first in a series of eight
For the next two months, I will be on the South Beach Diet. Over this time, I will post about my journey to becoming a baker and blogger, starting today with my very first cake.
This is a Devil's Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache from Martha Stewart:
You will notice that this picture has a very different look and feel from the other pictures on this blog. This is because I wasn't blogging back then, and in particular, I hadn't even seen a single food blog at this point. What transformed the way I photographed food was becoming acquainted with La Tartine Gourmande. Click on that link and see how beautiful the pictures are. It is exactly what I want to be when my blog grows up.
I didn't know how to make my camera focus on specific parts of the cake and haven't ever used the macro function on my point and shoot. Or perhaps, I have used the macro function before, but was turned off by how it was sensitive to jitter. I have since discovered that a tripod is very helpful.
Just as helpful is the countdown timer on my camera. I set the camera to a two-second countdown so it doesn't jitter when I push the "shoot" button. I also find that I can make my arms still enough if I use the countdown timer, so I don't have to rely on a tripod. This is useful because most of my recent pictures are taken beside my kitchen sink where I get natural lighting.
Because I couldn't focus or close-up, I had to shoot from more than three feet away. The picture invariably captured all the mess and incidentals all around, which I had to crop out with my cheesy home photo application, thus the hearts all around the picture up top and the swishes on this one:
This was made for our first wedding anniversary in 2005.
The cake itself was moist and very chocolaty, which was very encouraging for a first-timer. If this cake had been an utter failure, I probably would never have baked again.
The ganache is probably the only part that didn't work as well. I pushed it around too much around because it wouldn't neatly flow down the cake. It became stiff so I ended up running my spatula around the entire cake. Thus, instead of the glistening, refined finish I was hoping for, I got a homey looking cake full of spatula-shaped marks which I tried to cover up with confectioner's sugar.
It may not be perfect, but with chocolate and roses, all you see are the good intentions.