All You Need to Know About Photo Cakes!! — A brief introduction!

                   One of the most popular on-going trends in cake and baking industry, which people simply love is - Photo Cakes. Though the technology of printing photo on a cake has been long present, it is only lately that these custom cakes with personal photos printed on the cake surface has caught the wind. You can easily find bakeries and home bakers catering these flawless photo cakes online by searching on niche websites like Bakeway.com. But before you are ready to order a photo cake online or buy it from a local vendor, it’s obvious to have these thoughts come to the mind: 

· How exactly are these photographs printed on cakes?
· What type of ink do they use?
· What kind of medium do they use to print the photo on the cake?
· Is it safe to eat?
· Can we make it at home?
· Why is it costlier than your normal cakes?

So here we are to answer all your questions and queries regarding photo cakes.

How are photos printed on the cake?

Making an edible photo cake is fairly simple thanks to the latest advanced technology. All you know are these few things: 

● A printer

● Digital copy of the photo that you want to get printed on the cake (If you don’t have a digital photo, the baker will scan the photo and convert into digital.)

● Edible ink

● Edible paper

Most bakers have a separate special printer dedicated for printing edible photos. But if you have a regular home printer that is facilitates printing with edible ink, it should also suffice. The important part is getting edible ink and paper, which you can find at any provision outlet that supplies baking and cake decoration products.

  • What is an edible paper? What is it exactly made of? 
The paper used for edible photo cakes is most commonly known as “icing paper” or “frosting paper”. The earliest versions of these icing paper were prepared with rice. Today, however, you get an ample variety of frosting paper made using corn-starch, sugar and starch mixture and even potatoes.

Likewise, edible inks are made from a mixture of sugar and coloring agents.
  • Are they safe to consume? 
Because they are made from natural ingredients, edible photo prints are perfectly safe to consume. Most edible photos have minimal texture and almost no taste. The most important feature of these delicate papers is that they are made to dissolve on a moist surface like the icing of a cake, leaving the print perfectly on the icing. Once it is applied and gets dissolved, it looks like the photo has been directly printed on the cake.
  • Why is it costlier than your normal cakes? 
The entire process of getting the photo printed on an edible paper with edible ink and having it perfectly placed on the frosting requires talent. Besides this, the cost of icing paper and edible ink in itself is not cheap. These printed cakes require wider surface so they don’t come in smaller quantities like half kg. One has to buy 1 kg or more in weight. Considering all these, it is hardly a surprise that photo cakes cost more than any other regular cakes.

However, photo cakes are a lot cheaper than 3D custom cakes or concept cakes. Looking at the current trend of getting cakes personalized or getting a custom cake, photo cakes are your best option if you are looking for a personalized cake within budget.

Rangeelo Rajasthan Food Festival – Padharo Saa at 3 Spices! — Reviewed!

What: Rangeelo Rajasthan (Food Festival)
Where: 3 Spices, DoubleTree by Hilton
When: 3rd June to 13th June 2018
Timings and cost:
Lunch: 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm (Thali; Rs.899/- AI)
Dinner: 7.00 pm – 11.30 pm (Buffet; Rs.1399/- AI)

India is a vibrant country with diverse cultures, habitats, and lifestyle. One of the largest and culturally-rich states in India, Rajasthan, also offers deliciously rich, the scrumptious array of dishes. The culinary style of the state is largely dependent on the lifestyle of the natives. Being a Rajasthani myself, I can totally connect to the authenticity of the cooking style. I was super excited to find that the 3 Spices, DoubleTree by Hilton is hosting the authentic food festival from the land of culture — Rangeelo Rajasthan! Apart from the food, each Sunday will see the lac bangle making counter plus other activities.

Best part – the menu is designed and the dishes are prepared by the "Maharaj" aka chef Ramji invited from Jaipur. The idea is to let people try the genuine food and if they find it difficult to choose from what to eat, the Lunch Thali with a pre-fixed menu including exclusive signature dishes from Rajasthan is made.

The Thali is the amalgamation of the specialties from different regions. Each of the element had distinctive texture, flavour and aroma. All in all, the thali was a bundle of taste. We were there to try the very scrumptious, flavourful, value for money lunch thali. Here goes the menu...
  • Welcome Drink
Starters:
  • Teeno Des ke kebabs
Mains:
  • Dahi ki Mangori
  • Bhindi Mirchi
  • Shekhawati Ker Sangri
  • Maheshwari Pyaaz Paneer
  • Jodhpuri Gatta Curry
  • Marwari Dum Aloo
  • Dal Khilma
  • Subz Pulao
  • Bajre ki Roti
  • Puri
  • Malai Ghewar
  • Doodhiya Kheech
Before the thali we were given a teaser of Dal Baati Churma which was a part of dinner buffet but since no Rajasthani meal is complete without it, we had to try it. I was bowled over by the 4 varieties of churmas – Rose, Pista, Besan and Aata. Rose churma won our hearts and was the bestest of all. The deep fried, crunchy crusty Masala Baati was unforgettable. Uff! Still craving for it. Baati or the wheat ball dough ghee-laden are crumbled and eaten with the daal.

