Celebrating the release of my first book! A Video, A Chocolate cake & Two Giveaways!
I have written and erased the first sentence of this post fifty times it seems.It makes me smile a little considering the number of sentences I started and erased fifty times more since last November. The best one I could think about today was "Thank you".
I have thought a few times about this week. Right here. Right now. The week when my first book, "Plate To Pixel. Digital Food Photography & Styling" is out into the world. From November to March, it was the hard work of a team that did not stop until it was right. This week the book is yours. Ours.
Wow… it still is just barely sinking in. Once the book in my hands, it took a full 24 hours for my shoulders to relax and a smile to timidly cross my lips. Then as I was standing there in the rain with Bailey, that smile grew to a stupidly wide expression of gratitude and excitement.
I bolted back inside to Taylor who was getting his video equipment together and said "let’s do this! Let’s show people how awesome food photography can be with a little help from a friend!"
And so we shot this video promo of "Plate To Pixel. Digital Food Photography & Styling". Words fall short to tell Taylor what an amazing job he did on it. Thank you dear friend!
I come from a family of crafters. My dad is a published author and a painter. My mom designs frames for other people’s art. My brother Arnaud is constantly building and crafting objects and toys. My brother Thierry was a talented photographer. Writing this book feels a bit like my way of contributing to the family DNA!!
I loved working on this book so much! I wrote it with you in mind. And you is a lot of people with different likes and dislikes, different ways to go about life. But we all have the same goal. Take pictures of food and have a wonderful experience doing it.
Whether you need just a little push, a lot of help or just reinforcement that you are on the right track. I compiled information, hands-on visuals of bouncing, diffusing, white balances, exposures, depth of field, … Composition and styling techniques, equipment setup so you can see the full how-tos of a picture, step by step styling demos…and the list goes on!
I will be doing fun giveaways in the coming weeks to express my thanks for your support and kind words these past few months and your enthusiasm these past few days.
But today is especially awesome to celebrate the release of the book. There won’t be one lucky person but three!
– I am giving away 2 signed copies of Plate To Pixel and a little surprise inside…
– my super talented friend Asya from gleena.com who is the artist behind the numbered ceramic plates I love to use here, is giving away four white ceramic dessert plates numbered 1 through 4 (like the ones in the picture below)
All you have to do is leave a comment here between today, April 26th 2011 and Friday April 29th 2011, midnight Eastern time.
Guidelines: one entry per person, no anonymous comment, leave 24hrs for your name to appear in giveaway as I manually moderate entries.
Now…how about some Double Trouble Chocolate Cake to really celebrate?!!
Double Trouble Chocolate Cake:
For the cake:
1 stick (113gr) butter
1 cup (200gr) sugar
1/2 cup (45gr) natural cocoa powder
1/2 cup superfine rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
1 teaspoon (5gr) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5gr) instant coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5gr) baking soda
1 cup (250ml) warm water
Note: for a non gluten free version, you can use 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour instead of the rice, millet and oat flours.
For the ganache:
12 oz bittersweet chocolate (chips or chopped)
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Prepare the cake:
Preheat oven to 325F. Butter one deep 9-inch round baking pans, sprinkle some rice flour into the pans, shake it around and tap the excess off. Line the bottoms with one 9-inch circle of parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. On low speed, add the cocoa and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to make sure they are properly mixed in. Add the flours, baking powder, coffee powder and baking soda and mix on medium-low speed while slowly adding the warm water and mix until smooth. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature and unmold the cake. Divide in three horizontally.
Prepare the chocolate ganache:
Place the chocolate and salt in a non reactive bowl and set aside. In a heavy bottom saucepan set over high heat, bring the cream to almost boiling (really hot basically!). When hot, pour it over the chocolate and salt. Let stand for 5 minutes before slowly whisking the mixture to bring it together to a smooth and silky ganache. If it’s not completely smooth, return to very low heat for a few seconds to melt the chocolate some more. Brands vary so this step may be necessary if the chocolate is not completely melted.
To assemble the cake:
Let stand the ganache about 15-20 minutes so it is thick enough to apply between the layers of chocolate cake. Leave about 1 to 1.5 cups for the top and sides and set and slightly warm it up a bit so it spreads more easily.