Welcome to Noel Barnhurst's blog. Noel is a food photographer based in the South Park neighborhood of San Francisco, California. He has photographed for a wide range of clients including Williams-Sonoma, Kashi, Haagen Dazs, Driscoll's berries, Sunset Magazine, and Burger King. Here you will find a plethora of recipes, tips, and news from a professional food photographer. Enjoy!

All photography is exclusively done by Noel Barnhurst. You can email me

Raspberry Frozen Greek Yogurt

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Recipe courtesy of Driscoll’s

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 packages (6 ounces or 1 1/3 cups each) Raspberries
  • 1 quart Greek yogurt (2% fat preferred but can also use full fat or 0%)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Puree 1 package raspberries in bowl of a food processor. Strain and discard seeds. You should have about 1/2 cup puree. Return 1/4 cup puree to food processor. Place remaining puree in a medium bowl. Add half of remaining package raspberries to puree in bowl and gently mash. Set aside.
  2. Add yogurt, sugar and scrapings from vanilla bean to puree in food processor and process until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Freeze yogurt mixture according to ice cream maker instructions. Spoon frozen yogurt to a sealable container, adding fresh raspberries and mashed raspberries in puree, stirring to swirl and combine. Freeze until solid.
  4. Scoop frozen yogurt into favorite bowls, parfait glasses or cones to serve. Frozen yogurt will scoop most easily within 4 to 6 hours of freezing. If frozen solid overnight or longer, let frozen yogurt defrost slightly in refrigerator (about 2 hours) until easy to scoop.

Hand Cranked Vanilla Ice Cream

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Nothing beats the taste of freshly hand cranked vanilla ice cream. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • A Dash of Salt
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Whipping Cream

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Scald milk until bubbles form around edge, then remove from heat.
  2. Add sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Then stir in half and half, vanilla and whipping cream.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the ice cream mix to the metal canister in your hand cranking machine, then add alternating layers of ice and rock salt in between the canister and the bucket. 
  5. Crank for about 30 minutes, then enjoy your freshly made ice cream! Makes 2 quarts.

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Recipe courtesy of White Mountain.

Chocolate Candy

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In the mood to make your own chocolate candy from scratch? Check out these recipes from Williams-Sonoma here to satisfy that craving. Of course, if you would rather buy great local chocolate in San Francisco, we recommend checking out Dandelion Chocolate. The company makes delicious dark chocolate bars and can be found all over the city, although the factory can be located in the Mission.

Brown Butter Walnut Ice Cream with Black Pepper and Blackberries

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 stick (4 tbsp or 1/4 cup) Butter
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper, cracked
  • 2 cups Whole milk
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 1/8 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup Corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Black pepper, cracked
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 pint Blackberries

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. 1. In a sauté pan on medium-high heat add butter, walnuts, salt and black pepper. Cook until the butter begins to turn walnut brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a bowl whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar and corn syrup until all ingredients are well combined and mixture forms ribbons in the bowl. While whisking the ingredients together, lift the whisk into the air with some of the mixture still on it, the mixture will fall back into the bowl in ribbons, which slowly disappear back into the mixture. Set aside.
  3. Place the milk and heavy cream in a medium sized saucepan. On high, scald the milk (stirring constantly to avoid burning). As soon as the milk comes to a rapid boil remove from heat. Whisk the milk into the egg yolk mixture adding it VERY SLOWLY to temper the eggs (if the hot milk is added too quickly, the eggs will cook and harden).
  4. Once all the milk is added to the eggs, place the mixture back into the saucepan. On medium-low heat whisk constantly until the mixture becomes slightly thickened. Remove from heat and place the contents into the refrigerator and allow to cool for 1 hour.
  5. After the mixture has cooled. Add the combined ingredients into an ice cream machine with the maple syrup and pepper. Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions and serve with blackberries on top.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Pie

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This pie is definitely worth the effort. We can attest at the studio that it was as delicious as it was beautiful!

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 4 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate
  • 2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/3 cups) Driscoll’s Raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl and stir in butter until evenly blended. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom and up sides of 9-1/2-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Cool.

Filling

  1. Melt chocolate. Whisk together 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch. Set aside.

Bring remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar, cocoa and salt just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Stir cornstarch mixture then add to milk mixture in saucepot and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once mixture is at a boil and quite thick, cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in melted chocolate and vanilla. Spoon into cooled crust. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Raspberry Puree

  1. Puree 1/2 package of raspberries in food processor fitted with metal blade. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard seeds. Stir sugar into puree until disolved.

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    Place crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl and stir in butter until evenly blended. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom and up sides of 9-1/2-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Cool.

Filling

  1. Melt chocolate. Whisk together 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch. Set aside.

Bring remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar, cocoa and salt just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Stir cornstarch mixture then add to milk mixture in saucepot and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once mixture is at a boil and quite thick, cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in melted chocolate and vanilla. Spoon into cooled crust. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Raspberry Puree

  1. Puree 1/2 package of raspberries in food processor fitted with metal blade. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard seeds. Stir sugar into puree until dissolved.

Topping

  1. Beat heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks just form. Stir in vanilla. Spread whipped cream topping on chilled pie. With a small spoon drop small amounts of raspberry puree onto whipped cream. Use a toothpick or sharp knife to swirl puree into cream. Top with remaining raspberries.

Recipe courtesy of Driscoll’s

Happy 102nd Birthday, Oreos!

