include eggs, so it is alright for me. Recipe for Vanilla Bean Pannacotta, you can view the recipe from New Zealand Herald. I just made bluberry compote to accompany the pannacotta. Recipe is simple: just cook the bluberries with sugar and a squeeze of half lemon until soften a bit. I like to leave it cool a bit, but if you can't wait, then you may serve it hot or warm as well.

Vanilla Pannacotta with Blueberry Compote by arfi binsted copyright 2009

Stay healthy, everyone!

January 15, 2009

Books for Love #2, Garlic Power and Decadent Chocolate Dessert

I am organizing Books for Love #2 to help cancer kids in Indonesia through books and photo auctions. If you are an Indonesian, you may have a look at this page. For my international readers, the rules are similar to the Books for Love last year, however, this year I include photos to be auctioned.

Here are the guidelines:

Books Donation

- You have books (no nudity content, please) to donate in an auction and let your readers know that you're donating by blogging about it, so they'll be able to navigate when and where the auction begins and located.
- You're willing to send the book/s to the auction winner on your on expenses. You may choose to only auction it and send it to the readers in your region, if you wish. Just let me know your conditions.
- You take photo of your book/s and send the details to me (arfi.binsted AT gmail DOT com) before 26th of January, 2009 as we're going to start the auction from 26 January 2009 - 9 February 2009. I will list the books and photos here.

Photos Donation

- You have photos that are your copyrighted, printed on canvas, or photobooks, notes, postcards, or other dimensions that you prefer to do.
- You have softcopy of your photos to be produced by the auction winner.
- You are willing to send the photo/s or softcopy to the auction winner/s on your own expense.
- You send me the photo sample and details, what media it is printed on and whether it is a softcopy to my email address (arfi.binsted AT gmail DOT com), so I can list it on here.

You can also promote this event on your blog, be the bidders and bid the item that you'd like which the fun will begun from 26 January - 9 February 2009. Watch it closely! You may fetch this logo to promote, if you like.


I thank you for your kindness to help the cancer kids inIndonesia last year. I am hoping there'll be more children are helped this year as well.

------------------

I am really into a garlic person lately, flagging: GARLIC POWER!!! If it's only a few cloves used for daily-basis cooking, now I include the whole head. Roasted with thyme is really a nice way to enjoy with chicken or meat dish. It also is taking away the strong pungent flavour off your mouth. Hey, parsley works well with garlic. It is said that it helps to get rid off the smell when you chew it raw after you enjoyed garlic. Believe it or not, you shall try it.

Anyway, things about garlic, I only can eat when it is cooked. While many naturopath therapists will consider to gobble them down raw, I know I can't really fill the expectation. I like eating raw vegetables, leafy salads, or even crunchy cabbages, but please, not garlic. However, raw or not, I guess the effect will be following according to its nature, depending on the intensity and quality. My body feels the strength come up with a sudden jolt. Just like a heart start machine gives electric shot in my blood, waking up every sleepy molecule in it. Bzz! Bzz!

garlic harvest

I harvested some of the garlic I and kids planted last Winter, just a few hours before I got this fever. If you remember that I planted garlic cloves around my roses, they are ready now. I am safe from those bleached garlic bulbs sold somewhere out there. It's just amazing to watch them grow. From one clove, it developed into several cloves and then clump together to be a head. And when they are ready, they'll fatten the cloves and wilt their stalks to yellowish colour, shouting 'am ready! am ready!'. So they are.

roasted individually by ab '09

Head after head I have been eating them roasted. Quite sweet. Nothing beats homegrown veges, huh?

decadent chocolate dessert-2 by arfi binsted copyright 2009

Pity we can't grow in the backyard that cocoa bushes (can they? in NZ?), I am soooo wanting to eat chocolate right now. It's a shame it is forbidden from my menu these days while I've made this decadent chocolate dessert before the bad day had begun. I found the recipe at Foodtown Magazine, bought by my beloved before Christmas. I've been eyeing it for quite some time, until just when I've made it, I can't eat it! What a waste. I have to freeze it now.

decadent chocolate dessert

However, I managed to eat half of the slice I photographed. Half! Sigh. Well, I guess that is a fortunate that I can JUST eat half of it. Make sure you use 70% - up cocoa solids, otherwise, your pudding will not be that heavenly decadent. Here's one thing I shall tell you: be gentle because this is the most fragile cake-pudding I've ever tasted in my entire life! Besides that Gordon's molten chocolate pudding, this pudding-like cake is SUPERB and delicate. The texture is just so delicate that when you pop it on your tongue, it will melt immediately as soon as it feels the heat of your mouth. Can you imagine that?

