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Recipe & Product Styling | Easy Cocoa Brownie – And It’s Time to Take Another Step Forward

8 December 2012 26 Comments

easy cocoa brownies, egg free

Whoever said ‘Life’ is a beautiful journey for those who are willing to learn something new at every stage, was absolutely right. I never thought ‘life’ will unfold countless avenues for me to discover at the fag-end. And am thoroughly enjoying my self- learning sessions of content writing, web technology, social media interactions and photography nuances.

The couple of projects I did in recent times are some of the most memorable moments of my professional life. Yes, now it’s time to take another step forward…from Food styling to Product styling!

One more phone call and I was getting ready to face another exciting assignment with my photographer friend Deepa. “This time we will be doing a ‘Product Shoot’ Sanjeeta, it is on a larger scale and we need to plan a lot ahead before the shoot” she explained me on the phone.

This time it was a product shoot for Poppat Jamal, one of the oldest & finest stores in Chennai which stock a diverse range of high quality products from many leading international brands. The planning started almost a month back with the brand managers working around the entire campaign which will go live in January 2013.

The categories of the products to be shot with other details were worked out. Then came the visits to the location of the shoot and selecting the products in each category. A couple of visits to the retail outlet and we selected our products.

Prop selection and shopping took the most of our time. Ideas, pictures and photos were exchanged almost daily through mails with Deepa (photographer), Divya (brand manager) and Saleem Poppat Jamal . We visualized the shots and made a tentative list of tasks to be completed till the day of shoot.

I baked these easy Cocoa Brownies a day before for my neighbors who took care and entertained my children the whole day at their home in my absence.

And then arrived the final day of shoot. We all reached the studio at 8 Am as decided and started to unpack the truckloads of products, props and other things used for the shoot.


Product styling and food photography

This was our first shot which took maximum time to style and set up the entire shot on a table and make it look like a real kitchen!

Product styling and food photography

I did not take my Dslr to the studio as I knew I will not get time to click there, but took a few candid shots with my P and S. These are some of those pictures which are hazy and blurred with practically no lights at my end.

I loved this part of the shoot when the entire area would be repainted again and again to get that perfect white background…and it does dry in no time.

I use spaces as small as a carom board plank for styling food and taking photographs for my recipes and was really excited to see a work station of the size of a table tennis board for product styling shoots 🙂

Product styling and food photography

Fresh juices to sip….perks of shooting food.

Product styling and food photography

Different styles and combination of props to shoot cutlery.

Product styling and food photography

My  rustic board…

Product styling and food photography

Cakes, muffins and desserts for the shoot were ordered fresh from a bakery nearby…

Product styling and food photography

Some of the colorful food ingredients planned and purchased days before the final shoot.

Product styling and food photography

Different angles to try, black cloth was spread not to spoil the white paint.

Product styling and food photography

You need to be on your toes for the entire shoot of almost 12 hours. Hard work…but very satisfying indeed.

Product styling and food photography

Huge planks for the backdrop….and our messy table.

Product styling and food photography

We made that instant gravy for this shot of kitchenware.

Easy Cocoa Brownies

Easy Cocoa Brownies

Cocoa Brownies need more of oil and sugar as compared to the brownies baked with cooking chocolates. But cocoa brownies are a perfect treat for times when you open the refrigerator to find no traces of chocolates nor have energy to go out buy some to bake a brownie. This  is my fool proof recipe and I would have baked these brownies umpteen number of times for family & friends and the recipe has never failed me. Just a few easily available ingredients to go in there you are…ready impress your loved ones with your baking skills at all times.


  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup All purpose four
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence

Method; Preheat oven to 190°C for 10 minutes and grease a rectangular flat baking tray.

Take a large bowl and add both the flours, salt, baking powder. cocoa powder and mix it well with a fork.

Take another bowl pour milk, oil, vanilla essence in it and add powdered sugar in it. Whisk all the ingredients well with a fork.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir it lightly to combine and make a smooth batter.

Pour the batter onto the greased baking tray and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake the brownie for about 30 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out with wet crumbs, but not raw batter.

Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Slice the Cocoa Brownies and dust with powdered sugar.

Product styling and food photography

These are the few extra pictures that we decided to shoot on our own just for the love of those cute salt & pepper shaker and the black and white cup and saucers 🙂 Borrowed potted plants from the studio owner.

Product styling and food photography

We were late and the showroom employees were getting impatient to wrap up the shoot ..in the hurry to complete the shoot we forgot to use a few ingredients that we bought for the shoot..where is the corn on cob that was supposed to be on the grill 😕

product styling and food photography

After stacking the boxes upright and finalizing the pictures for this product, I just wanted to tilt one box and show the colorful candies on the board…and we liked this shot better. [Picture courtesy; Deepa Vaswani]

Photo shoot is a demanding and backbreaking job, one needs to be on the toe all the times…I was healing my sore legs and aching back for long.

