3 secrets of blogging a (plum) cake recipe

plum

Gotcha! Now that I have your valuable attention, let me impart my blogging knowledge to you. Its fairly simple, when I can do it so can you!
Time for some Gyaan with giggles…. (Gyaan is advice in hindi)
Inspiration is a key to creativity yet we debate about it being a clever theft. They say… as long as you credit your sources, it should be fine. Internet, as you know it, has tonnes of recipes and their variation. In a way, each blog post is just a repeat, if you don’t put your heart to it.
So, Tell me something…  What makes your blog post different from the rest?
Recipe
Is it the best kept secret of your family, your Grandma’s recipe?
Content
That juicy story of how you got baked  with your friend while the cake was in oven?
Visuals
May be, its the drool-worthy food photography that makes your reader have a sweet tooth!

plum wine

Experts believe that it is a right mix of all the above. Do you agree?
Food blogging is a broad topic and there are multiple ways to be successful. Sunshine and smile, by Kankana has been my inspiration for food photography. Her captivating posts like this one -> Breakfast in Bed  brings your nostalgic memories afresh. Although, I’ve been cooking for over a decade now but when it comes to blogging I prefer writing about all the baked goods, trying out new sweet treats and spicy savories.
Lets get practical! Who has to time to be a jack of all trades, anyways. I think that photography is an integral part of food blogging because it captures your audience to begin with. The content/ recipe plays a major role with SEO, blog traffic and to create a long-standing fan following.
Talking about photography, I’m no expert but I like to shoot before, while and after.
The Curtain raiser – Ingredients
Clean the shutter, sparkle the sensor and keep your camera ready, right from the start. Sometimes ingredients are so gorgeous that it takes the center stage. If your recipe  calls for one a juicy fruit like orange, lemon or this sugar sweet plum the you are in for a treat.
Wait…Dont eat the fruit, I mean… treat for eyes. Try shooting a slice of orange with natural light source at the back and you will know it.
Light source and its placement is crucial for good macro photography. In first image of this post, I’m shooting while my camera faces the window. Notice how the shadow of the plum fall at the bottom front of the fruit.
Of course, to keep the background clutter free, I’ve used a pale fabric forming a relevant color palette.

Sugar plum

The Drama – Making of sugar sweet plum-cake
Its gripping! If you are a pro, go for motion shots. Capture the pouring egg yolk, or splash of syrup or while you sprinkle the freshly ground cinnamon powder over the batter.

cinnomon sprinkle

Focus, focus, focus! It is not said enough how important this can be. Focus defines the photograph and says it all.  If you are a beginner, let your lens focus automatically while you choose the manual settings to adjust the light and exposure. I still do this, I’m no expert and Im afraid to risk it.
In the photo above, I wanted to capture the texture of the cinnamon sprinkle and the one below shows the view of cake right before it hit the oven. When using fabric for your photo-shoot, let it be messy. The ruffles and folds are playful and creates depth to your shot but also keep in mind that fabric wrinkles are just unpleasant.

plum three

The Show stopper – Its time to relish! 
By now, your home has a sweet smell of baked cinnamon plum cake. All you want to do is “grab a spoon” and go at it but hold on….
At this point, if my husband is home, he usually becomes cranky and blame how nice our pre-blogging life was. This is just like how Indian moms made you wait for your turn to get your hands on the yummy Indian festival sweets until the evening because its made as an offering to Gods.
  • Spend some time arranging the background and prop up the foreground. While choosing add-ons, stay within the same color palette so its pleasing to the eye.
  • Interesting cutlery, silver ware…Oh! White plates of various shapes is a must have! I’m still working on this one.
  • Lighting and camera- This whole set up is placed on a white scarf with a lot of diffused sunlight. The camera is positioned in a way where I don’t cast shadow on the element photographed. This works well for most product photo shoot and again the best time to shoot is between mid day to late afternoon.
  • P.S – No flash photography in this zone – Food, usually cakes hate flash. You will scare away all the yumminess!
Play around with your shots, adjust lighting and focus. Try to capture the shadow of the glass. Go macro and shoot the cake crumbs  or water droplet on the fruit. Its your blog after all… do what make you happy! 🙂

plum1

There…. that’s my 5 cents on photography and blogging and if you are here for the recipe, lemme clear things out!
Not my grandma’s secret recipe…. (Well my grandma just made ladoos and murukkus)
Didn’t make out on the kitchen table nor got stoned in the process…
It’s probably about photography and the plum-cake recipe is here….
Oh ya! You are adopted  adapted from Martha Stewart’s Open Face Plum Cake. Sorry, this came out rude! I still love you cake!
Recipe
  • 2 large plums, halved and pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil – I’m the butter kind 🙂
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup  milk
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon
Baking in 4-inches spring pan is a great way to store and share the whole baked goodies with your friends.  The way I arranged the plum slice were different and this may sink into the cake, unlike round slices in the original recipe.
Hope you enjoyed reading! This is me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Camera: Canon EOS 5D

Lens: Canon 100mm

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