Well, then. Try this one!!

Chocolate Heaven with Mint Anglaise

Source: Foodtown Magazine. Dec '08 - Jan '09. Issue 44. p.120.

5 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar (I just use 2 Tbs)
1 cup water
1 cup caster sugar, extra (I just use 1/2 cup)
225g unsalted butter
350g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, chopped (I used my fave Whittaker's Dark Ghana 72%)
raspberries to serve (I used the last season of strawberries from our strawberry patches)

decadent chocolate dessert-3 by arfi binsted copyright 2009

Preheat the oven to 160C and prepare a loaf tin measured 30cm x 12cm, lined (alternatively, 23cm round cake tin). Beat the eggs with the first measure of sugar until tripled in volume, 3-5 minutes. In the meantime, heat the second measure sugar with water in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add butter and chocolate. Stir to melt and whisk until smooth.

Pour this mixture into the egg mixture. Fold gently (I use a large metal spoon for this) until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin. Put it into a roasting pan and slowly pour in hot water to fill it up until almost cover the tin. Bake for 1 hour. When it's baked, the cake will form crusty surface but still wobbly. This is okay. Leave it in the oven with the oven door ajar until the cake is cooled a bit for an hour. Then, remove from the roasting pan, cover and then leave it in the fridge overnight.

Now, the tricky part is coming. This cake is so delicate (got no flour in it!), so you need an extra care when inverting it onto a serving plate. I tried so, but it broke half way. It was still edible, but of course, I did not expect it that way. I managed to slice this one and it also broke half way, as you can see on the photo. Anyway, this cake is worth to try. Believe me, you won't regret it (unless, you can't stop yourself from scooping it on and on--now, I can't be blamed). Serve this with mint anglaise and berries. Serves 8-12.

Mint Anglaise

1 cup milk
handful fresh mint
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tbs caster sugar

Bring the milk and fresh mint to the boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until well combined. Strain the milk into the egg yolks mixture, and then strain the whole mixture again back to the saucepan to cook more until the sauce is just thicken. Remove from the heat and pour into a jug. Serve this with the cake.

-------------

January 09, 2009

Enjoying Plums and Chocolate Chips Loaf in the Tree Hut

New Zealand is heating up now, hot and humid. It's just the right time to soak in the pool or relax in the tree hut while enjoying our garden feast. Tree hut? Well, it was originally planned to be a tree house which then went to another identification as the tree hut, because it was not build on certain branches of the trees. It was built like you build a house or cottage, except it is smaller than your own living room. We make sure it is secured with all the railings around, you know kids, house can turn to be a madhouse with them screaming and running around. They have to limit themselves with that kind of activities up there.

a grand tree hut for ben and sarah


The development itself started about two-three weeks ago, but we were busied by Christmas, Ben's birthday and the New Year.

little builders tree house-week1 building the steps

Ben was the one who was really excited in the process of development. He loves carpentry and he stayed there out in the orchard from morning till Simon the builder came home in the late afternoon. Then, he would continue working with his Daddy until dinner time. He's been busy and you can see it by his tool belt hanging furiously around his waist. And yes, they are real tools!

trying out the fireman pole and the firelady

The kewl thing about it is that they can slide down the pole like a fireman! While it is built in the orchard, we can pick fruits, bring them into the hut, and enjoy them. Often, we bring our morning or afternoon tea, even dinner (fancy having dinner at 6pm the sun is still hot like 3pm!) in the tree hut while shooing the birds off the fruit trees.

schulten plums ab '09

Lately, we've been enjoying Schulten plums. The appearance is just like your Black Amber with its dark purple skin and creamy flesh inside. It is so juicy and sweet, you have to be ready with a serviette on to cover your chest being squirted, or else just leave it running down your elbow.

guess what!

