Friday, June 25, 2010

Madeleines and a Giveaway!

Another wonderful giveaway! Yay!!
CSN stores would be giving away a gift card worth $60 USD (for a US/Canadian winner), €60 (for a German winner), or £60 for a UK winner! CSN has over 200 stores in their on-line network of stores and they offer a staggering array of products ...from lighting to cookware, counter stoolsto home decor, grills to swing sets, they have it all!

So how can you win the gift card?
  • Visit CSN stores, and comment here what would you like to win? You don't have to necessarily buy the item in case you are the winner..just know harm dreaming ..
  • Follow Snacksgiving publicly - Just click on the "Follow" button on the right pane of this blog and leave a comment to this post

To have extra entries
  • Tweet about this giveaway. Just copy and paste this on twitter.RT @Snacksgiving : Win a gift card from CSN stores #giveaway #contest

As you can see from the gift card amounts, this giveaway is open to our readers in US, Canada, Germany and UK. Although the number of stores available to the German and UK readers is slightly limited in numbers, but certainly not in choice.

Now to the recipe. Are you with me? :-)


So what are madeleines? Well, these are buttery, delicate and fluffy cakes with a characteristic fluted shell shape and a nice round belly. Did I say it is a cake? Well, make that cookie if you are in America, although the French prefer to refer to them as cakes.
There are loads of variations to the recipe - I have a very basic recipe today where I tried to go traditional with the the use of browned butter, the madeleine mould, no baking powder and refrigerating the batter in order to get that bump. I used my newly bought mini-madeleine silicone moulds, so they were so very tiny! They looked so cute, like a pretty and dainty little babies! These madeleines being very tiny, I guess the bump is not too visible here. I used the recipe from 101 cookbooks.



  • 1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 F/177 C.
  • Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat until it's brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma, roughly 20 minutes. Strain (using a paper towel over a mesh strainer) - you want to leave the solids behind. Cool the butter to room temperature. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.
  • Put the eggs with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick - you are looking for the eggs to roughly double or triple in volume - approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and ribbony. Now with a spatula fold in the lemon zest and vanilla (just until mixed).
  • Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture. Only stirring enough to bring everything together.
  • Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each mold 2/3 -3/4 full. Place the mould/tray in the freezer for 15 minutes or in refrigerator for about an hour.
  • Bake the madeleines for 7-10 minutes for the mini versions or 12 - 14 minutes for the regular sized madeleines, or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.


This giveaway is open to addresses in US, Canada, Germany and UK. If your profile doesn't link to your contact info, be sure to leave your email address so we can get in touch with you if you're the winner.
The winner will be randomly selected on Saturday, July 17 at 10am c.e.t. to receive the gift card. The currency will depend on your location. This post is sponsored by CSN Stores. I was not compensated in any way.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fresh New look

So a lot of you noticed the change in the header of this blog. Isn't it lovely? Yeah, I think so too. Thank you all of you who commented on how nice it is. Well, the thanks actually goes to a close friend, Usha, who took the time out, and patiently kept altering the header until the picky twosome - that is me and hubs finally said "Yes, now that is what we want!"
Our conversations went something like this "This is too bright", "this one is dull", "font not nice", "make it a little bright", "the background should be hazy", "make it a little casual", "no not like that"....
Hmm..she sure was very patient! And awesome with Photoshop!

Here are some of the earlier headers we used before finally settling with the current one.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Raspberry Almond tea bread

Raspberry Pecan Tea Bread

Berries are abundantly available this time of the year, and I love to pack some in my weekly grocery shopping. The only downside is that they go bad so quickly, it breaks my heart having to throw away a couple of them. I had picked up different berries in the hope to make a terrine. But I ended up using them in different breads/cakes/pancakes etc. Here is the tea bread - it is actually more like a cake - just not as delicate. This is a wonderful raspberry studded quick bread with some almonds thrown in. We enjoyed it with some whipped cream, although it is good as is.

Raspberry almond tea bread

While using these delicate berries in cake batter, I much prefer to use frozen berries that are not thawed. With fresh ones, I invariably end up crushing a few no matter how gentle I am. And when you cut into a slice - it presents a gooey hot pink blob in the cake. Or with blueberries - the purple colour it lends is usually enough to ward off any unsuspecting guinea pigs!

In this recipe, I used fresh ones raspberries. And managed to find a couple of slices that were quite presentable.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen, unthawed)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease a loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar
3. Add in the liquids - the egg, milk and whip them togethe
4. In a seperate bowl, tip in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and mix it up
5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and gently mix until combined
6. Add in the rasperries and almonds and gently mix them into the batter
7. Pour it into the loaf pan and bake for about 60 to 70 minutes

Raspberry Pecan Tea Bread


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is there such a thing as too many strawberries?


Wow! I am loving it! I am loving all the berries around me! Is there such a thing as too many strawberries? I have heard that sentence before - but for chocolate. I read somewhere that when recruiting workers in a chocolate factory, people are encouraged to eat as much chocolate as they can!! Wouldn't that be like heavenly! The idea is that after eating so much chocolate, they would be put off the idea of eating it when they are working with it.
After reading it, I was like, can that ever happen?


Anyways - let us combine two of these bounties - strawberries with chocolate. These days it is one of my favourite after lunch snack. Fresh seasonal strawberries that are not too tart dipped in either whipped cream or chocolate is easily not only one of best looking but also easy to present dishes. Try these, before they disappear!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Giveaway Winner

We have a winner! The giveaway from goes to Comment#43 - Shabitha Karthikeyan of "My Home Kitchen recipes". Congratulations! We'll be contacting you shortly.

