Finally after dreaming of being able to do some photography in my room, it has finally come to life. I’ve always loved the light in my room even before it got renovated, plus my best friend Ana gave me her awesome 1.4D lens for my birthday to get me back to something we both like: photography. I decided to finally just go for it and try my hand on some editorial food styling and photography. For my first project, I decided to take pictures of these 2 hot chocolate pitchers (or “batirol” in Filipino) that my mom uses to decorate the shelf outside my room.

I decided to borrow these beauties and go for a hot chocolate shot. Basically people hardly have these batirol and batidor (which is the wooden utensil) at home anymore so I usually make my cup of hot tablea choco using a whisk, a wooden spoon and a saucepan. I love tablea though, it is something we can be proud of (yes we can someday produce real chocolate if we had the equipment and call it Philippine chocolate!). It always reminds me of the old ways that have totally been erased from the new generations minds (including mine) because of the advent of powdered and even syrup based chocolate drinks.

Before I started taking pictures, I had to cover up my shelf on the other end of the room. I used one of my grandma’s old fabrics that I found in her stockroom. I also got some tablea pieces for propping and I also filled a small glass bottle with milk. I still need a white board to prop up and reflect the light from the other side so I can fill in the shadows on the left side of the picture. For this, I just used an old white photo album cover.

Jack was all over the place wondering what I was doing. Basically this was the first time he saw me set something up and the smell of the tablea probably set his senses off.

Cooking Tip: Basic Tablea Hot Chocolate

1 pc chocolate tablea (I use Antonio Pueo which can be found at any grocery, it’s just about Php 150+)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of milk

sugar to taste

Over medium heat, put the tablea, milk and water in a saucepan and let it boil gently (I use a nonstick sauce pan for this so I don’t have to keep watch and worry about the tablet scorching). Using a whisk, let the tablea melt away gently by mixing the hot chocolate until the mixture is homogeneous and does not have bits and pieces falling off (although tablea hot chocolate does tend to have a little grit). You can add more tablea depending on how strong you want the chocolate or how many cups you want, you just need to adjust the liquids and of course the sugar, since tablea is usually not processed with sugar. You can make this extra special by adding cinnamon, orange peel or a vanilla bean seeds in the mixture and let it simmer for a few minutes to infuse the flavor..What I really like is that while it’s still piping hot, I drop a giant marshmallow and let it slightly cook in the heat of the chocolate.