Bur what an amazing experience this project was, every picture has been a learning opportunity for me. I am moving one step at a time remembering to count my blessings always and being thankful to family, friends and all the people each day who make a difference in my life.

And yes, I have fallen in love with my work!

Don’t forget to enter the lovely cook book giveaway open worldwide till Dec 14th on Lite Bite here.


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  • torviewtoronto said:

    looks wonderful

  • uma said:

    beautiful photos.. those ribbons add so much life.. tilted jar is my fav..

  • Priya said:

    Beautiful clicks, wow stunning photo shots.

    Cocoa brownie looks extremely droolworthy and yummy.
    Priya recently posted..Raw Banana Tangy Gravy/Vazhakkai Puli KootuMy Profile

  • Kavi | Foodomania said:

    Congratulations! Love the photographs! 🙂
    Kavi | Foodomania recently posted..Mozarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders | Go Veggie!My Profile

  • Lata Raja said:

    Way to go Sanjeeta and so long as you love it and it loves you back, keep rocking. Through the post I can see how much of an effort it is to get people to like a product. Very well done and I salute your patience.
    Lata Raja recently posted..International Table Tennis Foundation – contestMy Profile

  • Shalini said:

    You go girl. All the very best.
    Shalini recently posted..Tomato Kurma-Happy 2012My Profile

  • aparna said:

    Beautiful Click Sanjeetha 🙂 Esp the wooden board background is just awesome !

  • Uma said:

    Yet another pearl into your addition. Congrats Sanjeeta ji !

  • Shobana said:

    Great work!!!! superb!

  • chinmayie @ love food eat said:

    Congrats Sanjeeta! Great going… So happy for you! All the best for all the interesting projects in future.

  • foodwanderings said:

    Love hearing about your projects Sanjeeta. Many congrats. You shoul dbe very proud! 🙂

  • Spandana said:

    Congrats Sangeeta. I am very happy for you.
    Delicious looking brownies.. i am sure your neighbors loved them.

  • Srivalli said:

    That’s great to know Sanjeeta, congrats…

  • valli ranajit said:

    Thanx for a nice recipe. made a small change in the recipe. i replaced half the quantity of the wheat flour with vanilla custard powder.( though a beginner in baking…. went ahead with my fingers crossed!!!) have read in blogs that corn starch adds texture.. was it meant for only cakes? anyways.. the end product was too good. my son enjoyed the brownies.
    Thanx soooo much.regards… Valli Ranajit.

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Valli Ranajit, Yes you can use custard powder to cakes, muffins and brownies..it gives wonderful texture and lightness to the bakes. Glad that you liked what you baked. Keep baking. Warm hugs.

  • mjskit said:

    Did you have any idea that your blog would lead to do styling for a product label? Good for you!!! I’m so happy for you Sanjeeta! You pictures are gorgeous as always and you make a set of black pots and pans scream “Wouldn’t this look good in your kitchen?” And what a nice person to make these delicious brownies for your friend! I’d take care of your kids any day for a batch of these. 🙂
    mjskit recently posted..Coconut Rice with Pickled PeppersMy Profile

  • Love2cook Malaysia said:

    Mind blowing dear! Fell in love with photography after looking at your product shoot 😉

    And I too love that B&W cup and saucer, how cute! Wish I could have them in my B&W pantry!

    Your cocoa brownie, irresistible! Glad you are enjoying your work. I can see that dear!
    Love2cook Malaysia recently posted..Homemade Dadih / Soft Milk Pudding…My Profile

  • rebecca said:

    wonderful work really so proud of you, dreams can come true
    rebecca recently posted..Pomegranate TabboulehMy Profile

  • MaryMoh said:

    Love all the pictures. You made food photography look very interesting! Love brownies….mmmm. I’ll eat that anytime, maybe even in bed 😀

  • Jayasri said:

    Congrats sanjeeta, it is so good to see you in action.., Hope you get many more opportunities and enjoy your work, beautiful photography and props looks amazing..
    in between cocoa brownie is delicious..
    Hugs and warm wishes to you

  • marla said:

    Looks like you have been very busy & having fun. Lovely brownies!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said:

    An incredible journey!! Congrats my dear and thanks for sharing the whole experience with us 🙂
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com recently posted..Meringue CookiesMy Profile

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie said:

    Congrats on the new journey! Your brownies looks scrumptious.
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie recently posted..Cooking Mashed Potatoes by Feel and The Yummy Pics CommunityMy Profile

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said:

    How fun to see the behind the scenes, it’s great to see you doing what you love.
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen recently posted..Cocoa Dusted Maple Glazed WalnutsMy Profile

  • Anitha said:

    Amazing pics, glad to know your career is blooming. Happy for you dear. Keep up the good work. Will try this brownie recipe today 🙂

  • rebecca said:

    great job proud of you
    rebecca recently posted..Shrimp EmpanadasMy Profile

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