And there's also plumcott, which is the cross between plum and apricot (if you are in New Zealand and want to get these trees, you can order them at www.ediblegarden.co.nz--Sarah Frater is the owner). The skin is red when it's really ripen but yellowish when it's near to mature. The taste is somewhat like apricot and greengage.

So, yup! Our lives now are pretty much home-orchard-garden-swimming pool-tree hut-beach-home; repeated. Anyway, I made chocolate chips loaf the other day and it was a hit with the kids (of course!) as a tea time cake. It is very easy to make with an easy recipe. Let me know if you've tried it!

Chocolate Chips Loaf

150g unsalted butter
80g caster sugar
3 large eggs
100g almond meal
50g self-raising flour
a tablespoon milk
a drop or two vanilla essence
50g chocolate chips for the batter, and about 150g-more for the top

Chocolate Chips Loaf-2 copyright 2009


Prepare a mini loaf tin, measure about 20cm, greased and lined/floured. Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, beat in eggs one at a time, beat well as you go. Fold in the almond meal and flour with a big metal spoon gently. Add in the milk, and then fold in the chocolate chips. Pour and scrape the batter into the tin, scatter the rest of the chocolate chips over the top of the cake, pressing gently. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave it in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring on to the cooling rack. Serve dusted with icing sugar if you like. Serves 6-12 (squares).





January 06, 2009

DMBLGIT December 2008 Winners




Happy New Year 2009!! More creative works this year? I believe many of you have set goals to achieve. And I wish you all the best for it!

Difficult time for everyone to send in their entries for DMBLGIT December 2008 edition with many festive celebrations here and there to mark the end of 2008, I suppose, but 64 entries (Gallery is here) is a pretty good number. Judges (Thank you Alessandro, Bron, Melody, Peter and Sabra for your fair judging and time spending) had done their work, and I had done mine, so here we are.


Winners of Overall Categories
First Place


Gifts From The Kitchen
Bitter Peppermint Chocolate Biscuits
by Rita
Melbourne, Australia
Taken with Canon EOS 30D


Judges comments are "Well composed with a foreground, mid-ground and background. Beautifully exposed. The choice of primarily white props really puts the attention on the cookies. Nice choice of a tall element in the back to draw the eye back; the lighting that works really well here and the pink plate breaks up the whole white setting. It's quite busy but effective; Great styling with use of white china that contrasts with the dark chocolate;
I really like this image, from every aspect of scoring category, this wins all; one thing to acknowledge, I suppose, is that when you serve your tea, you are not going to include your cooling rack to the servery or dining table for your guests, are you? You can move some of the main properties for a tea set theme accordingly and remove the cooling rack to fill the frame
."


Second Place


Orange and Ricotta Hotcakes
Taste Buddies
by Syrie Wongkaew
Vancouver, Canada
Taken with Nikon D50



Judges comments are "Simple, effective and appetizing with some action to spice the things up, with constructive feedback that is to use a different focus point and DOF, to keep the syrup perfectly sharp, focused, and attention grabbing; The baby blue background really enhances the golden of the pancakes. The drizzling of the syrup gives it that extra "yum" factor;
I do like action shot like this on food as it gives different dimension of technical skill and your food styling. I agree with the judges to do sharper focus on the drizzling honey as it is the one which takes the action; the bowl on the background can be removed to avoid a distraction to the eyes focusing on the drizzled honey."


