Peek Behind the Scenes of the Dairy Diary

Dairy Diary photography


Peek Behind the Scenes of the Dairy Diary

This week we have a special guest blogger writing for us.

Let me introduce to you Leah Figiel.

Emily & Leah

Emily & Leah

Hi, I’m Leah.

For my work experience; I booked a placement for two weeks working with the Dairy Diary. I wanted to see the ins and outs of publishing and what they expect – for it relates to something that I’d like to do as a future career.

On one day, I had the privilege to be involved in a food photoshoot for the Dairy Diary in London; working with photographer Steve Lee, food stylist Sara Lewis and assistant Doug (not forgetting the two ADORABLE dogs – Dusk and Gypsy!). They all did an exceptional job of capturing the yumminess of the recipes in the future Dairy Diary…

When we arrived at Topham Studios. Steve kindly explained to me clearly what he was photographing, and the importance of the equipment used to shoot the recipes. Emily and I then had a sneak-peek at all of the props that Olivia Wardle had artfully constructed. We went downstairs to the prop room to make some final adjustments for the shoot.

I had no clue of how much prep
was needed to just take pictures
of seven (delicious) dishes

My love for colour schemes and detailed, quirky items were expressed in this very emporium. Naturally, I could’ve spent hours in what seemed to be as an Aladdin’s Cave – but we had important work to do. To the studio we returned: armed with props to fully accentuate the magic of what Sara had crafted.

After hours of tweaking, photographing, fussing the dogs and ‘testing’ out each recipe to see just how tasty they were – seven recipes were ready.

My time at the studios taught me that presentation is key – and that you must always keep the consumers in mind. Although the work done in that day was very essential to the whole idea of the diary, which meant that we had to create each shot perfectly – I thoroughly enjoyed it, not even realising that a full day had been reserved for the project. Time flies when you’re having fun: doesn’t it?


And Leah’s favourite recipe from the Dairy Diary? Here it is:

Decadent Red Velvet Cake



Decadent Red Velvet Cake

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 500 per portion
Fat 29g (18g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians


  • Unsalted butter 475g (1lb 1oz)
  • Caster sugar 250g (9oz)
  • Eggs 3 large, separated
  • Vanilla extract 2 tsp
  • White wine vinegar 1 tsp
  • Specialist cake decorator’s red food colouring paste 1 tsp
  • Cocoa powder 1½ tbsp
  • Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
  • Self-raising flour 275g (10oz)
  • Buttermilk 284ml pot
  • Icing sugar 425g (15oz)
  • Full fat soft cheese 180g tub


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a round deep 20cm (8in) tin.
  2. In a large bowl cream together 250g (9oz) butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla, vinegar and colouring. Sift in cocoa, bicarbonate and half the flour, then mix in half the buttermilk.
  3. Mix in remaining flour and buttermilk. In a separate bowl whisk egg whites until foamy then fold into cake mixture.
  4. Spoon into tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin until cold.
  5. Level top and cut in half horizontally, reserving crumbs. Beat together icing sugar, remaining butter and cheese. Use to sandwich cake together and spread around sides and top. Sprinkle with cake crumbs.


The iconic 2017 Dairy Diary is available to buy for just £7.99 from the milkman or online here.


#behindthescenes #dairydiary #redvelvetcake #tripletested

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: