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Posts Tagged ‘food’

I love these little babies.

Surprisingly, this has been the first time I’ve ever made them myself.

 

While preparing these Chocolate Lava Cakes I learned that they are super-fun to make.

They are also surprising. That is what you find out when you dig into them.

And, with the generous amount of chocolate they contain, I’m sure they are just super seductive.

That all makes them the perfect dessert choice for Valentine’s Day, don’t you think?

 

Now, let me invite you to my kitchen and show you how I prepared my version of these adorable sweet cakes…

 
 

Here’s what we need.

Couldn’t be simpler.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C).

 

2. Butter 4 ramekins.

I’ve used 6-ounce (180 ml) ramekins.

 

3. Then dust the ramekins with some confectioners’ sugar.

 
 

4. Now we need the eggs, sugar, coffee and salt.

 
 

5. Throw them all into one bowl and mix them for about 2 minutes.

 
 

6. Break the chocolate into pieces. Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.

 
 

7. Microwave on high in 20-second increments, stirring after each, until melted.

Let cool slightly.

And be strong!

 
 

8. Add the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk to combine.

 
 

9. Then add the flour, and whisk just until combined (do not overmix).

 
 

10. Pour the batter into prepared ramekins.

I only have two, so I had to bake in two batches.

 
 

11. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.

 
 

12. And bake for about 11 minutes.

 
 

13. These babies were baked for about 14 minutes.

Too long.

 

Although nice and tasty, they weren’t that ‘molten’ in the center.

 
 

I baked the second batch for only 10 minutes.

 
 

That was much better.

I really like the moist center.

 
 

Aah, I love this game.

 

But, if I had another chance, which I think I am going to give myself soon, I’d try baking these for exactly 11 minutes.

11 minutes would make them absolutely perfect.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe makes 4 cakes and was loosely based on Molten Mocha Cakes from http://www.delish.com.)

 

 

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I love it when fall strikes and days get colder.

The reason why I love this time of year so much might have something to do with the fact that I suddenly have all the good reasons to indulge myself with sweet mulled wine or hot chocolate.

The best hot beverages ever!

Oh, how I love them!

They are true soul soothers!

 

The following recipe is just delicious.

The taste vastly depends on the kind of chocolate you use. So get the one you really like.

Also, there are different types of chocolate when it comes to its fat content. So remember – the higher the fat content, the more creamy and rich your hot chocolate will be.

So let’s experiment!
 
 

These are the ingredients you will need.

Just this few.
 
 

1. To prepare your own soothing drink, first break the chocolate into smaller chunks.

 

2. Place the chocolate chunks into a heatproof bowl.
 
 

3. Add the sugar.
 
 

4. Add the milk.
 
 

5. And place the bowl over a pot of boiling and steaming water.

 

6. Stir until the chocolate melts. Then keep stirring until the mixture gets hot, almost boiling.
 
 

7. Pour the chocolate into two cups and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and some grated chocolate or a dusting of cocoa powder, if desired.
 
 

And in case someone comes and steals your chocolate shamelessly be really thankful that this recipe yields two mugs.

Enjoy, dear friends!

(This lovely recipe was adapted from Joyofbaking.com.)
 

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As I promised before in the post about my cameras, here I am with a couple of words about my lenses.

First of all, I love my lenses.

Very much.

Second of all, I just love them.

 

These are the names of the babies (from left to right): Canon 50mm F 1.8, Tamron Macro 60 mm F 2, Canon 18-55mm (which came as a kit lens with my Canon Rebel T2i camera).

I use the first one (Canon 50mm) to shoot food.

The Tamron 60 mm is great for food too, but since it is a macro lens I use it quite often outside to shoot flowers, bugs or other cute tiny things.

To capture wider angles, I use the Canon 18-55 (the kit lens).

 

Now let me show you and compare a few interesting features that these lenses possess.

 

1. Comparison with the Same Settings

Each of these shots was taken with a different lens. To make the comparison most accurate I kept the same settings for each shot. All pictures were taken at 5.6 aperture and they are not edited at all.

