Monday, October 31, 2011

Lemon Bunt Cake-Donna Hay Photo Challenge


Don't get discouraged by this photo, keep reading....
In my quest to learn as much as I can about food photography I found some amazing blogs, one of them is Jungle Frog Cooking, by the talented Simone.  Simone takes amazing photos and in an effort to learn from the pros she recently started a Donna Hay styling and photography challenge.  Who doesn't like the photos in Donna Hay magazine?  She has an amazing team of talented people who style and photograph food like no other.  The  second DHSP challenge was to replicate the image below, originally photographed by Con Poulos and styled by Steve Pearce, that appeared in issue 44 of DHM



Read Simone's post about her process of replicating this photo and to find the recipe, the cake is worth the butter, really tasty and lemony.  I personally think that Simone did a terrific job, way better than mine.  I like how she explained the process of taking the photo, I will try to do that next time.  I am totally open to feed-back by the way.

Now mine....I started by making one cake but soon realized that my pan was too big so the bunt cake turned out too small.   Then as I was ready to start taking pictures the sun came out ruining my whole set up (initially there was lot of fog so the light was perfect, naturally filtered).  I had to give up on that cake, you can see the only photo I took.

See how the sun totally ruined the effect, too bright!
I then made a second cake doubling the recipe (which required a pound of butter BTW!), so the cake looked better.  I thought I had made the glaze thicker the second time but as you can see on the top picture the glaze pooling happened again and looked really unappetizing.  The light was still too bright, I am sure they used a special set-up to filter the light and bounce it so it looks more diffused (if I knew how to do it I would take picture for Donna Hay too, don't you think?).  I also suspect that they shot the photo with high ISO because it looks grainier than mine, in retrospect I should have tried that.  But I am here to learn, so if I don't push myself I will never improve. 


The official page of the Donna Hay photo challenge is here if you are interested in joining this fun monthly event.  I am looking forward to the next month challenge.

Edited to add the recipe:

Lemon Bunt Cake
from Donna Hay


Ingredients
220 gr butter (melted)
2 large eggs
330 gr caster sugar (superfine)
120 gr sour cream
60 ml lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon rind (finely grated)
300 gr all purpose flour (sifted)
2 teaspoons baking powder (sifted)

Directions
Preheat oven to 160 C (320F).
Place the butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, lemon juice and rind in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour and baking powder and whisk until smooth. Spoon into 2 x well greased 4 cup capacity (1 liter) Bundt tins and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in tins for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon icing
320 gr icing sugar (sifted)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water (boiling)

Directions
To make the lemon icing, place icing sugar, juice and water in a bowl and mix to combine. Spoon over cakes to serve. Serves 8-10

7 comments:

Magda said...

Congratulations :) I love your icing. It is thick enough, mine was to thin. Yes, the light is a little bit too harsh, maybe next time you could move more into a shadow?

Simona said...

Kudos for you efforts. I also often exploit the natural filtering provided by fog.

Junglefrog said...

I think you're being too harsh on yourself! While maybe not like the original I do like the photo where the sunlight streams into it. It gives it a totally different but pleasant feeling... And I love the photo of the cake without the icing too. To be honest; I think you've done a much better job then me! Seriously.
As far as the light being too harsh; what Magda is suggesting might help but what also could help is to use some kind of screen in front of the light. I use tracing paper a lot since that is cheap and you can tape it to a window for instance. But a piece of very thin curtain would work too.

Laura said...

Magda, thanks for stopping by! Yes, I was really close to the window, I will try moving farther away. I also want to try to use the technique of using a board to let light coming through just the bottom.

Simona, the fog would have been perfect, but it wasn't meant to be, the sun ruined it ;o)

Simone, thanks for your feedback! I will try the vellum technique too, I need to practice, practice and practice some more. I love this challenge, it brings people together and push me out of my comfort zone! I still think your photo is better ;o)

Carlo said...

che buono

Laura said...

Grazie Carlo! E' veramente buona, da mangiare a piccole dosi pero'!

Winnie said...

I think your photo is gorgeous! I am going to look into this challenge...I love the photography in Donna Hay magazine.

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