Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Winston received the "Colour Basics Coupe Dinner Set" as a gift from Maxwell & Williams.
Recently, I was approached by Maxwell & Williams and asked whether or not I'd be interested in doing some food styling for them to promote their range for the Spring season. If you have been following my blog the past few months, you would've noticed that this blog has taken a slight change in direction. The food review aspect has taken quite a backseat and this blog has become more focused on home cooking and food styling. I get asked quite often as to why this is so.
To be honest, the real reason is that I'm just too lazy to take my camera out to restaurants anymore. And even if I do, the photos might not be up to scratch for me and I am really hesitant about posting photos from my iPhone like I used to. That said, I do intend on making a comeback to food reviewing one day because there's always so many places that I've experienced, truly enjoyed and really wish I could share about.
After doing this for over 4 years now, I can surely say that the experience of blogging is honestly nothing short of a journey for me now as it has since the day I started. Constantly evolving, hopefully growing; and the landscape of this blog really is a reflection of who I am as a blogger. There are changes in my subject, focus, photography and even writing. I like trying new things and challenging myself creatively along the way. To me, this is what makes blogging so exciting.
Right now, I am really passionate about food styling ever since my food photography workshop in April. I love looking at interesting food photos and I am constantly in awe by the creativity behind each of those photos. I feel so inspired to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and be more adventurous in food photography too. It is for that reason why I was actually really looking forward on taking up this opportunity and collaborating with Maxwell & Williams.
Speaking of stepping outside your comfort zone, I was initially quite worried as soon as I opened the package (if I'm being honest). I mean, it was really blue. Something I'm not used to. I wasn't sure how I'd get to showcase and highlight food on a plate as striking as this. What colour tones do I want in the food or overall picture? What colour or texture do I want for the surface or the backdrop? What do I even make? After much thought, I decided to just embrace the colour and all its vibrance head on. I wanted to make something with lots of colours on the plate it so that the blue wouldn't stand out as much. Also, I wanted to highlight the colour yellow and make it a big component of the dish as I thought that yellow looks pretty good against blue. Pancakes it was. I decided to go with a neutral surface to help accentuate the colours on the plate too.
Finally, I wanted to get some soft shadows in the shot to soothe the overall picture as I was worried that all the colours might be too loud and confronting. After many, many attempts, I think I finally got what I was trying to achieve out of these pictures. I must say that I really enjoy this dinner set now. The size, shape and colours actually work really well and I enjoy using them very much. Am thankful for this gift set from Maxwell & Williams.
Okay and as for this recipe, I really wanted to make something healthy-ish because I'm still on my diet. The result was an accidental vegetarian and gluten free recipe (gasp). This coming from Mr Carnivore over here. Anyway, the pancakes were actually really light and fluffy and the dessert was very well received overall when I made it for some friends on the weekend. They definitely dug this healthier alternative and so did I. Little positive steps go a long way, I say. Plus, this recipe is so easy to make.
I highly recommend you give these pancakes a go. Definitely a keeper of a recipe, if you ask me.
Coconut Flour Pancakes with Coconut, Maple & Chocolate Sauce
(pancakes adapted from this recipe by Nourishing Days)
1 cup light coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey or real maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
Coconut oil *
* I use coconut oil spray as I find it more convenient to cook with
4 tbsp coconut oil
50g dark chocolate
2 tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
Fresh berries (I used raspberries and blackberries)
Fresh figs (sliced to quarters)
1. Heat a non stick pan on low-medium heat. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Mix in the coconut milk, vanilla and honey or maple syrup.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the coconut flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt until well combined. Form a well in the middle of the bowl. Slowly pour in the wet mixture while mixing slowly until well combined.
3. Spray the pan with coconut oil spray or add a small knob of coconut oil. Ladle a few tablespoons of batter into the pan. Spread out into a circle (of approx. 4 inches in diameter) with the back of the spoon. Once the pancake forms bubbles on the surface (approx 1 - 2 minutes), flip to cook for a further minute or so. Cooking times may vary and practice makes perfect. I didn't get the hang of it until my 3rd or 4th pancake.
4. Remove pancake and set aside on a plate. Repeat process with remaining batter until all pancakes are cooked. Give the pan a quick spray or small knob of coconut oil each time before adding the batter.
5. For the chocolate sauce, combine all ingredients in a glass bowl and place in microwave in 30 second bursts until chocolate is all melted.
6. To serve, pour chocolate sauce over pancakes and garnish with berries, figs and almonds.