Helsinki Food Foto and Mari’s Lemon Cake

Look at my re-creation of Helsinki’s top cake model! I have NOT fancied any citrusy cakes so far, but this beauty turned my head. I call it Mari’s Lemon Cake because she baked one gorgeous juicy cake to our picnic at Helsinki Food Foto workshop on June. It was the most photographed target at the picnic. Scroll down and read further to get the recipe and look at the pictures of #HelsinkiFoto2014.

Lemoncake with Summer Berries

Food Styling and Photography Workshop

I have this desire to take photos of food and I am always keen to learn something new on shooting edible things. When I heard that Meeta from What’s For Lunch, Honey?, Simone from Simone’s Kitchen and Mari from Something Tasty came up with food photography and styling workshop in Finland, in my hometown Helsinki, I did not think twice. I enrolled in at once. I have experience from couple of Meeta’s workshops in Dubai and wanted to see what Helsinki will offer, after all Helsinki is wonderful at summer time when we have nightless nights and nature and people shows their best.

Compared to some other photography courses Meeta’s workshops are excellent combo of learning how to style the food and take the best food photos, cooking, eating, tasting different kind of cuisines (specially in Dubai) and best of all meet and get to know like minded people from all over the world. We had so much fun with Sari, Marja-Riitta, Denisa, Alanna, Bente, Kaisa, Nancy and Marisa. I learned a lot not only from Mari, Meeta and Simone but from all of my learning buddies.

If I have to pick up one single take away from Helsinki photography workshop, it would be Artificial light hands on exercise with simple led light Ikea lamps (look for model Jansjö). I can’t believe how easy it was to create home studio with simple led light and couple of reflectors.
BerryGranola_IkeaLights_dark mood


Food and Helsinki

On first evening we had enjoyable delicious dinner at Toca restaurant. Finnish, Italian and global tastes on the plate by serving fresh and high-quality ingredients precisely cooked so you can savor their distinguished and classical flavors in a “kick back and enjoy” atmosphere as they correctly claim.

On second day we had typical summer picnic on rainy…no, sunny…actually rainy sunny day at Sinebrychoff Park at Punavuori mid of Helsinki. Passersby were so jealous of our setting and food. Carrot cake, lemon cake, zucchini noodle salad, quinoa tomato salad, salmon sandwiches, bubbly drinks to name few. Look at yourself…

HelsinkiFoto2014-Fiskars groupie

Our slogan for workshop project was “The Heat is on in Helsinki”. Coming from Dubai it was not that hot in Helsinki, but certainly heat was on for styling, shooting and eating the food. Here’s my location shots at Toca restaurant in Helsinki taken with iPhone 5 except the gazpacho soup pic in left corner.


Memories aijaijai….


Mari’s Lemon Cake Recipe

I have changed ingredients just tiny bit for my liking. Namely I halved the spelt flour and added potato flours. I used two 15 cm cake tins and had left over patter for the third tiny cake. I had also less of cream cheese compared to original recipe. You might wonder those measures, in Finland we use 100 ml (=1 dl) measuring cups hence desiliters in recipe. Link to Mari’s original Lemon Cake recipe at Something Tasty

My versions ingredients:
200 g butter
4.5 dl sugar
4 eggs (medium size)
Pinch of salt
3 dl spelt flour
3 dl potato flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
2.5 dl cream
3 tbsp lemon curd
2 tbsp lemon juice

Filling and frosting
600 g plain cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia)
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp lemon curd
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 dl icing sugar
Optional: yellow food coloring

Baking method is well described in Mari’s recipe (hahaa there’s some trick…in case you’ll notice and wonder, add lemon juice with lemon curd)
Lemoncake with Summer Berries

Thank You for staying this long, do not exit without visiting these blogposts of Helsinki Foto 2014. They are packed with wonderful photos from the entire event. Do you spot Minna from Naked Plate?


WORKSHOP: HELSINKI 2014 – The Heat Is On by Meeta

KAMERAT KAULASSA by Mari’s Jotain Maukasta blog in Finnish. Look at the pictures, no language barriers.

The cherry on the top of each workshop is generous goodie bags from sponsors. In Helsinki we had nice sponsors from Cocovi, Sunspelt, Winestate, Fiskars, Uudenmaan Herkku Oy, Illy Coffee, Rauch, Toca Restaurant and beautiful Scandic Paasi hotel. Thank You, your contribution was recognized and appreciated!

