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Critique Chocolate cupcakes with ganache filling and peanut butter icing

Discussion in 'Miscellany' started by Mike Buckley, May 26, 2019.

  1. This is a Cook's Illustrated recipe, so it can probably be found at their website.

    Setup
    The tabletop is a white plastic cutting board on white fabric. Two medium continuous-light lamps, one in the front right area above the cupcakes and one in the rear left area, were very close to the food to create soft shadows. A small continuous-light lamp close to the cut cupcake brightened it.
    Mike 2019-05-26--015-S.jpg
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    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  2. Delicious!!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    You had me at peanut butter icing! These look devine! When I make brownies, I always throw in peanut butter chips! Folks love them!
     
  4. Thank you to Allan and Karen!

    I made the cupcakes for the first time, photographed them, posted the photo here, prepared and ate supper, and then finally got around to eating one of them for dessert. The recipe really is terrific.

    I can't believe I never thought of doing that. Now that you've mentioned the idea, it seems like such a no-brainer. Many thanks for tossing it our way!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  5. I just now noticed a fairly important post-processing mistake. Anyone wanna find it and point it out? It's not a matter of taste (no pun intended); it's a matter of impossibility.
     
  6. Flying peanut??

    Mike 2019-05-26--015-S.jpg
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  7. Good eye, Rick! I digitally added the peanut you circled by cloning one of the other peanuts in the scene. The problem is that the cloned peanut is sharply in focus whereas the tabletop in that area is out of focus. Not optically possible. Rookie mistake.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  8. Fixed:

    Mike 2019-05-26--015-S.jpg
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    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  9. kilofoxtrott

    kilofoxtrott European Ambassador Moderator

    Dec 29, 2011
    Tettnang, Germany
    Oh Mike...
    The day is dead beat now.

    These cupcakes are looking delicious.
    At home I have to make some banana choco cupcakes from time to time.

    You've asked what's wrong with the picture - none is bitten... ;) :) :D 
    If I'll had to shoot that picture, there will be only crumbs to show.

    Kind regards
    Klaus
     
  10. Thanks, Klaus!

    I sympathize with you that we are required to make these concoctions. :ROFLMAO: 

    Good one!

    Seriously, normally it would be an excellent choice to include crumbs in the scene only near the cupcake that is cut, as that would make sense. However, in this case the chef spent more than two months making 800 cupcakes to get everything exactly as she wanted. One of the details she wanted was a sturdy cupcake that when eaten with fingers wouldn't drop a lot of crumbs. She accomplished that mostly by using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.
     
  11. kilofoxtrott

    kilofoxtrott European Ambassador Moderator

    Dec 29, 2011
    Tettnang, Germany
    Ugh!
    How many weight you've gained? 800 cupcakes? Unbelievable!
    As said before, the cupcakes were wonderful models so far.

    Klaus
     
  12. Not I; the chef who designed the recipe.

    One of the characteristics of recipes published in Cook's Illustrated is that the chef includes a write-up explaining how and why the recipe evolved. Those write-ups are usually fascinating and this one is no exception. The search for a cake texture that doesn't crumble as I mentioned earlier is one example. Another example is that the chef wanted the cake to have a pronounced chocolate flavor but adding more chocolate messed up the desired texture. So, instead she added coffee that had been prepared the same as if it would be drunk because the coffee brings out the flavor of the chocolate. My wife and I agree that you can't taste the coffee but the chocolate flavor sure is present.
     
    • Wow Wow x 1
  13. Wow, I’m gonna run out to the mailbox and wait for my delivery. Hope you’r sending a lot of them
     
  14. Thanks, Ed!

    I've shipped cooked food but I wouldn't ship anything with icing because it would get so messed up. A friend living in Sausalito (I live in Virginia) recently moved into a new home, so I sent her some blondies using the recipe that made these: Critique - Blondies
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Yummy. Thanks for the lighting info.
    I think you need to start to add additional pics showing the setup of your shots. Maybe in a separate post.
     
  16. Thanks, Dayo!

    My makeshift studio is too small to make that happen except in very rare situations. My entire working area is only about 6 feet x 8 feet and when I photograph glass, I lose a third of that space. Also, the floor, three walls, false ceiling and photo equipment are black (to prevent unwanted reflections when photographing glass). All that blackness and the lack of space to light the setup make it especially difficult to photograph the setup.
     
  17. Shame. Although was thinking a mobile phone snap or something along those lines.
     
  18. For anyone who wants an understanding of my setups beyond my explanation of them: Everything I do falls in line with the concepts explained in Light: Science & Magic.
     
  19. I have read at that book several times. I still can not light glass, or anything round and reflective. It is hard.
    Gary
     
  20. Do you use continuous light during the setup process? I ask because it would be a lot more difficult if you don't.
     
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