Sunday, July 09, 2006

Chocolate truffles; absurd food photography; preposterous macro photography

Note: a more apt title should read 'fugly food photography'.

Today’s post would be an agglomeration of three slightly different topics.

The most important bit first- chocolate truffles. Chocolate truffles are those delightfully delicious spheres of soft chocolate that sell at heart-breakingly expensive prices. Inspired by Evelyn, I Googled for some chocolate truffle recipes, and the simple ones are really easy to make.

To summarise:
Melt dark cooking chocolate into hot mixture of whipping cream, flavouring and butter, stir until smooth, chill until firm, shape into balls and dredge through cocoa powder.

See, only one sentence.

Anyway, the finished product was FANTASTIC.

The engineer in me is already contemplating a dual-compound variant in the future, with a preposterously soft centre in a shell of acceptably soft chocolate. Not surprisingly, it involves various cooling procedures during manufacture.

My cousin May demanded that I show her some images of the finished product. I agreed, only because she is my cousin and I like her.

Which brings us to the second part- absurd food photography. Chocolate truffles are not easy to photograph; they are mere fuzzy brown balls with no distinguishing features. A bit of colour was needed to perk things up.

In the end, circumstances forced me to use the following:
Pink flowers (no other colours nearby)
Pink flower petals (from the same flowers)
Lemon rind from wedges
Narrow strips of lemon rind
Narrow strips cut from celery leaves

Click here for large size image

The instant I scattered the petals I realised that the colours were gay. Not trying to be homophobic, but even May said, "so gay man!" Followed by, "gosh, this is totally gay!" Well, at least it matches my current colour scheme.

Shut up about the colours already, I know.
Note that lemon rind on white is very yellow.

And now, to show off my knife’s sharpness, my ability to use a sharp knife, and the camera’s optics.

The following images are successive crops of the same image of a thinly pared lemon skin.

This is the original image, resized to fit.
Thats a metric ruler with cm and mm units.

This is a closer view of the centre of the original image.

This is the full sized view, with edges chopped to fit this space.
On my monitor (1024 x 768 pixels, 15 inch diagonal), this image is a 43 times magnification of the subject. Not exactly a microscope, but too far away either.

The following images are of a thinly sliced cross section from the narrow tip of a stalk of celery.

Like I said, thin.

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