Sweet Pics & Chocolate Experiments

A little something I came up with while living in the jungle: Chocolate and maseca black bean brownie mini-cakes made on the frying pan.

I've been spending so much time posting OPAPs (other people's awesome pics) on my other blog, that I've let my own photography slide a bit. I'm still baking away, having fun with the limitations I have baking here in a little town in tropical Mexico, in a little rental house with a very basic kitchen (i.e. limited access to ingredients and gear) as well as only baking on cool mornings (which are getting rare as it's starting to really heat up here). While finding, selecting, and posting awesome pics from all over the world  on Baking is Hot, I realized that I have to make an effort to take more photos of my own goods - and not just ok photos. Yes, that's tricky to do considering my semi-nomadic styles these days, but if I want to be a hot-shot designer/baker/producer then my pics have to be awesome, or at least look very delicious. :)

Here are a few photos of some of my Mexican chocolate experiments. (Not bad?) More recipes coming soon... Happy healthy baking and photo-taking!

Oh, and if you have any great-sneaky-crafty food photography tips or links, please share in the comments. :)

Fresh corn tortillas as crepes. I made a sweet chocolate spread (similar to my Noir Chocolate Spread) with local honey, cacao, coconut oil, and vanilla.

Experiments in rustic chocolate making.

For a couple of months, I was obsessed with making my own chocolate from scratch. I bought fermented beans from different produce markets, learned how to roast  them myself, ground them up and mixed in more ingredients, pressed it all into forms.... but could never get a really pronounced chocolate flavour out of my beans. What I found out after learning more about cacao quality and fermentation, is that most of the good cacao beans are exported to Europe. Sigh. My rustic chocolates were still pretty delicious. :)


Good stuff!

Keep it up Patty, this site is great (I prefer it to the other one, even though you posted me there!) I hear you on cooking in the heat. I lived in Malawi for two years, and every once in a while we would be so sugar starved that we had to mix up a batch of butter tarts from a recipe that (for some happy accident that I can't explain) I brought with me from an old Harrowsmith article. It was 40+ degrees outside, and all we had to bake with was a woodstove, so you can imagine what this did to the heat level in the house! But needs are needs!

Keep it up! Keep smiling! And keep squeezing all the juice out of life! Bravo on the chocolate experiments. Maybe Juliette Binoche has some chocolate advice on a website somewhere?! :D

Thank you for the sweet

Thank you for the sweet encouraging words. :)
Funny, a good girlfriend of mine also lived in Malawi for 2 years, and figured out how to make a "wedding cake" over an open fire - which she then taught to the local women. Oh how we all love our sweet treats!

Now which of the lovely and talented bakers I've featured on Baking is Hot might you be?

ha ha!

Probably the least "lovely" -- i'm joe of oatcakes fame! (sorry I forgot to sign the last post.)


Wowza---looks delicious Patty! I too have been making up my own chocolate lately, but definitely do not have any local beans kickin' around. I love spicy chocolate, and i'm sure you have, like me, tried adding cayenne and cinnamon to your chocolate. I also add some vanilla and coriander too. Mmm. Your photos are always beautiful. Can't wait to check out your new site. Thanks for the post--am drooling just looking!!
Take care,
~the dainty pig

Joe! I guess most men don't

Joe! I guess most men don't find being called lovely flattering. ;)

Dainty Pig, mi cerdita guapita, domo arigato! Oh yes, I also love spicy chocolate - have yet to try it with coriander... Enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms. :)