Greek Style Semolina Halvah With Roasted Almonds & Cinnamon

The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography

This is a traditional Greek dish that we make a lot around here, especially after Easter period. I remember my grandmother serving it to us on Easter Sunday actually and this is her recipe. It is a very tasty and easy dessert, with simple ingredients and one of my personal favorites.

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Semolina halvah, with roasted almonds and cinnamon.

600 gr. semolina

300 gr. olive oil

150 gr. peeled almonds

For the syrup:

1 kilo sugar

zest from 1 lemon

juice from half a lemon

cinnamon & extra almonds to decorate

First, prepare the syrup. In a pot, mix the sugar with 1 1/2 kilo water. Add the lemon zest and the juice from half a lemon and stir well. Let it boil in medium to high heat, for a few minutes and let it rest.

In another pot, add the oil and the almonds and let them fry until golden in medium to high heat. Add the semolina and stir well with a wooden spoon, until brown. Add the syrup, mix well and turn off the heat. Cover your mixture with a towel for a few minutes, until it is homogenised and tight enough.

Transfer the halvah into a large cake ring or use smaller ones to make individual pieces and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Trasfet it to a large plate, sprinkle some cinnamon and extra almonds on top and serve.

Enjoy, Anthea.

The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography

Easy Homemade Bread

The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography

Baking bread is theraputical. Is fun. It makes my kitchen feels alive. I feel alive. So, I baked two of these lovely little loaves. Some butter, honey and homemade bread is the perfect way to start your day.

The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography

Easy Homemade Bread.

400 gr. all purpose flour

8 gr. dry yeast

220 ml warm water

1 ts sugar

1 tbs salt

Add in a bowl the yeast, 100 ml of water, 3 spouns of flour and the sugar. Mix well and leave it aside for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 60*C for 15 minutes and turn it off.

In another bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and put inside the yeast mix. Stir well for 3 minutes until the dough is homogenised.

Place the dough in another bowl with some flour around it, cover it with a plastic membrane and put it in the oven for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven at 180*C. Place a non-stick paper on a pan, shape your dough and bake it for 30 minutes. After that, increase the oven temperature into 200*C and bake for another 10 minutes.

The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography
The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography

Top Tasty And Easy Chocolate Nut Truffles

These chocolate – nut truffles are top tasty and really easy to make. It is one of our favorite treats around here and I make them especially during holidays.

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You Will Need: 

300 gr. chocolate couverture, finely chopped

120 gr. nuts coarsely chopped

130 gr. condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

10 gr. cognac

Topping choices: cocoa powder, nuts, finely chopped or chocolate sprinkles

* Mince the couverture and melt it with the milk. Mix it with the rest of the ingredients and let the mixture cool down for a few minutes. Fill some bowls with the toppings of your choice. Use a spoon to make small balls of the mixture. Dive the chocolate balls into the toppings and roll enough to cover them well. Enjoy!!

The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography
The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography

Foodie Photoshoot || Chocolate Cookies

The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography chocolate cookies styling

I usually shoot between 13:00 pm and 16:00 pm, not only because my babies are usually asleep, but also because the light is more appropriate through my window. In this photoshoot, that happened around 8:00 am, I wanted to try a different kind of light, stronger, more vivid, play a little with shadows.

Manipulating light is a huge part in photography, let alone when food is involved and rules to be followed in order for the result to be satisfactory.

It was harder to get the images I had planned on my mind but it was fun too. Hoping that next time I will get better results, I am willing to try again working on such conditions.

The cookies tasted great by the way…

Have a lovely weekend friends.

Anthea.

The Salty Biscotti Blog Food Photography chocolate cookies styling

My Food Photography Equipment

It took me years of reading and practising, searching and experimenting on various photography equipment while shooting, to finalise my photography gear and to decide which products are more suitable for me.

Photography is so personal and while you dive into more learning and experience, your needs change. At this point, I am really happy that I started learning on my own with not much of a gear and that it took me some time to built a proper “studio collection”, because the most important thing is to really know your equipment and fully understand why and how to use it for the benefit of your photography.

