Chocolate , amma(mum), me, little fur ball and Chocolate…eating it all the day as much as I could..(ssh don’t tell my boss because I was supposed to be ‘working’ from home that day)
Despite the fact I hate chocolate or at least I don’t fancy chocolate, I ate it mouthful for one whole day..Licking smacking wiping…chocolate all over my teeth and lips, as if my mouth was one Chocolate bomb!
And then my little fur-ball was so excited to get invited by himself to lick my mouth ..umm..he wants more chocolate now..grrr…what will I do with the big pack of Pedigree that gives me a weird helpless look ! He don’t seem to like them any more..All he wants is CHOCO-LAT(Y)..No no..it wasn’t me ..all the blame goes to these cute little Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies..
These are just adorable and indeed beautiful that I could pop(REPEAT it) them into my mouth all the day one after the other ..
Get a cup of your style coffee or those mid-night snacks you have hidden under your pillow(Yes I do that coz it’s handy!),I have soso much to tell you..
I have started my food blogging way back in 2011 and have sat here in front of this computer like 200+ times(WAHHH!) to tell you how I whipped up my daily dishes and the little joys and memories associated with it.It has been an incredible journey of learning new things, admiring little discoveries through my tiny kitchen in London.It was so fun to share my recipes with YOU guys on this little screen,but behind the scenes it was kinda stressful sometimes when I burn a soft cookie to brown bah..black or stick a bun to the tray. It was (is) an exciting journey of travelling altogether with you through this magical thing called blogging.,
OK you are super tired now..have this cookie..and then hide you mouth, else you will be caught with chocolate all over it..
Okay now that we finished throwing one cookie into our mouth let’s talk something(what?) serious.
Though I stated this blog way back 3 years ago to kill my time it is now the most important and best(EST) element of my life .Joking….not joking really.The moment I realised I need to show my recipes to tempt you guys with mouthwatering food photos,I decided to buy a good camera(where on Earth it exists!) that would automatically(??) make excellent food photos with just one click.With that assumption I bought a DSLR which greatly disappointed me and made me realise that there is nothing like a good camera in this world!I have taken super erroneous to almost-miserable-to-look kind of food photos with my DSLR and I was rich for nothing.
I have read many books(this is the most useful and practical guide that worked for me Tasty Food Photography),attended few on-line sessions(FREE ones) and understood the key for taking tasty food photos is PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE..As I started believing this principle my photos gotten better from here to here and gave me little confidence that I now know what different buttons mean in my DSLR..So what is it now?
Now I take best of the world’s crispy tasty salty(like caramel..ummmmm) and spicy food photos.I have also been nominated to win one of those food photo of the year contests in Regional Cooking blog Category..NO..I DIDN’T all am doing is to practice more to get some tasty food photos that can make you guys want for more of my food from your laptop screens.
I thought I will let your brain rest for few seconds and make your eyes to see some goodness of chocolate for a while, yes no brain needed..because its CHOCOLATE.. Fine, ..After these many years of food blogging I decided that day to do one pour shot (yes that’s the shot every food blogger wants to excel in to show up their creamy sauces drizzling over salads, tasty frostings poured on those little cupcakes .And how did I do it? What have I learnt? How to do it or better say How NOT to do it?
Food Photography – How to do a Pour Shot?
Step #1 FIND YOUR POURING VESSEL
Okay, whatever kind of pour it is we need to find a good pouring utensil that does the job well.this should give you enough time and space to capture the pour. Here I have used a spoon and maintained a reasonable distance from the destination so I have enough liquid pouring down from it. You could also consider sharp edged jugs,bottles which gives sharp,clean and crisp stream rather than thick edge that doesn’t have defined mouth.Also make sure it has proper handling that you can even hold it with one hand while other hand captures the pour.
Use a container that has sharp and long mouth which gives a clean stream.Make sure they have proper handles.
Step #2 SET A FASTER SHUTTER SPEED
Shutter speed is time for which the shutter of your camera will remain open.Usually I set it up between 30-60 (low it is) for capturing still objects.Which means it will be open for 1/60th of a second. but here for our shot we need to catch the action of it which mean the shutter speed shoudld be even faster than it.Like to say 1/200.So make sure you know this limit and keep adjusting it at higher numbers.
CATCH ACTION = FASTER SHUTTER SPEED(Bigger number)
Step #3 SET YOUR FOCAL POINT
If you see below instances, #1 the whole setup was not focussed anywhere but seems to concentrated only on the pour ,but it is not just waht we want, Is it? #2 Focus seems to be set only on the box and the spoon looks blurry which doesn’t look good either.So the point here is we need to decide the focus before commencing the shoot.I would like to keep the control of my focal point in my hand and won’t let camera choose it for me.Manualy aim at a place where you want to focus.
Aim at manual focus and don’t let your camera chose it for you
Step #4 ADJUST OTHER SETTINGS
Okay it is not just enough if you set your shutter speed to 1/200 and proceed to take pour shots. If you keep the shutter speed at 1/200 you may get your subject dark depending on the light conditions in your shoot area so you might want to adjust the other things called Aperture and ISO accrodingly.And thats what Manual Mode is for ..Just play a bit with aperture and ISO once you feel the shutter speed is approriate to catch the pour shot.We need the light as well along with the pouring effect
Don’t lock THAT wheel on your camera.Please move it to MANUAL mode and go ahead.that’s fine.
Belos picture #1 is OK to me but where on Earth am puring into.Had my hand been abit curved the frosting would have ran onto the surface of the table rather than the container.Ok picture #2 is a bit better than other ones but i could’t concentrate on coposint it better as i can avoid that little window curtain.Its alrigth..I will get better next time!
FEW OTHER TIPS:
You can mix little water/milk to your sauces, frostings to make them freee to pour down.I know it damages the taste alittle but then your PHOTO need look more than taste .You might want to take an extra bowl aside for shoot purpose.Ofcourse you don’t want the food to be too much altered just for PHOTO sake.Enbjoy the essence of cooking and eating first and then blogging next.
I am so afraid to make use of tripod as I want my shoot to be finished in minutes and so desperate to see them on my screen.But you don’t be crazy like me. Have some patience to use a TRIPOD to make the best out of your camera.Lastly bug your spouse more to hold the pouring vessel properly so he/she can get an extra bite of this deliciously chocolate frosted cookie.WIN WIN
Between don’t take your wheat flour out ..Just proceed with plain flour..I said these Chocolate Thumbrpint cookies are ADORABLE..
- ¾ Cup Softened Butter + 3 tbsp for frosting
- ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
- ¼ Cup Cocoa Powder
- 1½ Cup White Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- For Frosting
- 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tbsp Vanilla essence
- 4 tbsp milk
- Take the softened butter into a mixing bowl and add powdered sugar. Am too lazy to break my hardened sugar chunks and you don't do that please. Please take powdered sugar STRICTLY.Whisk it well such that butter and sugar combines well. You can also use electric beater but hand whisk is fine too.Add cocoa powder and whisk once more well.
- Pre-heat the oven at its full temperature for 15-20 mins.
- Add in the combined mixture of sifted white flour,salt and baking powder.Now you may need to use your hand to knead the chocolate dough very gently to form a smooth dough.Rest it for 5min.
- Take a small portion of dough and make into round balls. Place the cookie ball on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Gently with your thumb make an indent in the centre of the ball.
- Bake them for 8-10 min until they become little dry and still remain softer.The cookie will remain very soft and fudgy.
- Soon after you take out from the oven, gently again make an indent with your thumb in the centre of the cookie again.Allow it to cool down on the tray itself and proceed for frosting preparation.
- Take butter and milk into a bowl and heat it in microwave for a minute until the butter is melted. Allow it to cool down(and when still in liquid state) add the cocoa powder and vanilla.Mix it well with a spoon until a semi-liquid consistency frosting forms.
- Once the cookies cool down, spoon in the frosting into each cookie and add sprinkles.Rest the cookies until the frosting is set to enjoy a mouthful of cookies
Make sure you bake them for less than or equal to 10 min to get that fudge-y texture.If you fancy crispy cookies proceed for 20-30 min baking but they don't look like these for sure.
And those sprinkles are fun.If you fancy preparing them too at home check out this post Home-Made Sprinkles from my co-blogger Anusha who blogs at Tomato Blues.