It’s time to get my butt in gear here and write something about something. And what’s better than chocolate (I know… I promised this post last week…)?
This is another bar from my trip to Calgary that I bought at family run Coppeneur Calgary. It’s an actual Coppeneur bar – Coppeneur being a German chocolate maker. This one is from the Cru do Cao product line which the company claims is its
homage to the authentic and original taste nuances of the cocoa beans from the various regions near the Equator. With the creations Cru de Cacao – Libertée we arrange special, selected ingredients which bring out and harmonize the original chocolate’s rich facets.
Given my long-time obsession with caramel and salt, I chose the Karamell & Flor de Sal bar with 50% cocoa. The packaging is simply beautiful and a little intricate – I confess it took me longer than I’d like to admit to figure out how to open the box.
The bar itself has a really unique taste. At 50% cocoa I wouldn’t consider this a dark chocolate bar – it definitely has the appearance of milk chocolate and even says as much on the label. But the flavour that immediately comes through is that of a much higher cocoa content – on par with a 60-70% bar – as does the aftertaste. This is not a sweet bar at all – in fact sugar is the second to last ingredient on the label behind cocoa, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, caramel and semolina
But for the glorious moment when you let it melt slowly on your tongue you can tell it’s milk chocolate – it’s rich and oh so creamy and the hint of caramel and the tang of sea salt are very apparent.
To be honest, my first thought when I tasted the bar was that it reminded me of really good quality salted black licorice (not the kind you get in licorice all sorts!). It’s a nice, quality bar for enjoying in small tastes.
Food Photography Tips
I haven’t been great about keeping you posted on the mechanics of the photos lately so I’m going to get back to that – especially because I find chocolate such a hard thing to photograph. More work goes into these images than is initially apparent.
All images were photographed with a Canon 5DMII and the Canon 24-70mm 2.8 L lens.
Image 1: Aperture Priority, 51mm, f/5.6, 1/125, +2/3 exposure compensation, ISO3200, WB Auto
This and the final image were photographed on a piece of white foam board. I find photographing on a white background usually requires significant exposure compensation in order to make sure the background doesn’t look grey. Very little was done in Lightroom except some clarity and contrast tweaks. I then did a quick export to Photoshop and that’s where the real work began.
Chocolate is messy and full of imperfections and crumbs that are a byproduct of being moved around. It’s virtually impossible to transport a chocolate bar without damaging it and even minute blemishes stand out like a sore thumb in a high contrast image. I do a lot of spot removal and cloning in Photoshop whenever I photograph chocolate. In a weird way, I find it kind of therapeutic because it’s so fine detail oriented. You really do have to empty your mind to get into it. This and the final image were heavily corrected – not for colour, exposure or contrast – just for blemish removal. Get the image itself right in camera.
Image 2: Aperture Priority, 51mm, f/5.6, 1/320, +2/3 exposure compensation, ISO3200, WB Auto
This and the third image were photographed on an old cookie sheet that I use when I want a dramatic dark background. I wanted fairly wide depth of field on all the images because there was a lot of text to read and I wanted the designs on the chocolate to be in focus so I set myself at f/5.6 for most of the images. Post processing tweaks were just to contrast and vibrance in LR.
Image 3: Aperture Priority, 63mm, f/10, 1/80, 0 exposure compensation, ISO3200, WB Auto
Very similar to image 2 but with a much higher f stop for an even wider depth of field (always a good idea when shooting overhead – you want everything to be in focus on a top down shot). I did a small amount of touchup to the chocolate in LR.
Image 4: Aperture Priority, 58mm, f/5.6, 1/80, +1 exposure compensation, ISO3200, WB Auto
Virtually the same as the first image with the most significant post processing being the chocolate touch up.
That’s it for this week… I promise to be back next week with an ACTUAL RECIPE… I know… crazy stuff. Have a great weekend!