I used to come up with the winner. We had 65 comments in total. picked up 43 for the winning comment.

Actually it was a different number that was first given - but when I checked, the person had only left a comment, and not "Liked on Facebook" or tweeted giveway/followed this blog according to the rules. So to make it a fair giveaway, I went ahead and generated a new number.

Thank you all for participating. And thanks for giving me the opportunity to host this giveaway.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back-art Challenge

Do not forget to enter for the $100 giveaway on this blog. Open internationally! Link available here!


A couple of days ago, I saw an ad for an online cake supplies store in Switzerland in my google ads. Now I know I shouldn't be clicking my own ads and lay claim on a few cents, but this was the first time I saw a much needed cake supply store based locally. is the name of the store and they have some wonderful baking equipment, moulds, colours and the whole paraphernalia! I contacted them and the wonderful Veronica proposed a challenge - a Bake Art challenge. She sent me some surprise items and asked me to use them all in one recipe.
I waited a couple of days, and there it was in my post - a box of goodies from

What did I find in there? Fondant, cookie cutters and some beautiful peach shimmer. It was lovely - just had a bit of a hitch. The cookie cutters were in the shape of buddha and an elephant. I scratched my head to come up with an idea for a cake using the two. I asked my hubby for ideas - Darling, where would you find an elephant and buddha together? He thought and said "In your blog" Haha..very funny i said.
That didn't help at all!


Veronica again came to my rescue - "Think cookies à la Peggy Porschen". But of course! I can make any shape and size of cookies and still pile them all together - it still is one recipe :-)
So there it was. My homemade cookies as buddha and elephant. Hope you like it.
I made cookie dough with the recipe below, covered buddha with fondant, and made royal icing for the polka dotted cloth on the elephant. Here are the recipes, and thank you for challenging my decoration skills!

What would you all have created if you were presented with this challenge. Let me know!


For the cookie dough

3 cups (390 grams) flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softene

1 cup (200 grams) sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Icing

1 and about 2/3 cup softed powdered/icing sugar
1 egg white/15 g meringue powder*
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

* I would much rather prefer the merigue powder since we are not cooking the egg whites. Try to it and if not, pasteurized eggs would be fine too.


For the cookies:
In a bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mix (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter. Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Work quickly as the dough starts to warm up as you work with it and will tend to crumble apart. You could also place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.

Bake cookies for about 10 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Get creative and frost with icing.
Let the frosting dry before storing/serving.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

DMBLGIT June 2010 Announcement - the 5th year anniversary!

Do not forget to enter the giveaway on this blog open till 17-July. Link available here!
Not many months ago, I had the pleasure of hosting the event - Does My blog look good in this - or DMBLGIT. DMBLGIT is a monthly food photography event wherein people submit their best food photos and a team of judges picks out the best of them on the basis of edibility, originality and aesthetics. I have been a fan of the event, and have been following it for many months now. But when I saw that the event is struggling to survive because of a lack of hosts, I figured I should host it again - it was fun the last time anyway!
So people, I need your help. Andrew of Spittoon and Spittoon Extra- and also the administrator of the event has been seeing a decline in entries each month. Coupled with a lack of hosts, the event would die out! So I'd request you to send in your entries and also spread the word so the 5th anniversary is a success!


Below are the judges for the event.
All of the below judges have some of the most amazing blogs and I love to go back to their websites for new posts. Go check them all out - I'm sure you'll love to subscribe to them!

  • Kris of Bake in Paris(although it is written out of Thailand :-) ) - Winner of the DMBLGIT many times, Kris's blog has some of the most beautiful food photography I have seen.
  • Meeta of Whats for Lunch Honey. The very versatile Meeta who writes this blog from Germany always has me visiting her blog for more. She has multiple feathers in her cap and several mentions of one of the best food blogs in various print and web publications. She is also a speaker at the FBC -2010(Food Blogger Connect) in London this month.
  • Tania of Dulcis in Furno. What can I say - Her blog has an almost ethereal quality about it! The pictures are beautiful and calming. She is based in italy and writes her posts in both Italian and English.
  • Yours truly
  • Veronique of

Now having hosted the event in february this year, it would feel like Ground Hog day to me - but well, below are some of the rules to enter


Here is what you need to do to enter.

1)Send a photo that has appeared on your blog during May 2010. The photo should be food and/or drink related.
2)Your photo must be text-free, please.
3)Only one entry per person.
4)The photograph must have been taken by you (copyright is allowed).
5)Deadline for submissions : June 20, 2010.

Send your entry to snacksgiving[AT]gmail[DOT]com with DMBLGIT in the subject line with the following details:

  • Your name.
  • Your location.
  • Your blog’s name and URL.
  • The photograph that you wish to enter, of no more than 500 pixels wide.
  • Your photograph’s title.
  • URL of the post containing the photograph.
  • Type of camera used, lens if you wish.
By submitting a photo, you agree to your picture being redisplayed and altered in size on the host’s page and on DMBLGIT page.


The judges will review your entries on the basis of:
  • Aesthetics: composition, food styling, lighting, focus, etc.
  • Edibility: “Does the photo make us want to dive in and eat the food?”
  • Originality: the photograph that catches our attention and makes us want to say wow!, displaying something we might not have seen before.

From these categories, the judges will come up with:
- Overall Winner: top overall scores in all three categories combined.
- There are three overall winners for photographs with the highest point totals in all three categories combined, and one winner in each of the three individual categories.


Every photo entry will be compiled on DMBLGIT June 2010 photo album.
The gallery is updated here - DMBLGIT June 2010 Gallery
Well? What are you waiting for? Come on, send me your gorgeous photo entry. And thanks so much for your participation!