Though that last thing was a bit hard to digest.

I find these images pretty similar in their appearance. Maybe just the last one is a little colder in colors (has more blue tones in it) than the other two.

But there’s more to compare…
 
 

2. Lowering the Aperture (Blurry Background)

Well, who doesn’t like a nice blurry background.

That really injects the magic into the pictures, doesn’t it?

The part of the lens which provides for the blurriness of the picture is called the aperture (if you are not that familiar with this term you can find a little more about it here).

I love to use low aperture settings, especially for the food shots.

The kit lens that came with the camera (Canon 18-55mm) has the lowest aperture number of 5.6 (the second picture of this post shows you the result).

But I knew that there was a whole new world of possibilities when you go lower than 5.6.

So there came a moment in my life when I felt that I couldn’t go a day longer without a proper low aperture lens. That was when I got these two:

This picture was taken with the Canon 50mm at its lowest aperture – F 1.8.

See the blurry background? And how little portion of the picture is actually in focus? So that is caused by the low 1.8 aperture setting.

Again, this picture could really benefit from some vigorous Photoshop treatment, but this post is not about that.
 
 

This is a shot taken with the Tamron 60mm at 2.0 aperture (which is its lowest aperture number).

I like the blurriness of the background a lot.

In this aspect, these two lenses produce very similar results.

 

Also, these two lenses are prime, which means that you cannot zoom in or zoom out. In other words, they have fixed focal length. But that thing is perfectly all right – it makes you move a little more and stretch your body quite often which, I guess, is a nice health supporting benefit.

 

If the low aperture setting had been the only feature that I wanted for my pictures I would only have acquired the Canon 50mm lens. That one was much cheaper than the Tamron 60mm.

But I also needed Tamron. Have a look why…
 
 

3. Getting Closer to the Subject

This is closest that the Canon 50mm allows you to get to the subject.

If you go closer, the lens cannot focus anymore.

 
 

This is how close the Tamron 60mm allows you to get.

Amazing detail!

I often use this feature when taking pictures in my kitchen – spices, sugar or cake structure, that all looks perfectly detailed.

I love it!

 

So these are my beloved lenses.

I hope this information helped you.

At least a little.
 
 

… and psst, don’t tell this to my boyfriend

There’s also this cutie!

It’s the Canon 75-300mm telephoto zoom lens.

I frequently steal this one from my boyfriend to capture…
 
 

… squirrels …
 
 

… or baby orangutans, or basically anything that happens to be far away from me.

I think I love this lens much more than my boyfriend does and I also use it way more often.

So who really has the moral right to own it, I ask?

I think it’s me, I answer.

Definitely, it’s me!
 
 

It fills the last free space in my camera bag perfectly, anyway.
 

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Right now I am preparing a yummy recipe that I’ll be posting here tomorrow. Meanwhile I have something else you might want to see.

 
Over the past few months some of you asked me how this or that photo had been taken. Your questions gave me an idea that you might find interesting to see how several of my sets looked like. I myself love this kind of information and seek it eagerly wherever possible.

So, from now on, if I find the photo set that I’ve created interesting in a certain way I’ll show it to you.

If it helps at least one of you then my mission was worth it.

 

The picture above is by far not perfect or exquisite or anything. But what I find interesting about it is the lighting. You might be wondering how on earth that set was lit and whether I used artificial lights or not. And how I dare own photography lighting without letting you know.
 
 

So, this is what the set looked like.

I don’t use lights since I don’t own photography lights.

But what I own is my home-made silver reflector (you can find its heart-touching story here). And then I have one window. And then I have some white paper that I duct taped to the wall and to my kitchen countertop. And that’s it!

Very, very simple.
 
 

This is the job that my camera did.

Well, she was really trying.

I still love her dearly.

And yes, I refer to my camera as her. It’s my best friend after all. Actually, I might start calling her Amelie.
 
 

And this is how Photoshop helped.

Needless to say, I love Photoshop.

I might start calling it Fred.

 

See you soon!

Love,

Petra
 

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