Every minute details were taken care of. Right from the Gunde, mirchi ka achar to the masala baati, each and everything was top notch.

We were welcomed with the refreshing chaach which had a hint of coriander and heeng-jeera. Then the royal feast started with the Teeno Des ke Kebab which was Dahi ke kebabs, Sangri seekh Kebabs and Paneer ke shooley. Dahi ke Kebabs were melting in the mouth and so were the seekh kebabs. Let me tell you, it is an art to play with ker sangri as it tend to get bitter but the chef has done a brilliant job by not only making the kebabs velvety smooth but scrumptious also. Paneer ke shooley was the usual preparation though paneer was fresh and marination was done on point. Well done!


Mangori is not very much common in the Maharashtra region. Part of the thali, Dahi ki Mangori or Moong dal dumplings is the quick fix for dinners. The tender mangoris were cooked in fresh curd with rich spices. Very well made.

Next on the thali was the Bhindi Mirchi. Quite a delicacy! Bhindi or Lady Fingers were stuffed with gram flour, spices and cooked with whole green chilli but it was not at all that spicy. Rather the pairing of bhindi and chilli was excellent. They balanced the flavours for each other.

I was excited to try the authentic, signature dish from the state – Shekhawati Ker Sangri. One needs to develop the palate to relish this one. Beans and berries are sun-dried, soaked and fried with tomatoes, asafoetida, cumin, and fennel. Very delicious.

Pyaaz Paneer was fresh with special marwari spices. The uniqueness was the each dish had different preparation styles.

How can I forget that melt-in-mouth Jodhpuri Gatta Curry. Never ever I had such super soft, pillowy gattas or gram fkour dumplings cooked in yoghurt curry. The curry was also thick, the way it should be. Couldn't get over with this bowl of favourite.

Dum Aloo was cooked in thick and rich tomato gravy. Delicious! Dal Khilma on the other hand was cooked with the ginger and tempered with usual spices. Liked it. One can devour it with fluffy, freshly made Puris.

Next was the super aromatic Subz Pulao prepared with the seasonal vegetables with additions of couple of gatta. Loved it.

Bajre ki Roti
was on the thali too which I relished with the gatta curry.

The popular Rajasthani dessert Malai Ghewar and healthy Doodhiya Kheech too was on the thali. My favourite was offcourse ghewar.

Overall, it was an unforgettable experience. The taste of that gatta curry, Daal baati churma, Chaach, Kebabs, Ghewar still lingers in my mouth. One of best authentic lunch experiences I have had in recent times. A must must try for all who are looking for the 'real' rajasthani food!

Indian Cultural Gourmet – Food Festival at Ibis, Viman Nagar — Reviewed!

What: Indian Cultural Gourmet
Where: Ibis, Viman Nagar, Pune
When: 25th May 2018 to 3rd June 2018; Dinner Buffet only
Cost: Rs.899++

India is a land of rich cultural heritage with variations in food in each state. One doesn't have to travel each place around India to try their specialty because Ibis, Viman Nagar had organised a fantastic food festival – “Indian Cultural Gourmet”. The purpose was to offer the most exotic delicacies from across India, under one roof. The 10-day festival was unique because each day a different cuisine was served. I visited the place twice (Maharashtrian and Rajasthani cuisine) during the festival and was mesmerized by the overall experience. The staff dressed up in local attire, the live music, the languorous buffet spread set the mood on.

The food festival started with a bang on 25th May 2018 for which Maharashtrian cuisine was on the list. Chef Kalpesh headed the kitchen and planned and prepared all the dishes right from the scratch to give it quite authentic taste. We were welcomed with the refreshing Sol Kari. Scrumptious starters like Alu Wadi, Kothimbir wadi, Suranchi Wadi, Wada Pav were served on the table. Each of them was better than the other. While the buffet was loaded with dishes like Matki Bhel Chaat, Masala bhaat, Bharleli Vangi, along with the Bhelpuri counter, fresh assorted tawa fry veggies counter apart from the Bhakris, Puran Polis and Modaks were served on demand. Each element was well made.