Third Place


Banana Pudding
Food is Love
by Sefa Firdaus
Germany

Judges comments are "Lovely tones on the food and a pretty unusual recipe. This food is pretty hard to shoot effectively but the results are good with constructive feedback that the using of tablecloth combined with the background is quite distracting colourwise; It's quite a tad soft, but very comforting image; The lighting works well in this scene and the pattern on the cloth breaks up the strong yellow of the banana pudding; The colours and light are great, and so are the bokeh, with constructive feedback: give more attention to the texture of the food, so people will know what it is without reading the title.
I agree with the above comments; another two cents from me is that I'd like to use plain dark cloth and diffuse the light a bit more to avoid hard bounce on the eyes; using another wider bowl can also be an option to give audience the look of your pudding and the creaminess of your custard."


Winners of Individual Categories

Edibility
: "does the photo make us want to dive in and eat the food?" OH YEAH!!!







"Mushroom is quite a task to be captured and I think in this image, it's captured quite well. Perhaps, scattering chopped parsley or other herbs will enhance more appetizing point as well as aesthetic value, so we are convinced that this food is really delicious, like the judges said "you almost want to get a piece of bread and mop it all up";
"
I like the simplicity and the graphical nature. The plate was a good choice - adds a lot of interest while preserving the clean simplicity of the image. The food styling is great - and so hard with mushrooms. I like the light on them. The only thing I might have tweaked is change background texture or color to make the dish pop a bit more and emphasize the earthiness of it - but that's not a major point".
"The choice of property, the plate in this case, can also be reduced to smaller size, so it won't take whole frame up
."


Originality
: "does this photo catch your attention, the thing you haven't seen or done before?" ABSOLUTELY!




Quinoa
Tasty Palettes
by Suganya
United States
Taken with Canon 40D, 50mm f/1.8

"This image is scored high on originality category and I agree with some of the judges that " it is very artful photography, unique and arresting way to present a raw ingredient; love the BW and color choice, beautiful vantage pt and DOF, very nice and non-distracting way to incorporate a person;
"remember more food, less people? Now, this can be an example, that although it is included a person's hands, the main focus is still food without including too much of the person herself
."





Aesthetics
: "does this photo well-composed?" CHECKED! "good food styling?" TICKED! "well-lit and focused?" PACKED!



Clementine Pork
Palachinka
by Marija
Belgrade, Serbia
Taken with Canon 350d, lens 18-55mm


"Almost every judge gives good score on this image and I agree with its edibility category. You can see the tenderness of the meat and the freshness of the orange segments. Nice colours combination of orange segments, dark meat and green chopped pistachio. Judges also comment on the light as it is lovely, although it can be captured a little bit closer. I agree about the light as it is not harsh although it bounces on the plate too. Well done!"


So, this is New Year and we're celebrating this event with spreading the joy of awards, like Andrew said. And, I am allowed to pick another photo that I like, so I choose this one:



Chocolate Walnut Torte
Passionate about Baking
by Deeba
North India
Taken with Canon G9


"Why I like this photo? It is not easy to capture chocolate cake because of its dark colour, especially, when you shoot with minimal gadgets. You need to make use of your minimalism with different angles. In this photo, the interesting part of the cake is the cracked surface which makes pattern of itself is quite pleasing, and I think the trick to do the aerial shot will do. However, it is unnecessary to include more cutlery (in this case: forks) when the cake is for one serving, unless the other portion of the cake is included. A note for technical point is to play around with lighting, so your photo will have dimension of bright and dark, not totally flat, or tweak a bit with brightness and contrast. By the way, this image is scored high on edibility alone, so it deserves the pick."


Congratulations to all of you and your pretty images!

Many thanks to the judges and to you who had sent us your entries. Shall be there any photos that you've sent but I've never received, I apologize.

I hope from this event, we will be able to learn from each other and improve ourselves and skills till we share the joy in food photography, while making more friends and networking. Winners or not, trust me, you're all winning something from this. Please, don't hesitate to keep sending your photos to the next DMBLGIT event, will be hosted by Zorra of Kochtopf.

Thank you Andrew for trusting me doing this and thank you for your patience over all the troubles I included you in.


For all the winners, please feel free to pick your badge, and wear it proudly on your blog :)

dmblgit_blue dec 2008dmblgit_green dec 2008dmblgit_orange dec 2008dmblgit_purple dec 2008dmblgit_red dec 2008