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Happy 102nd Birthday to the Oreo! Last year, Huffington Post and Times posted facts about the cookie in celebration of it’s birthday. Here is a summary of the facts:

  • The Oreo is the best-selling cookie in the world.
  • It takes 59 minutes to make an Oreo.
  • Oreos made the list of “accidentally vegan” foods on PETA.

Read the rest of the facts here.

If you feel like celebrating by baking up a storm, try this Chocolate Mousse Cake from Nordstrom’s Family Table Cookbook!


INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Crust

  • 4 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 20 oreos

Filling

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (no more that 62 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (no more that 62 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10 by 3 inch springform pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and brush the paper with a little of the melted butter for the crust.
  2. Put the cookies in a 1 gallon lock-top plastic bag and, using a rolling pin, smash them to make coarse crumbs. Working in batches, transfer the coarse crumbs to a food processor and pulse to reduce to fine crumbs. You should have about 2 cups.
  3. To make the chocolate crust, mix the cookie crumbs and remaining melted butter together in a medium bowl until combined. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom (but not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. To make the filling, put the chocolate in a heatproof large bowl. Pour in the hot coffee and let stand for a few minutes to soften the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Let stand, occasionally whisking the mixture, until it is tepid but still fluid, about 30 minutes.
  5. Whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla together in a chilled large bowl with an electric mixer set on high speed until the cream just forms stiff peaks. Do not over beat. Stir about one-fourth of the whipped cream into the tepid chocolate mixture. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold it in. Pour into the springform pan and smooth the top. The pan will be springform pan and smooth the top. The pan will be very full, with about 1/4 inch clearance from the top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap. refrigerate until the filling is set, about 2 hours. 

Mixed Berry Cheesecake

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INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 3 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 60 cookies)
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling and Topping

  • 1 cup Driscoll’s Blackberries, divided
  • 1 cup Driscoll’s Raspberries, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Mint leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl. Press into and up sides of 9-inch non-stick springform pan (if pan is not nonstick, brush first with melted butter). Bake about 14 minutes or until firm. Let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Filling

  1. Purée 1/2 cup blackberries in a blender or food processor and strain. Discard seeds. You should have 2 to 3 tablespoons purée. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until ready to use. Purée 1/2 cup raspberries in a blender or food processor and strain. Discard seeds. You should have 2 to 3 tablespoons purée. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until ready to use.

  2. Mix cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar in bowl of an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Add vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, on low speed. Add sour cream and mix until blended. Spoon half batter into cooled crust.
Drop half blackberry purée mixture and half raspberry purée into batter, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Swirl into filling using a toothpick or wooden skewer. Repeat with remaining batter and purées.

  3. Bake about 1 hour or until edges are just set and center jiggles slightly. Turn oven off and prop the door ajar with the handle of a wooden spoon. Let cool in oven for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from oven and cool completely. Place in refrigerator and chill until cold throughout, 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
To serve, make a pile of remaining blackberries and raspberries on top of cheesecake and garnish with mint leaves.

Granita for Valentine’s Day

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Although there are many different types of frozen Italian desserts (gelatos, italian ices, and cornettos), we are big fans of granita. This dessert is made by chilling and repeatedly freezing and scraping the ice until a snow-like texture is achieved. The texture is so unique that apparently it can differ from city to city in Italy. Try this Passionfruit Granita recipe to impress your significant other after a home cooked meal! It’s the perfect refreshing finish to any meal!

PASSIONFRUIT GRANITA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups 1/2-inch chunks fresh ripe pineapple
  • 4 cups chilled passionfruit nectar or juice
  • 2 passion fruit

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then cool syrup.
  2. In a blender or food processor, purée pineapple with 1/4 cup sugar syrup.  Stir in nectar or juice.  Chill pineapple mixture completely.
  3. Transfer pineapple mixture to a shallow metal baking pan and freeze, stirring and crushing lumps with a fork every hour, until mixture is firm but not frozen hard, about 3 to 4 hours. Granita may be made 2 days ahead and frozen, covered. Just before serving, scrape granita with a fork to lighten texture.
  4. Garnish with seeds from passion fruit.

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Cantaloupe Granita

Seasonal Desserts: Thanksgiving

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INGREDIENTS

Ice cream

  • 1 packet pumpkin ice cream starter
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Tart dough

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs. very cold water, plus more as needed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water

Whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Using the pumpkin ice cream starter, half-and-half and cream, prepare the ice cream according to the package instructions. Place the ice cream in the freezer.
  2. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolks, the 2 Tbs. water and the vanilla; set aside.

  3. 
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the egg yolk mixture and pulse until the dough just comes together. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 Tbs. at a time, pulsing a few times after each addition.
  4. Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide into 2 balls. Flatten 1 ball into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour. Press the other ball of dough firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the parchment and weights and continue baking until the crust is golden, 16 to 18 minutes more. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the chilled dough disk about 3/16 inch thick and make decorative cutouts according to the package instructions for the fall piecrust cutters. Transfer the cutouts to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with the egg mixture. Bake until golden, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cutouts cool completely.
  6. When the crust is completely cool, remove the ice cream from the freezer and let stand at room temperature until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the ice cream to the crust and spread evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until the ice cream is firm, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  7. Remove the plastic wrap from the ice cream pie and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Remove the outer ring from the springform pan.
  8. To make the whipped cream, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the cream, nutmeg, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Top the pie evenly with the whipped cream and decorate as desired with the baked cutouts. Serves 12.

 

Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma