My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

Tuesday
Jul152014

Food Photography Tip of the Week |17|

Food Photography Tip of the Week |17|

Change it up!

Last week I had an aha moment. It totally blew my mind while at the same time making me completely embarrassed at myself. And now you get to hear about it.

Food Photography Tip of the Week - 17 | edibleperspective.com #foodphotography

The photo above shows how I typically have my photo station set up. Sometimes I cover the north window if I want a lot of shadow for an overhead shot or if I want a truly backlit photo [facing east]. I will also sometimes face north and put a board up to create a background and block most of the northern light. This gives me a side lit shot with light coming from the east. Since I started shooting in at the new house this is pretty much how I’ve done things. However, I’ve always felt somewhat limited with the light even having two windows.

Eastern light can typically be harsh since it’s in the direct path the sun takes, but I do wait until the morning sunlight passes so it’s not direct. Or, I’ll cover it with a thin white sheet to help diffuse. But still, I haven’t loved the photos and have become pretty frustrated. This is the best location in the house for photos, so I’ve tried my best to make it work.

One thing I’ve felt that I haven’t been able to achieve in this new-ish space of mine is a fully lit, bright photo with little to no shadow. This is directly correlated to the window orientation and the direction I’m facing to take the photos. This I knew.

Below is an example when I’m facing east. This was taken around 4pm so the light was already up and over our house, creating a nice, soft light. There was also light coming in from the northern window. It’s common to hear natural light photographers prefer northern light for it’s soft feel + consistency.

You can see the front is in shadow with light coming in from the back + side. This is a great effect sometimes but not always.

Food Photography Tip of the Week - 17 | edibleperspective.com #foodphotography

So after nearly one year in this space I made a change. One very easy change.

Food Photography Tip of the Week - 17 | edibleperspective.com #foodphotography

I pulled the cart about 4 feet to the other side of the kitchen, which gave me indirect northern side light and indirect eastern front light.

And would you look at that. My fully lit, vibrant, nearly shadow-less photo.

AHA!

Food Photography Tip of the Week - 17 | edibleperspective.com #foodphotography

I first tried this out last week after becoming completely annoyed with the light while photographing the grilled cherry milkshakes.

In the setup you see below I’m facing north and the gray board is blocking some of the northern light. The photo is mostly lit with indirect eastern light. I didn’t like how shadowed the side of the glass was and how blown out the spoon handle was. I tried bouncing light with a white board on the left [west] side of the glass but it just wasn’t doing it for me.

Food Photography Tip of the Week - 17 | edibleperspective.com #foodphotography

And here’s where I turned counterclockwise by 90 degrees, facing west with my back to the east.

The cherry color was more vibrant with more consistent lighting on the entire face of the glass. The slight shadows on the left side of the glass were exactly what I wanted.

Food Photography Tip of the Week - 17 | edibleperspective.com #foodphotography

The spoon still had a bit of harshness to it, which is when I decided to take the photo below [which took about 15 attempts].

I was seriously in shock and also like, DUHHH.

Food Photography Tip of the Week - 17 | edibleperspective.com #foodphotography

This post is similar to the idea from the guest post by Sonja and Alex, which was to “move your feet.” While I already was moving my feet, trying different angles + positions, I never thought to actual move my entire table.

Total game changer.

Where before I felt somewhat burdened by this 2-window setup, I am now loving it so much. I feel like I have entire new set of lighting options to choose from.

How have you changed it up lately?

Happy Tuesday!

Ashley

Monday
Jul142014

Funfetti Birthday Cake with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream Frosting

It’s Monday.

Let’s eat cake.

Funfetti Birthday Cake with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream Frosting | edibleperspective.com

Actually, this cake was devoured yesterday for a little belated birthday celebration with friends. We headed to City Park JazzChris’s excellent idea—fully stocked with wine, cheese, crackers, dips, veggies, chips, and this cake. Oh, and the coolest friends this girl could ask for.

