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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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Have you ever seen a photo of an almost-too-perfect scoop of ice cream, advertising a waffle cones, perhaps? My recent shoot for the food page taught me that ice cream is probably not real. (Unless the ad is specifically for the ice cream product, in which case the photo must be of the real deal.) Meredith (the reporter) and I had already discussed the shoot, so I knew what photos we were trying to make, and that we'd be shooting in my kitchen with its bright windows and yellow formica table. It was also horribly hot on the day of the shoot, so there's no way a normal scoop of ice cream would make it through without becoming a melted mess in a matter of minutes. (Emptying my own freezer and bringing a third person in to wrangle dry ice were not really options.)
To keep us from going through tub after tub of ice cream, and give me a bit more time to work on each shot, I researched food stylists' tips for common food substitutions and came across this frosting and powdered sugar recipe. Once mixed, it was the consistency of tough Play-doh, and while it was difficult to get out of my scoop, it still had the same slightly creamy, fluffy-with-rough-edges look of real ice cream.
Of course, what I didn't count on was the melting whipped cream. As soon as the cherry and nuts were added, the cream started to droop, requiring some quick shooting and frequent re-adjustments.
The "ice cream" was solidifying as it dried, making it easy to take whipped cream off and re-style the nuts and cherry, leaving the sundae with a perfectly-melted look.
Hot fudge sundae cake was planned for a secondary image, and we had just enough "ice cream" left after the first two sundaes. Lucky coworkers back at the office got the full bounty of leftover real ice cream, hot fudge, cake and whatever cherries I didn't manhandle during the shoot. Make sure you check out Meredith's story for the cake recipe and story about a local hot fudge company!