Black Forest Eton Mess

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Black Forest Eton Mess RecipeBuy 571

These crumbled meringue/whipped cream/cherry-brandy compote/chocolate ganache trifles are officially my new favorite dessert. I cannot imagine anything better. The meringue is crunchy but very delicate, softened by vanilla whipped cream, coated with a blanket of creamy milk and bittersweet chocolate flavors and topped with fresh, juicy cherries cooked in brandy. As I said, it’s the best!

I had actually never heard of an Eton Mess until my buddy Nagi of recipetineats.com recently challenged me to make one for The Spice Train. (Nagi, your turn now! ;)) Apparently the dessert is traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket match and was invented in one way or another (different sources tell different stories here) at the school. Kudos to whoever it was, nice job! :)

5.0 from 3 reviews
Black Forest Eton Mess
 
The recipe for the meringue nests comes from Taste of Home.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients:
For the meringue layers:
  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup sugar
For the cherry layers:
  • 1 pound dark cherries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
For the chocolate ganache layers:
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
For the whipped cream layers:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions:
For the meringue layers:
  1. Heat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Whip egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar until you get soft peaks.
  3. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to whip.
  4. Spoon 8 round meringue nests on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 45 – 50 minutes until dry and set.
  5. Turn off the oven, don't open the oven door, and let the meringue nests cool in the oven for 1 hour.
For the cherry layers:
  1. Add cherries, sugar, brandy and lemon juice to a pan and cook on medium heat until the cherries start to break down and the juice thickens. Let cool.
For the chocolate ganache layers:
  1. Bring the cream to a boil in the microwave and pour over the chocolate.
  2. Mix until you have a smooth ganache. If necessary, heat the mix over a water bath until the chocolate is dissolved.
For the whipped cream layers:
  1. Whip all ingredients to stiff peaks.
For the assembly:
  1. Crumble up the meringue nests.
  2. Fill crushed meringue, whipped cream, chocolate ganache and cherry layers into tall glasses or a large bowl and serve.

Food Photography and Styling: I used prosecco glasses from Crate and Barrel here and I thought they worked really beautifully. The backdrop is a piece of slate that I recently found in our old shed. I thought it belonged to my husband but he had never seen it either so I suppose the previous owners had left it there. So go snoop around your shed or maybe your attic and you may just find some cool props! :) I lit the photo from the side with my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm)).

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

More Spice Train Posts:

Roasted Vegetables with Mustard Seeds and Bacon

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Roasted Vegetables with Mustard Seeds and BaconBuy 561

Last week I pulled the first turnips and beets of the season out of our vegetable garden and since my go-to recipe for root vegetables is to roast them that’s what I did but this time I added a few embellishments. One of them was bacon and the other two a sprinkling of crushed yellow mustard seeds and a smattering of fresh thyme leaves. It turned out beautifully. The bacon provided enough fat and salt, so there wasn’t any need for oil or seasoning. I simply tossed the raw vegetables with the bacon and the mustard seeds, put them in the oven and 45 minutes later we had a complete and very delicious main course on the table. For days when you want or need a hands-off meal this one’s perfect. :)

5.0 from 3 reviews
Roasted Vegetables with Mustard Seed and Bacon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
  • 3 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 turnips, quartered
  • 3 carrots, sliced in half and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 1 beet, quartered
  • 2 red potatoes, quartered
  • ½ green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss bacon, vegetables and mustard seeds and add to a roasting pan.
  3. Roasted until tender (40 – 50 minutes).
  4. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves.

Food Photography and Styling: The veggies had naturally beautiful colors and shapes, which always greatly helps a photograph along. The surface I used here is an old wooden milk crate that I turned upside down and to make it look less naked I put a piece of brown packing paper on it. I added the spoon to the pan to make it look as if someone was about to start spooning the food onto plates and I lit the photo from the back with my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm)).

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

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Homemade Spiced Granola

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Homemade Spiced GranolaBuy 309
Are you as ready for fall as I am? Enough with the thunderstorms and the mosquito bites, I want to hike through golden aspen forests and drink salted caramel mochas. So it won’t surprise you that I simply couldn’t wait any longer to perfume my kitchen with baked cinnamon, clove, ginger and cardamom and made this crunchy and sweet spiced granola. It is delicious with berries, apples, pears and plain yogurt, or even by itself.

If you think homemade granola is too much work I can assure you that’s not the case. This recipe couldn’t be any easier, you just mix rolled oats, pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes with a bit of maple syrup, vegetable oil and the spices and bake it. The mix doesn’t stick to the baking sheet so the cleanup is a breeze too. Simple and delicious – enjoy!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Homemade Spiced Granola
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Mix pumpkin seeds, oats, coconut flakes, cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Add the oil and the maple syrup and mix well.
  4. Spread the mix out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool.

Food Photography and Styling: I relied heavily on the three pretty raspberries to make this photograph interesting; brown, uniform granola by itself is incredibly boring… My trusty Heath Ceramics bowl and plate worked well as crockery here and I lit the photo from the side with my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm)).

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

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Food Blog Photo Contest DMBLGiT July 2015!

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DMBLGiT July 2015

Hello Everyone! DMBLGiT (Does My Blog Look Good in This) July 2015 is open!! Neel and his team at learnfoodphotography.com are hosting the contest this month  along with three co-hosts, Deeba of passionateaboutbaking.com, Deepali of lemoninginger.com and myself.

You can find detailed instructions over on learnfoodphotography.com so head on over and submit your photos. Please also spread the word, we want to make this contest bigger, better and more popular each month! THANK YOU :)

 

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