There are those things that you can almost predict will go wrong. As I had told you when announcing the Donna Hay Challenge nr. 2, I didn’t have time to make the challenge recipe prior to the actual challenge so I had to do it still, just like the rest of you and then shoot it.
Making the batter was a breeze, but I tried out a new anti-stick stuff that I had used before successfully on other cake tins. I normally grease a bundt cake with butter and then carefully make sure all hooks are filled. I then dust the inside with icing sugar and it works every time. This time I decided to try my anti stick bottle and well… it didn’t work so well as my own method!
First of all I made a big mistake by taking the cake out of the tin just 2 minutes after coming out of the oven. I should have waited longer but I didn’t think, plopped a cakerack on top, turned it over and voila, cake in two! Damn… Not a good thing if you have to smoothly cover the thing in icing and shoot it. So what to do? I carefully took out the part of the cake that was still in the tin and then matched it to the other part already on the cooling rack. Needless to say, that was not perfect but it looked more or less like an entire bundt cake. Then I figured; if I cover it with icing you won’t see it so much now would you?
Ofcourse in order to be able to cover cracks the size of ravines you would need to sort of put a lot of icing on top!
And putting a lot of icing on the cake made it look a little bit dodgy too as you can see in the background. O well, I’m sure it will taste delicious! So now on to the photo part. I normally shoot in my kitchen but since the photo needed to be fairly dark and the sun had all of a sudden decided to come out, I moved everything to the other part of the living room and used a wooden board as my background (LOVE that board which is 200 years old and comes from Weimar!). I placed another dark wooden board behind it on a chair to act as my background. I took a photo with my Iphone to show you the setup.
I took two shots; one without the foamboard on the left as you see it above and one with the board. Both photos are shown above. Now in my memory the background of the original photo was quite dark, but when I put the photos on my computer it wasn’t as dark as I had thought it would be. So my photo is darker! If you need areas of a picture to be really dark with heavy shadows, the easiest way to do that is to use something called a ‘flag’. I use white board a lot to reflect the light back onto the photos, with black you basically do the same but in reverse. So where ever you have too much light and you need more shadows, see what happens when you hold a black flag to that area. I took another Iphone photo showing
you how I position the flag, but it was a little hard to hold it at the right angle and hold the black flag at the same time, so it’s not exactly how it should be but you get the picture I think.
See how much shadow it casts? The photos where shot with my Canon eos 5d mark II on manual. The lens was the 100mm macro and the setting were iso 160 at F4.5 for 1/5 s. It was dark and overcast at the time I took the photo which worked fine here as too much light would have made it too bright.
In the photo below you can see how damaged the cake was… All the brown bits are sort of missing plus I think I should have left it maybe a few minutes more. O well, better next time I would say! Also visible here is how the shot looks without using any flag or reflection. The only big difference is that the sun was still out so it looks a little brighter in general plus the curtain on the other end of the room (the kitchen) was open too getting in some stray light from the left.
What is also pretty obvious if you compare the two photos side by side is that the bundt pan makes some different to the amount of shadows cast as well. The ridges in the cake by Con Poulos are much more pronounced meaning they cast more shadow then my pale shallow one.. Plus my drips are not so pretty! I should have made my icing a little thinner too. But overall… I’m fairly happy with the results. Good exercise for sure! (both in terms of baking and in terms of taking the shot.. ) Can I hire a cakebaker for next time? Lol.. O wait, next time is not a cake! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! O and can I just say that this cake is absolutely and totally delicious? The addition of sour cream in the batter made it more moist and the overall presence of the lemon is just delicious. It did not last long!
I might actually try and redo this cake if I have enough time left… See if I can make one that is a little bit better looking!
For the recipe check out the original post here