On the other day, went to try my favourite Rajasthani food. Coming from a non-rajasthani chef, the buffet spread was appreciable. Started our meal with the Kalami Wada and the mirchi wada. Both were delicious. I wish the Mirchi wada had potato filling, the way it is usually made, though the one served to us was the chef's take on the authentic one.

Daal Baati, Ghewar, Balushahi, Veg Jaipuri, Chaat, Aam ki lonji, Mawa Kachori was available too. Surprisingly, Ghewar and Mawa Kachori were made in-house. Loved the Dal baati. Wish to see Masala baati next time on the menu.

I really liked the idea of serving distinctive cuisines under one roof. The Hyderabadi and Lucknowi cuisines were a hit. What is your favourite one? Share your reply in the comment box. Cheers!

Gourmet Men:: One stop solution for your late night hunger! — Reviewed!


What:: Gourmet Men (All Night Delivery)
Time:: 7 pm to 3 am
Where: Koregaon Park, Kalyani Nagar and nearby areas.
Cost: Rs.600 (approx) for two people
Contact: +91 8552937654
Website: Gourmetmen.com

With the growing pace of nightlife, all night delivery places are gaining a place in Pune. One of such places, which I came across recently was the Gourmet Men. The All Night delivery place has such menu which is the fusion of taste and culinary styles from different countries. Though the menu is limited to Paninis, Pizzas and Doner Kebabs, what makes Gourmet Men stand apart is the preparation style. Almost no place is serving Doner Kebabs or Scrumptious Paninis or Square Pizzas! The fresh and gourmet ingredients are the key to the taste.

Gourmet Men are also active on the social front and can be spotted at flea markets or farmers' market. I was invited by them at Wassup Flea so tried a couple of dishes from the menu. At that point, pizzas were not being served hence I tried Panini and Doner Kebabs. So, Doner is a Turkish kebab which is cooked on a vertical rotisserie.


We had Peri Peri Cottage Cheese Doner Kebab (Rs.180) and oh boy what fully loaded doner was served to us! The prices are inclusive of Doner and super scrumptious, perfectly cooked Potato Wedges. The portion size is huge and is sufficient for 2 people with medium appetite. Smoked Peri Peri sauce with caramalized onions, paneer, mayo, sun-dried tomatoes and danish mozzarella stuffed in the doner was heavenly. A must try!

Had to try the much talked about Paninis. They are made only in brown bread. We tried the Crispy Hash Potatoes Panini (Rs.170) which again was loaded with veggies, crispily fried hash brown, tomatoes, pickled carrots, cucumber, cheddar, mozzarella and veg mint mayo. It had the crunch, full of the filling and yet with a lot of sauce. Usually, the bread, sandwiches, paninis, burgers we eat are usually dry but trust me Gourmet Men is generous in terms of stuffings, sauces and not a single bite was dry. It was prepared just the way I like it – crispy crust! Recommended!

What a find I must tell you and now I am really excited to try the pizzas! So, next time whenever hunger pangs haunt you at night, Gourmet Men is just a call away. You can order through Zomato as well.



Gourmet Men Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Social – Each element will surprise you! — Reviewed!

Social – What a place! Known for its quirky interiors, ambience, delectable food, Social has marked its strong presence in the dining scenes. With the outlets in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Social has spread its wings in Pune and in style, of course!

Location and Ambience::
Located on the third floor in the Phoenix Market City, Pune, the place is already quite popular amongst the Punekars. This outlet has been given the 'Puneri' touch by creating the vibes of "Katta", "Letter Box" themed dining area, and quotes can be read around like "Kasa Kay Pune?" One can see a lot of rawness and the utmost use of recycled products. 


The entrance is made up with arranging the old blue crates in such a way, that the entry gate is missed sometimes! After entering, the trippy red lights are fixed on the roof and walls. There are 4 sections – Letter Box themed dining space, Kadak space for the college crowd who want to enjoy the sports while binging on the food, casual dining space with trampoline above you and the last one is the co-working space. One can take the membership and that cost can be redeemed against the food and beverages.
 
