Photo Mania

When I started this blog, my intention was to accompany posts – especially food posts – by some nice pics.  My ambition was not to have perfect pictures, because I know most of the “professional” food blog people are cracks in photography as well.  Going along, I find that wanting to take nice pics can take on a life of its own.  I have to curb myself not to take pictures of everything I cook or bake, I don’t want this to become an obsession.

I’ve owned my digital camera for about 2 years now, and until I started taking pictures for this blog, I realised I had only ever used two settings.  Last week I started experimenting for the first time and found it can be quite fun.  Then I happened upon a blog post called The Low Budget Photo Shoot with photography tips for beginners that I found very encouraging and helpful.

So this time I had three reasons for taking pics:  1 – I was invited by a friend and said I’d bake something.  2 – I found this recipe for canneles at Tartelette I wanted to try;  I ordered some canneles moulds online which turned out to be mini moulds, so I was hoping they’d turn out cute.  3 – Experiment both with the tips from the photo shoot post and my camera settings.  You can see how they turned out below.

But first I need to get something off my chest.  To my surprise, my colleagues really liked the ricciarelli, last week’s baking endeavour, which made me think that I need to get a more positive view on my baking and cooking results.  As a matter of fact, I noticed that several things I wrote previously and what I intended to write today about the canneles paint a somewhat negative picture if not of me then certainly of my abilities in the kitchen.  It made it seem like I do things haphazardly, not really knowing what’s what and the end results always leave something to wish for.  I have to redeem that.  I am actually very capable, quite a good cook, and a very good baker – I know blowing your own trumpet is not the thing to do, but it really is called for here – but as I mentioned in a previous post, I have very high expectations of what my baking and cooking results should look like, and I realise I let myself be influenced by that, and completely disregarded the taste of everything.  I will take care not to be self-deprecating but to appreciate my capabilities from here on :-).

And so, on to the results of this week’s baking.  Canneles.  I had absolutely no idea what they would taste like.  I liked the picture that went with the recipe, the recipe sounded easy, and it had some of my favourite words in it – “refrigerate overnight”.  I was a bit skeptical about the measurement conversions the recipe gave, especially as the consistency of the dough turned out to be very liquid but I guess everything was fine.

As you can see, not all of the canneles turned out pretty, but I think that was because I filled too much dough into the mini moulds, and I had put the moulds on a rack rather than a baking sheet, so they weren’t on an even surface and sort of grew in one direction when they flowed over.  As for the taste – I thought I’d eat the ugly ones because I couldn’t give them away, and then I had to restrain myself not to eat all of them as they are totally delicious.  The canneles are a bit like light pudding inside, not too sweet, they actually have a sort of fresh taste;  if you know the Portuguese pasteis de nata, the canneles are a bit like those, only without pastry outside and a bit lighter inside.   I will definitely make these again.