Posts Tagged ‘sweet’

Food Photography Tips, Part III.

February 26, 2008

Part III – The Continuation of the Composition of Food Photography

Today I’ll be covering Focus and the Message.

1. Focus

There are 2 types of focuses:

a. Limited Focus – Photos with an ‘artsy’ feel

When I took a photo of this Colourful Kueh Lapis, I wanted to focus specifically on one Keh’s multiple layers. Such photographs are used more in Naked Food Photography.

b. Maximum Focus – Photos including display components

I’m not sure if this is the best example, but it does show many different Chinese dishes that my Grandmother cooked for dinner. You can see her (at the top of the photo) pointing to the food and encouraging us to start eating. Such photographs are used more in Packaging Photography, which allows the photographer to showcase an array of items like a different food products distributed by a particular company. For example, Procter and Gamble.

2. The Message

What is the message you want your photographs to bring across to your viewers? Do you want people to see your food as “I so got to get myself some of that now!” delicious, sweet, soft, hard, sour or even mysterious? Here are some of my examples.

The message: Fresh and naturally sweet strawberries.

The message: An absolutely scrumptious pasta dish.

The message: Artificially and sinfully sweet donuts, that are incredibly delicious.

The message: Unusual Durian Chee Chong Fun, only for the adventurous and not for the faint-hearted.

I hope you’ve all learned something today. 🙂 More tips coming up tomorrow.

Muffins & Cupcakes: Why they are different.

February 20, 2008

I found a lot of talk and misconceptions about the similarities and differences between a muffin and a cupcake online. Some say a muffin becomes a cupcake when there is frosting on it. Some say that cupcakes are smaller than muffins. That is incorrect, here is my take on it. Let’s conquer the cupcake first.

Cupcakes

  • A cupcake is essentially the same as a whole cake. It is simply baked and served in a portion to serve one individual.
  • It is usually frosted (like those in the photos above) and decorated. It is common to see it at birthday parties and weddings.
  • It is sweet and hence eaten mostly as a dessert or a sweet treat.
  • An un-frosted cupcakes does not equate to a muffin.
  • Butter is usually used in a cupcake recipe.
  • Conclusion: A cupcake is a cake.

Muffins

Source: Wikipedia

  • A muffin is one of the easiest things to bake (although I’ve had my fair share of failures, will give you tips to succeed in baking a muffin). It is simply mixing the wet and dry ingredients together and some recipes do not even require the use of an electronic beater or whisk.
  • It can be frosted or not frosted. For fruit muffins, I like to use a crumble on top (recipe in the next post).
  • It can be sweet or savoury and is mostly eaten during breakfast or tea.
  • A frosted muffin does not equate a to cupcake.
  • Oil is usually used in a muffin recipe.
  • Conclusion: A muffin is a type of bread (quick bread).

I hope this clarifies the difference between a cupcake and a muffin better. Watch out for my next post on my experience with baking muffins.

Carrot Cakes, the medieval dessert.

February 4, 2008

In the Middle Ages, sweeteners were low in supply and costly. Hence, people used carrots to make sweet desserts – due to the ingredient’s easy availability. In the 1960s, the carrot cake became a dessert one would most likely find on a dessert menu in the United States.

I’ve only ever baked a carrot cake once using this recipe from Allrecipes. I halved this recipe (which serves nine) and I got a perfect squared-size cake. However, the cream cheese frosting in this recipe turned out too sweet. Anyone has a carrot cake frosting to share, that isn’t too sweet and ‘hardens’ a little for easy storage?

Anyway here’s a photo of the carrot cake that I baked. The only complaint was its overly sweet frosting. This super moist cake ranks really high on my list of favourite things to bake. I welcome all advice on baking carrot cakes.