I hope you enjoyed this post as I took you behind the scenes in writing, editing, photographing, editing, and celebrating the creation of a cookbook. Today, I’m going to share the scoop behind taking photos – specifically of the Chocolate, Chocolate, Say It Twice Pancakes. And you can grab the full recipe!
The book contains 60 glammed up (but all real) food shots. That means that amongst all of the work in just coordinating the whole shebang, every photo came down to the tiniest bit of detail. Prior to this specific experience, I had absolutely no idea how the magic wands waved to create truly mouth-watering food photography.
The Chocolate, Chocolate, Say It Twice Pancakes is by far one of my favourite photos and favourite recipes from the book. I have offered you the recipe as a sneak peek at the bottom, but I first want to share with you how we made the photo magic happen. And when I say we, I mean I did very little except stand behind my photographer, prop-stylist, food stylist and kitchen assistants and just take photos. I was a really good observer on photoshoot days.
It began with making and then stacking the pancakes. A delicate game with gluten-free pancakes. Yes, a wooden skewer was poked through the middle to keep our p-cakes stacked.
We then carefully carried them from the prep kitchen over to the set and started to frame up the shot.
The framing of the shot was important, because of the syrup pouring that was about to go down. We only had one chance to get this one right.
We did a few test shots without the pancakes to try out different backgrounds and lighting.
And then it was time to pour. Ashley Denton meticulously poured the syrup. The cute little blue syrup jug belongs to our prop stylist Sara Kuntz’s partner’s parents. And Maya Visnyei was ready to get every shot of every drip.
A delicious gluten-free and dairy-free pancake recipe from The UnDiet Cookbook
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg or 1 serving Chia Paste (page 205 in The UnDiet Cookbook)
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup organic unsweetened organic applesauce or Simple Applesauce (page 204 in The UnDiet Cookbook)
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
3 Tbsp coconut oil or organic ghee, softened
1 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. The sifting is a bit tedious, but it does help with the pancake fluff factor. (You can skip it if you want, though.)
In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together. If your coconut oil is solid, you may wish to warm it over the stove to liquefy it. (Sometimes I’ll totally cheat and throw all the wet ingredients into the blender.)
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix, and then stir in the chocolate chips. If you like your pancakes on the thinner side, add a little more water to the batter. It doesn’t take much to thin the mix, so be careful. You don’t want your pancakes to become a runny mess.
Heat your skillet to medium heat and dollop on some coconut oil or ghee. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter at a time into the hot skillet. Once you see bubbles start to form, it’s time to flip these babies over. The trick with pancakes is to keep the heat high enough to cook them through, but not so high that it burns the outside while the inside is left raw. Once you find the right spot on your stove, take note! Let the pancakes sit for 5 minutes before serving. This helps them firm up in the middle.
Serve with your favorite toppings. I love shredded unsweetened, dried, shredded coconut, ground flax, ground goji berries, and a drizzle of Special Syrup (page 205 in The UnDiet Cookbook).