My husband often says dont go out with a food photographer. Why because he can’t touch his meal until I take a photo of it lol. Well hello…the chef has gone to a lot of trouble to make this dish and present it with love. I at least can capture it and share it with the world. Thats fair right. 😉 

Recently I made this delicious Drunken Fig cake to create an image for an upcoming magazine cover. Now the funny thing is we are on a pretty strict food program at the moment and eating this delicious cake was certainly not wise. However my husband and son were like…have you finished yet?

Anyway, I hadn’t baked for ages as we have just been so busy but our fig tree was laden with gorgeous juicy figs and I wanted to showcase them.

Yes we have a large fig tree in our suburban block…I keep it really maintained so it doesnt go crazy. Fig trees are notorious for wanted to play with house foundations and pipes. So I have been told.


Foodie Shots Fig Tree

So I chose this particular recipe because I wanted something to do with the gorgeous figs but I needed something with a bit of height. The tarts looked amazing as did the fig slice…but this beautiful cake just begged me to make it.

Now it was going to take some time as there were three parts to it.

  • Making the cake of course
  • Soaking and baking the figs
  • and making a zabaglione cream

I certainly soaked those figs well and truly…I wanted them to absorb as much of the marsala as possible. The smell in the kitchen as the figs were baking was amazing – all that sugary goodness. Getting the golden colour on the figs was important too for the photo as well as drying them out just enough so the seeds started to create a lovely texture.


Fresh Fig
Baked Figs for Foodie Shots Fig Cake

Now I have never made zabaglione before but it is basically egg yolks sugar and marsala stirred over a pot of boiling water till you can draw figure 8s.

I stood there stiring for what seemed eternity and then I had to wait for it to cool to add to the sour cream until soft peaks formed.

Between you and me I dont think I let it cool enough before adding to my sour cream because it just would not thicken. So it was a quick dash down to the shops to buy simple thickened cream and whipped that up for the shoot.

I have found out since that it is okay to put the warm zabaglione into an ice bath to cool it quicker and it will thicken on cooling. Next time.

Not to say I discarded this luscious mixture…I popped it into the freezer and made icecream with it. Delicious



bare cake

So I played for sometime in the studio with the pouring and getting the pour just right. I wanted to create a bit of a darker session to highlight the richness and depth of flavours in this beautiful cake.

A few things I considered…

1. The angle of the photo…front on so that the height of the cake could be accentuated as well as being able to see the light pass through the golden liquid.

2. The dark blue wall helps to contrast the orange colours in the syrup and cake

3. The positioning of the light so that there was a good range of shadows to create depth and a sense of mood.

What do you think? Food photography is not that simple but gee it is fun. We cover a lot of how to put together a food photo in our photography workshops.



Do you want the recipe I am happy to share it…just fill in your details below and it’s all yours. I would love to hear how you went.


pouring marsala syrup onto fig cake
Kat with her camera int he Foodie Shots studio Highfields

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Cheers Kat