Photoshoot fails and hot chocolate cakes - when stepping out of comfort zones is a fail

Whenever I try to be a little adventurous with my food photography and step out of my comfort zone, I fail. Like big time. Only have to look at these pics to realise how big of a fail something that at first hand felt and looked right it turned out to be. Instead of sticking to my usual spot for photos, I wanted to try something different, and once again went to my son's room for the massive light it gets on a day that was dark, sombre, rain pelting down the windows and grey clouds covering the skies. Oh, how stupid of me.

Although the light in my son's room is magnificent, it hardly ever works for my photos, you only have to browse through the archives here to come up with plenty of examples for why I should stick to what I know and is familiar. See, sometimes stepping out of comfort zones is being an idiot, and this was one such time. Anyway, it was an experiment, and many have failed, many will still fail in the future - I'm all for trying new things and then faceplanting myself on failing them ahah. Because, if you look carefully at the setting, it had EVERYTHING to work out fine, and look beautifu. Alas, not even careful editing saved these photos.

Truth is I was really tired and overworked when I set out to take these pics. My brain was not fully functional, worried as it was with sales and ads and graphics and edits. I was also trying too hard to improve my photographic skills with a point and shoot camera and my skills on styling, after having had honest feedback on how my work was not really working out good. I was far too preoccupied with doing things different, with improving, being better and more efficient, more hardworking, to make up for the lack of natural talent. Of course it didn't work. The idea was a good one, the end result, well, not so much. I was also using a long photo session to avoid going back to my laptop and finish writing the first draft on the second volume of my Arthurian saga. For some reason I am loving writing that story, but also dreading it at the same time. Freud might explain, I know I can't.

Anyway, I was eager to try a version of Patricia's hot milk cake after having seen it on her blog and falling in love with its simplicity and appeal. I had made up a few versions in my head, like hot vanilla milk cake, hot turmeric milk cake, hot cinnamon milk cake, hot coffee milk cake (this one still on my must try soon list) but ended up settling for a hot chocolate milk cake version, because, well, come on, it's chocolate and we all know what I'm like. It's actually a hot cocoa milk cake, because I used raw cacao powder, which I love, instead of chocolate. It's a mild, light cake, flavourful but not overpowering, like a cloud of choco goodness, which made the delights of father and son, to my own satisfaction. It was gone in the blink of an eye. And I think it will be a good addition to an Easter table, don't you?

So here's my version, with a few adaptations because I didn't even have all the correct amount of ingredients when I baked it - I told you, I was overworked and brain tired!!
  • 5 eggs (I used 4 large ones)
  • 250 gr flour
  • 200 gr yellow sugar
  • 150 ml milk with 4 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 100 gr butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
Pre heat the oven at 180º. Lightly butter and flour a bundt cake tin. Warm up the milk with the butter and the cocoa without allowing it to come to a boil. On a bowl, using a whisk, mix the sieved flour with the baking powder and the baking soda. Cream the eggs and sugar together with the salt and the vanilla for about ten minutes or until it triples in size. Add the flour mix in two stages, making sure you mix it softly. Finally, add the milk carefully, stirring together until everything is blended and smooth. Pour into the bundt tin and bake in the oven at 170º for about 35 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack before you place it on a plate and decorate it - I left mine simple because I am like that, a rebel! But it looks great with icing sugar over it, so do indulge on it. Hope you enjoy eating this cake with a cup of warm tea or coffee. Happy Easter for all those who celebrate, enjoy yourselves!


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