Yesterday, I tested one of the recipes I want to do for Christmas. Easy to make, this cozy dessert has plenty of “wow” factor and it looks like a beehive.
This is an elegant dessert and is fancy enough for a dinner party and also can be made ahead.
- 4 small pears
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 50 ml cognac (optional)
- 1 small lemon, halved
- 3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 to 8 whole cloves
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg
Peel pears and core pears from bottom, leaving stems intact.
In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, honey, lemon halves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cognac and cloves. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds; add bean and seeds to sugar mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; place pears on their sides in saucepan and poach, uncovered, for 18-22 minutes or until pears are almost tender, basting occasionally with poaching liquid.
Remove pears with a slotted spoon and cool slightly. Cook the liquid until is thick and syrupy, about 10-15 minutes.
Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 2 cm – wide strips. Starting at the bottom of a pear, wrap a pastry strip around pear, adding additional strips until pear is completely wrapped in pastry. Repeat with remaining pears and puff pastry.
Transfer into a baking pan line with parchment paper. Beat the egg and brush the pastry with it. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Place pears on dessert plates and drizzle with syrup. Serve warm.
For my birthday, my husband bought me the last lens that I had on my list for food photography : Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED. Here you have some photos taken with my new lens. I love it on my D 700.
The 105 mm length macro lens is great for focusing on one plate, particularly when there is a table full of food that can be out of focus in the background.
This lens length is the go-to for professional food photographers as it reproduces what we’re photographing at a 1:1 ratio, which means that the size of the subject and its image on the sensor are the same.
Its ability to reproduce images at a 1:1 ratio is an essential feature to capture the close up detail that can create engaging food images.
With a macro lens, you can capture a chef laying down a sauce on a plate or a baker icing a cupcake, their ability to perform these precise techniques in small places.
What I like about Nikon 105 macro is that it gives you a lot of details within the shallow depth of field you choose. And if I want to see all those crazy details up close, I do not have to shove the lens into the food to get the perfect shot.
Autofocus is very fast and secure at normal focus distances, but a bit jittery at macro distances. I don’t see that as a problem, frankly. At macro distances you should be focusing manually and have the camera on a secure platform if you want precise focus.
I know there are some reviewers who say it’s a slow-focusing lens, but my experience has been quite the opposite. It focuses quite fast provided you give it a resonably high-contrast subject.
This lens work well as portrait lens for taking pictures of the people who make the food.
French toast, also known as eggy bread, German toast, gypsy toast, or Spanish toast, is a dish made of bread soaked in beaten eggs and then fried. My mom used to call it „friganele”, before I discovered it’s called french toast. Because I am trying to eat less fried meals, I decided to do a light version of french toast, an oven one.
- 6 slices of day-old bread
- 4 eggs
- 200 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
Prepare your forms. In a larger bowl break up the bread into small pieces. In another bowl mix together eggs, ginger nutmeg, cinnamon, maple syrup and milk. Once that is mixed ll together pour over the bread. Give a quick gentle stir to coat all of the bread. Let sit for about 5 minutes so the bread can soak up the egg mixture. Scoop the mixture into the forms
liner evenly. Bake for 3o minutes at 300 degree Celsius. After they come out of the oven let cool for 5 minutes then dive in & enjoy!
Day-old bread will suck more milk. The cooked slices can be covered with sweet toppings such as jam, honey, fruit or maple syrup. It will go great with a hot chocolate in the Christmas morning, unpacking the presents.