Food::
Coming on to the food, the menu has been given really interesting twist keeping the classic taste intact. Right from the breakfast trays to ladi paos, poutine, chaats, china boxes, sizzlers, biryani, and pasta are there to cater one and all. Some of the enthralling dishes were Andaz apna apna eggs, Hangover breakfast, applam chaplam papadam, awesamosas, Thai Thali, Chilli Paneer China Box, Chocolate blood bath to name a few. Here are the delicacies we tried from the menu....
  • Watermelon vs Feta Salad (3.5/5)
  • Purani Dilli Chaat Walk (4.5/5)
  • Chakhna Bitings Tiffin (3.5/5)
  • Crispy Corn Chakhna (4/5)
  • Croquettish (3.5/5)
  • Multani Mushrooms (4.5/5)
  • Mixed Veg Salt and Pepper (4.5/5)
  • Butter Chilli Garlic Momos (5/5)
  • Double Grilled Naga Chilli Cheese Toast (4.5/5)
  • Chilli Paneer Black Pepper China Box (4.5/5)
  • Spicy Social Spaghetti (4.5/5)
  • Chocolate Chutzpah (4.5/5)
  • Layer Cake (4/5)
  • Chocolate Blood Bath (4.5/5)
  • Lucky's Caramel Custard (4/5)
After trying a couple of mocktails, out of which watermelon based stood out, tried the Watermelon vs Feta Salad which was served in the jar. Though it was a refreshing dish in the scorching summer, the dressing was a bit too much for the portion. Otherwise, the watermelon, feta, pine-nuts and the tender arugula leaves were just so soothing!

Chaat tops the chart everywhere including the one we had at Social. Priced at Rs.190/- total value for money, the Purani Dilli Chaat Walk was the plate which no one can refuse. Pani puri with sweet and spicy water, Dahi Papadi, Raj Kachori, Fried chana dal was served on the copper plate and was a total feast for all of us. Loved it!


Chakhna Bitings Tiffin was next on the table. Served in the small steel tiffin boxes, it had chatpata chana, chakli, peanuts. It was paired well with the drink. One can munch on while waiting for the food. Nice idea!

Along with it we also tried Crispy Corn Chakhna. Wow! loved it. Deep fried sweet corn fritters were tossed in Asian sauces and were a total delight. A must try!

As we heard Croquettish, the cheese pull is all we could imagine. But this version did not have mozzarella hence we had to settle down with the regular croquettes. It was nicely deep fried and had a perfect balance of taste and wished it could have been cheesier.

Next was the Multani Mushrooms. It was also served in the "Social style" in the small coal grill tray. The marination was exceptional. Mushrooms too were well cooked with all the smokey flavours. Slight tangy, spicy, the mushrooms are highly recommended!

Another star dish was the Mixed Veg Salt and Pepper. Tasted like veg crispy, the veggies were corn flour coated, deep fried and sauteed in the Asian sauces. Loved the crisp veggies with the simplest of ingredients. Recommended!

Who would believe we had one of the best momos at a restaurant. Usually eaten at the road-side stalls, scrumptious momos are hard to find at a place like Social. But they surprised us with the awesome Butter Chilli Garlic Momos which were filled with regular veggies and tossed in butter, garlic, chilli and served with tangy sriracha sauce. Highly Highly Recommended!

Visually appealing the Double Grilled Naga Chilli Cheese Toast served on the skewers were gone in couple of minutes! The extra cheesy and perfectly toasted bread were burst of taste in the mouth. I bet you can't stop at one! Highly Recommended!

If you are running short of time and wanna keep your lunch handy, do not think twice and grab yourself a Chilli Paneer Black Pepper China Box. The wholesome meal in itself the box was easy to carry and packed with flavourful noodles, fresh paneer and bit of veggies. Highly Recommended!

Presented in the steel box, the Spicy Social Spaghetti was simple yet delectable. The traditionally prepared dish was tossed in garlic and olive oil with some herbs. A crowd-pleasing recipe for sure!
Next came on the desserts. We tried almost all the chocolate based ones out of which Chocolate Blood Bath was the winner! It was literally death by chocolate. Made with Chocolate cake, brownies, truffles, fudges, ice-cream, mousse, all in chocolate this dessert was heavenly. The texture was dense and luscious. A must order for all the sweet tooth people! This dessert has set the standards really high!

Dunked in the choco-bar, the rich chocolate cake with smarties, crackles topped with chocolate sauce, the Chocolate Chutzpah had all the textures of crunch and sweetness.

Interesting dessert was the flourless Layer Cake which had layers of cake, dark chocolate mousse, caramel mousse, nutty chocolate mousse and topped with hot chocolate ganache. The dark chocolate mousse adds to the intensity of the dish. The decadent layer cake was rich and chocolatey.

Lastly, the classic Lucky's Caramel Custard. The basic yet flavourful caramel custard topped with candly floss and nuts. The soft caramel top was melt in the mouth and totally balanced on sweetness.

What a hearty lunch we had. I am yet to try so many other dishes. Will be visiting soon! Have you been there? What is your favourite? Share in the comments below.




Viman Nagar Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato