Recipe: Raspberry rose madeleines

My Granny’s kitchen housed cakes, bowls of batter, spoons of chocolate icing, raspberry jam, meringue mixture, glazed cherries, coconut. There’d also be condensed milk boiled into caramel for fudge and bitter cocoa that confused the senses (it smelled like chocolate but tasted like sin).

To a child, the kitchen can be this magical place where delicious things are created. It’s probably the earliest science experiment you get exposed to (because no one is quite sure how mum or granny gets that bitter cocoa to transform into sweet chocolate cake…)

Whatever the experiment, it’s not complete without a mixing paddle and spoon to lick, and a giant bowl of cake batter to dig into while waiting in front of the oven.

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Raspberry rose madeleines

Adapted from Paris Pastry Club by Fanny Zanotti

Ingredients: (makes about 15 depending on your pan)

80g soft butter

100g caster sugar

pinch of salt

2 eggs

100g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp rosewater

1 punnet of raspberries (or some raspberry jam)

Method:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, rosewater and salt until light and fluffy.

  2. Add eggs slowly and whip until light and fluffy.

  3. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

  4. Transfer into a piping bag and let it cool in the fridge for 3 hours. (I was bad and chilled it in the freezer for about 30 minutes, because toddler and time).

  5. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.

  6. Grease a madeleine pan and dust it with flour.

  7. Pipe the batter into the pan (just over 3/4 of the way).

  8. Add 2-3 raspberries in the centre (or a dollop of raspberry jam).

  9. Bake for 13 - 14 minutes until lightly golden.

  10. Style and take photos fast before little hands lay claim to all the deliciousness.

Recipe: Feijoa cake with honey drizzle

I have memories of my grandmother’s kitchen. Mustard brown tiles lining the walls, cupboards with sweet treasures (caster sugar and syrup) and bitter disappointments (baking soda and salt). It was the place where cakes were baked and iced, the bowls licked, and my mom’s biscuits and meringues appeared out of the oven. The room was magic.

This cake is also magic. It’s unfussy and you throw it all into a bowl and mix. Morning tea in 40 minutes.

This recipe was adapted from Jan Bilton’s recipe found on bite.co.nz

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Feijoa cake with honey drizzle

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

3/4 cup sugar

125ml olive oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 feijoas,peeled and diced

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a 20cm round tin (or bundt tin) with baking paper.

  2. Place all the ingredients, except the feijoas, into a bowl and combine until just mixed.

  3. Fold in the feijoas.

  4. Sprinkle with coarse sugar (raw works best).

  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

  6. Drizzle with honey and serve warm with a side of whipped cream.

Food photography: Sweet summer fruit

Peaches, nectarines, iced tea, melting popsicles. These are the things I think of when I think of Summer. These beauties were shot for Freshmax, taking a bright, modern approach to the fruit we traditionally enjoy during those hotter months. And again, I found myself drawn to that striking hard light and shadows to create a beautiful image that draws your eye to the sweetest of products.

If you’ve got a product or service and need some fresh new imagery for your marketing suite, get in touch, folks. I’d love to hear about your project and help you tell the story of your brand.

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Food photography: Starletta cherries

Another creative food photography challenge with one of my favourites - cherries. The brief called for high-end, fresh, fashion forward styling showcasing the beauty of this variety. These cherries are delicate and have the prettiest ombre yellow to red colouring with a sweet white flesh (aka the sweet white bite).

I had fun playing up their delicateness with the careful use of colours, florals, shadows, and light. Harvested during the height of summer, it felt only natural to show them off using the early afternoon sun to light them up.

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Piha Beach family photo shoot

I met Sinco at high school and it was the sweetest thing to be able to photograph her and her beautiful family at Piha Beach. She even brought along a bunch of flowers for our shoot because she knows how much I love florals in my work.

This beach is amazing (although the road that leads to it is treacherous) - it was well worth the trip. We started our family photo session at 8pm, making the most of that golden sun as it set and transitioned into twilight. Hands down, this is my favourite time to shoot.

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Food photography: Lani cherries

Every so often you get a brief that encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone. I’ve only ever shot food light and bright once or twice, so this brief was like a breath of fresh air. The project called for fresh, high end flatlays where the produce could speak for itself. You can’t really go wrong when the subject is this beautiful, right? I had so much fun experimenting with shadows with this one.

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Maternity session: In Bloom

I spent some time with the beautiful Emily, her family, and her sweet twin-bump to capture this exciting time in this little family’s journey. One of the things I like to do with each shoot is take a few images where I can experiment a little with flowers, light, and shadow. Thank you, Emily, for letting me play.

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