CAMERAS

I am a Nikon user and I am really happy about it. I started learning photography 8 years ago when I bought Nikon D3100 with the prime lenses. It is a great camera for a beginner that wants to learn shooting in the manual mode, really light and robust. About 4 years ago, when I started photography lessons, I upgraded my lenses to 35mm f/1.8G, which I loved for years. All of my photos posted on Instagram and on the blog until recently are with that lens. It creates a great bokeh effect and since it is not zoomable, it helps to really learn how to encounter your subject.

I recently felt that it was time for an upgrade, so I bought my first full frame camera, Nikon D750 which I absolutely love!! Since I was using a Nikon model, I already new the philosophy and the settings of the camera, but there are still so many to learn. Nikon D750 has a wi-fi availiability that offers remote shooting from a smart device and a tilting monitor. May I say WoW…?

LENCES

As for my first lens on my new camera, I decided to get the Nikon Lens 50mm f/1.8G AF-S. It a great lense, low priced, light, powerful at low light conditions and creates a great bokeh effect, something that I use very often in my food pictures.

TRIPOD

After using for many years the simplest tripod ever, Ι got the Alta Pro 263 At. For me it was a great choise because I was looking for a tripod that offers me the solution of overhead shots, again, very common photo style for food and table images, but I did not want to buy it seperatly. It has great quality and is very easy to use.

PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROPS

I have four backdrops from “Capture By Lucy“, but I usually photograph with the two of them. They are great quality photography backdrops, easily cleaned (*very important when photographing food), stored and light to travel.

DIFUSERS

I have two sizes, both bought from Amazon. The 5 in 1, 43 inch reflector and the 5 in 1 Portable Multi 40″x 60″ and I am very happy with the quality and result on my work. They are also easy to pack and carry.

 

Foodie Photoshoot || Chocolate Tartlets With Figs & Honey

The Salty Biscotti Blog

Somewhere between raising the sweetest toddler in the world and the cutest baby ever, going and picking up my little one from school, cleaning, cooking, paying the bills, visiting the grandpas, waking up at night to prepare bottles of milk, hugging, playing, laughing, loving, going for walks and deleting from lists endless finished or unfinished tasks, I somehow find the time and energy to bake, style and photoshoot . And I post, even if I am not happy with the result, because I *love* photography and all my creation moments.

Special love send to all working moms around the world, who struggle to find time for their passion during the day, but wouldn`t have it any other way.

Have a great day, Anthea.

Sponge Cake With Vanilla Cream & Truffle Chocolate

The Salty Biscotti Blog sponge cake with vanilla cream and truffle chocolate

My little George started going to the nursery last week, so you can imagine how hard is this time for us at home. Adjustment period at this age can last from two weeks up to 6 months as they tell me at school and based on the facts I have, I foresee a long period for us. It`s the first time he tries to stand on hiw own in a new, unknown environment, away from his family and all we do is to constantly support him and show him our love. So, I baked this simple sponge cake that he loves, topped with vanilla cream and some truffle chocolate sprinkles, that smells so good and spread warm, vanilla flavours to our home, while baking.

The Salty Biscotti Blog sponge cake with vanilla cream and truffle chocolate

This September, I will remember for ever, for all the hard times of seperation and all the good moments of sucess, all the little steps of George gaining trust outside home, him smiling a bit more at school, day by day. What can I say, I am just a proud mom!!

The Salty Biscotti Blog sponge cake with vanilla cream and truffle chocolate

If you want to make the Cake, You will need:

200 gr. sugar

200 gr. butter at room temperature

200 gr. self-raising flour

1 tsp. baking powder

4 eggs at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

* Preheat the oven to 170 °C and grease a round pan well. This is very important since it is a moist cake, easily stuck to the bottom or the sides of the pan. In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and the sugar and mix well for about 5 minutes in high heat. Stop from time to time and stir the mixture with a spatula. Meanwhile, sift the flour and the baking powder in a bowl. As soon as the butter mixture is ready, add 2 eggs and half of the flour until is homogenised and then the rest 2 eggs with the remaining flour and the vanilla extract.

Put it in the pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes, take it out of the pan and frost with some vanilla cream and chocolate.

Enjoy, Anthea.