And Finally if you like to travel, meet people, take photos, learn to shoot food, food styling, eating and experience Dubai. Enroll to Meeta’s next workshop here in Arab Emirates and we’ll meet there. Hey I am regular already…read more click Link

Naked Plate | Food Photography & Styling workshop Dubai

I am lousy writer, therefore I rather cook and take photos than write posts. Most of the time I struggle to produce decent fluent text to my blog. For that reason this post is about photos which I took at Food Styling and Photography workshop with amazing photographer Meeta K. Wolff in Dubai just few days ago. The workshop was organized by blogger from My Custard Pie Sally Prosser. I am going to add links to the blog posts from other participants, for sure you will find good reads there.

If you love snapping photos like me, or are more advanced photographer and like to know about styling food, then this workshop is for you. Definitely you like to eat, right? :-) Don’t miss this workshop next time.

I left out the part of Atlantis The Palm visit, it’s worth of own post. We ate in three restaurants and visited Nobu Garden. Sally and Meeta, they set the bar high for them self for the next workshop, because we had extra bonus surprise at Ronda Locatelli, Giorgio Locatelli join our table and brought Italian white truffles and lovely stories with him. Auw, auw, auw this girl was sold!

It was really fun packed two days hands on food photography and styling course, including loads of food tasting, cooking, styling practises, serious photographing, less serious photo snapping, social media and Lightroom tips. And hey wait, the bonus, its the goodie bags, they were great value, like those film festival goodie bags :-) very generous. One more reason to look forward Meeta’s and Sally’s Food Photo workshop on 2013.

Photo collage 1: Brunch by Gourmet Culinary Director Russell Impiazzi from Galeries Lafayette Gourmet. Scandinavian Brunch was just wonderful, visit them at Dubai Mall, amazing selection of anything foodie can imagine. We made tasting tour there last April on Meeta’s and Sally’s first workshop.

Photo Collage 2: Assignment was to take location, ingredients, cooking and magazine cover photos. Food Artisan Dima Sharif taught us how to make perfect tagine. We had her pumpkin soup and tagine for lunch and after we finished our soup we did the classic food blogger act, stooop, no eating before we take photos. Tagine was our main food model in the photo shoot. All groups had different style and mood for assignment.

Photo Collage 3: Working with Meeta and learning from others, I worked with Tavola’s photographer Antone, not bad hah? The cover picture is Antone’s, our cover style was Jamie Oliver with feminine mood. By the way in food styling, I don’t like flowers on food photos as props, and this time I got lost and chose red rose as one feminine prop…..erm.

Photo Collage 4: Miele Gallery is really dream place to have cooking demos and food tasting, you get to try all their kitchen appliances and for coffee addict like me, open Miele coffee bar was just hit on head of the nail. Thank You Miele and Gynthia for hospitality. Look at those antique Miele “machines” from their museum. Aren’t we just happy that we have advanced ever since?

Photo Collage 5: Spanish dinner by Tapeo (Galeries Lafayette) and Chef Russell, Oh that paella, it’s the best paella I have eaten in Dubai.

Watch clip of Spanish Fiesta at Miele Gallery

Thank you Shy, Moya, Sandy, Catherine, Lionel and Antone
Moya’s Food and Tools
Catherine’s SandCat
Shy’s Cooking With Shy
Sandy’s Ginger and Scotch
Lionel and Antone were the real photographers, We learned a lot from them as well. If they have photo gallery I will add link later, I have seen their work, they are good. Very good.

Thank You for sponsors:
Miele Gallery and Lafayette Gourmet for the place and food. San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna supplied all the water for the two days, and we all left with goodies from them. Artisan made Scottish tablet in some irresistible flavours from Toffee Princess. Luxury chocolates from Lindt, and a card loaded with 50 AED for a Lime & Tonic experience as well as Dima’s generous gifts with Breast Cancer awareness and support gifts. My favorite kitchen shop in Dubai Tavola provided props to our workshop.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai hosted our first dinner and we got to test couple of restaurants.
Dima’s blog Dima Sharif
Meeta’s blog What’s for Lunch Honey
Sally’s blog My Custard Pie

Count me in for the next workshop, it’s worth of that investment, money and time wise and best of all it’s FUN.

Read other posts about workshop
Meeta’s blog post at What’s For Lunch Honey?
Moya’s take on Food and Tools
SandyCat’s take on Photography and styling workshop