I’m out of town working this week so I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce you to not only one of my favourite photographers, but also, my good friend Sylvia, who graciously agreed to write a guest post for me. Sylvia and I “met” back in 2004/5 online through bookcrossing.com and discovered a mutual love of books, food and photography (and especially chocolate!). We embarked on our first “picture a day” project together and learned a lot.
She lives in Zurich with her boyfriend, the infamous P, where she’s an engineer who carries her camera with her wherever she goes. She shoots whatever happens to catch her eye and she has some of the most stunning images of the Swiss mountains I’ve ever seen. Recently, she started her own blog, Truffes du Jour that showcases her ongoing picture a day project as well as her images and reviews of chocolate. Maybe it’s because food is not the focus of her photography, but I find a lot of her image quite refreshing. But whatever she shoots, her images are always impressive. Recently, she’s started experimenting more with film. You can see all of her photos on her flickr stream and I highly recommend that you check out her lovely blog and take a look at all her lovely chocolate reviews! So, over to Sylvia!
On Easter weekend, I felt uninspired food wise. I didn’t know what to cook. On two days of that four day weekend, we were invited, so these days were covered. But on the other two days?
So, on Saturday, I had the task to shop for two days: Saturday and Sunday. So, before I went to the market on Saturday morning, the situation in my kitchen looked as shown in the next picture. I think it shows the desperation I felt at that moment. All I knew was that I wanted to cook something tasty! And of course, it should include dessert.
The main course problem found a solution, and I settled for Pasta with Bolognese sauce and Indian inspired lentils with dips and bread.
Dessert was harder to tackle. It had to be tasty, I had to feel like it and it had to look presentable, as I wanted to show it here in this guest post. I could withstand so far the temptation to buy strawberries (it’s not yet their season here), so strawberries were out.
In the end, I settled for own of my classics: Chocolate cake with raspberries. It is ultra fast to make, easy and tastes good (even after a couple of days in the fridge). The raspberries were bought frozen and left to defrost in the fridge. I’d serve vanilla ice cream together with the cake and the raspberries, but in my freezer there is only room for one carton of ice cream, and at the moment this is apricot/rosemary and not vanilla. So, I had to make with whipped cream. Works as well, I think!
Chocolate Cake Recipe
(in metric system, the other one confuses me):
1. 200g butter (soft)
2. 200g sugar
3. 1 pinch of salt
4. 4 eggs
5. 1.5 dl milk
6. 200g flour
7. 100g chocolate powder
8. 50g ground hazel nuts
9. 1 tsp baking powder
10. chocolate chips at will
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Beat together butter and sugar.
3. Add eggs, continue mixing until mixture is light and fluffy.
4. Add milk
5. Stir in flour, chocolate powder, salt, baking powder and hazel nuts.
6. Fill into cake tin.
7. Bake for about 40 minutes.
8. Remove from tin once it cooled down a little.
9. Enjoy with raspberries!
Image 1: 22mm, f 3.5, ISO 100. Natural light, from the window on the right. -1/3 exposure compensation, shot in AV mode.
This picture was just a quickie, when I came home from the market, this was the way I found my kitchen table in. And before putting everything away, I’ve decided to safe this for the general public. I used my every day lens and stood on a kitchen stool to get the whole table into the frame.
No, I’m not going to win a prize for the most artistic picture with this one.
Image 1: 50mm, f 4, ISO 100. Flash fired on the left away from camera, no exposure compensation, shot in M mode.
Sun had set until I was ready to eat and shoot dessert. So I took out my flash and remotes, my improvised reflectors (=white paper) and tried my best. I thought after shooting all that chocolate with the flash this would be easy. But I was wrong. While taking the picture, I was happy that I hadn’t had any vanilla ice cream at hand, because it would have melted until I had the picture down to what I wanted.
What did I learn? Shoot more food! And think about it while there is actually still natural light around. And learn using the flash together with natural light.