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.

Raspberry Biscuits

These delicious biscuits can also be served with a blue cheese butter and a raspberry rhubarb jam! Check out the link below for the additional recipes!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • 1/2 cup Driscoll’s Raspberries
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1 large egg, beaten

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Add butter and shortening. Use a pastry blender or two knives to incorporate butter and shortening until mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk and crème fraiche and add to flour mixture.
  2. Turn mixture out onto floured surface. Gather and knead 2 or 3 times. Sprinkle dough with raspberries and walnuts and knead gently 1 to 2 more times. Shape into a disk.
  3. Cut into biscuit rounds and transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray. Brush with beaten egg.
  4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes rotating halfway through.

Recipe courtesy of Driscoll’s

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

Sweet Potato Fries

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Don’t be afraid of deep frying! Even though the process can be messy, the flavor is undeniably delicious. Try the sweet potato recipe below!

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cups peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup club soda, cold
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 by 1/4-inch fries
  • Directions
  • Heat the oil to 375 degrees F in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or deep fryer. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix the salt, garlic powder, paprika and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk the cornstarch and club soda in a mixing bowl. In batches, dip the potatoes in the batter, allow any excess to drip off and hold on a wire rack. Repeat with rest of the potatoes.
  3. Fry half the potatoes, stirring occasionally until golden brown and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the seasoning and hold in the oven on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the last batch of potatoes.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network.

Happy Holidays!

From the studio to your home, we hope everybody is having a relaxing holiday season! Try warming up to the Mast Brothers Chocolate’s Classic Hot Coca recipe below!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently
  3. Shave chocolate over each mug

Seasonal Desserts: December Holidays

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Tis the season! Peppermint bark has always been a studio favorite. It’s okay to indulge during the holiday season! Try this peppermint bark recipe, courtesy of All Recipes!

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tsp canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract, divided
  • 8 ounces high-quality white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 25 peppermint candies, crushed

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Lightly grease a 9x9 inch pan and line with waxed paper, smoothing out wrinkles. Set aside.
  2. Place the semisweet chocolate and 1 tsp of the canola oil in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 tsp of the peppermint extract. Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan, and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half of the crushed peppermints over the chocolate layer. Refrigerate until completely hardened, about 1 hour.
  3. Place the white chocolate and the remaining 1 tsp canola oil in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the remaining 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. Pour the white chocolate directly over the semisweet chocolate layer; spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy over the top and gently press in. Refrigerate until completely hardened. Remove from pan; break into small pieces to serve. 

Thanksgiving Breakfast: Pumpkin Waffles

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cups (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat waffle iron. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin purée, sugar, butter, and vanilla in another large bowl until smooth. While whisking, add the flour mixture and blend until smooth.
  • Generously coat the waffle iron with vegetable oil and cook the batter in the waffle iron as recommended in the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat with remaining batter.

Recipe courtesy of CountryLiving

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

Braised Beef with Autumn Vegetables

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lb. beef bottom round, trimmed of most fat and cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1/4 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/3 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 lb. pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint  

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat a Cuisinart multicooker on the brown/sauté setting to 450°F according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in the multicooker. Working in batches, brown the beef on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate.
  2. Discard most of the fat from the multicooker insert and return the insert to the base. Add the yellow onion, thyme sprigs and bay leaves and sauté until the onion begins to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cinnamon stick and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine, the 2 Tbs. vinegar, carrots, tomatoes, stock and beef. Set the multicooker on the slow cook-high setting, cover and cook for 2 hours.
  3. Scatter the pumpkin over the beef, cover and cook until the beef and pumpkin are very tender, 1 to 2 hours more. Discard the thyme sprigs, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Using a large spoon, skim off the fat.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, the 1 tsp. vinegar, the 1/4 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Stir in the green onions and mint.
  5. Ladle the meat and vegetables into warmed bowls and spoon the green onion mixture on top. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.