Funfetti Birthday Cake with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream Frosting | edibleperspective.com

I wish I had a photo of us hauling everything into the park. I also wish I had a photo of how we packed this cake on the bottom of a large storage bin with all of the snacks on top. Thanks to my very engineer-brained husband it worked perfectly. He put the cake on the bottom of the bin on a plate. Then he cut the top half off of a case-sized wine box, turned the box open side down over the cake and that was it!! What was the bottom of the box was now above the cake protecting it from getting smashed. We stacked all of the lighter snacks + picnic supplies on top of the cake without a problem.

We also may or may not have arrived via cab so we could enjoy more than 1 glass of wine each.

Sunday Funday at its finest.

Funfetti Birthday Cake with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream Frosting | edibleperspective.com

So, this cake.

Funfetti cake was my all time favorite birthday cake growing up always covered in vanilla frosting. It’s been ages since I’ve had a vanilla on vanilla cake but this year it needed to happen. And it had to be filled with sprinkles.

Funfetti Birthday Cake with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream Frosting | edibleperspective.com

This cake is adapted from my triple layer birthday cake and carrot cake recipes. I opted to use almond flour instead of almond meal for two reasons. I wanted the cake a bit lighter in color to really see the funfetti sprinkles. I also wanted to achieve a slightly lighter texture. Almond flour is processed from blanched almonds with the skins removed, as opposed to almond meal which is simply ground raw almonds with the skins.

I also tried using brown rice flour in the mix instead of sweet rice flour. I know sweet rice flour can be difficult to locate so I wanted to test out the results with brown rice flour. I also thought the brown rice flour might help lighten up the cake a bit. It’s still dense and extremely moist, but with a bit more fluff than the past cakes I’ve made.

I think you’re going to love it.

Funfetti Birthday Cake with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream Frosting | edibleperspective.com

Print this!

adapted from my: Triple Layer Chocolate Vanilla Birthday Cake inspired by: vanilla bean funfetti cake + brown butter funfetti cake

Funfetti Birthday Cake with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream Frosting gluten-free, dairy free // yields 1, double layer 8-inch cake

for the cake:

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour, or almond meal
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup muscovado sugar, or pure cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles/jimmies, plus more for topping

for the frosting:

  • 3 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight
  • 1/3-1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 4-6 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla beans, scraped from 2-3 pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350* F. Grease the bottom and sides of 2, 8-inch cake pans with coconut oil. Dust with a light coating of oat or brown rice flour on all sides [hit the sides of the pan while turning to coat evenly]. Turn the pan upside and knock to release excess flour.

In a large bowl combine the oat flour, almond flour, brown rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir well to combine.

In another bowl whisk the eggs together. Then whisk in the applesauce, milk, agave, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the coconut oil then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir or whisk the mixture until just combined [when you no longer see dry flour]. Fold in the sprinkles.

Pour the mixture evenly into the 2 pans then place in the center of the oven and bake for 22-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out nearly clean [not sticky, not dry]. Let cool for 20 minutes then carefully turn the cakes out and allow to fully cool on a wire rack.

While baking, rinse and drain the soaked cashews. Place in your blender with 1/3 cup agave, 1/4 cup milk, the vanilla beans, vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, and pinch of salt. Blend starting on low working to high and using a tamper to keep things moving. Blend and scrape the sides until fully creamy. About 1-2 minutes. You want the frosting to stay as thick as possible, so add extra milk very slowly. Taste and add more agave as needed. Place in a container and refrigerate until fully chilled. It will thicken a bit as it chills.

Once the cake has completely cooled frost as desired. Serve within 2-3 hours after frosting or keep chilled and take out 30min or so before serving.

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Notes: I’m sure white rice flour can sub in for brown rice. I used blanched almond flour [processed with no skins] but almond meal should work fine. Be cautious when adding the almond extract. A little goes a long way. The almond extract is optional but I feel it really helps to mellow out the cashew flavor and help bring out the vanilla notes.

Funfetti Birthday Cake with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream Frosting | edibleperspective.com

If only the ants didn’t get to the last slice!

Ashley

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