Monday, February 15, 2010
While my Valentine's day gift was being unleashed in a cooking store, Mr. Humble's was a camera store. After a decade together, this is how gift giving works between us. We get to buy something with the guarantee of no grief from the other, well... within reason of course. Mr. Humble cannot go out and just buy himself a llama.
All livestock purchases must be discussed in advance.
So Mr. Humble picked up a new lens for his dSLR and of course, I get to play with it today while he is at the laboratory! (Yay for Valentine's day gifts that benefit yourself too, right?)
Since starting the blog, I've learned that my biggest challenge was staging and photographing the food I make. Making food taste good isn't much trouble, making it look good on the computer well, lets just say I had--and still have--a lot to learn.
So this new lens in Mr. Humble's camera bag has a nice wide aperture that lets in tons of light. I shot all of my tart photos with it last night, lit only by ceiling lights! Generally I get awful photos at night, but the photos with this new lens didn't come out too bad.
Apparently this lens (for the camera nerds who actually care it's a Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/1.8) also gives good bokeh (a funny term to describe the background blur). So armed with my...er his new lens and a bowl of lemon mousse I attempted a daylight shoot.
It has a razor thin plane of focus when I am shooting up close (with moderate light) and everything else becomes fuzzy, in an attractive sort of way. When I can't get the focus in just the right spot, everything ends up looking out of focus (I think I caught the edge of the glass in this one. Yup, that's me the total amateur). Still, this lens is very cool. I just need to learn how to use it properly.
Alright, enough with the camera talk, time to get to the food...
By now everyone has figured out I have a thing for lemon desserts.
It is one of my favorite flavors (up there with marzipan and chocolate). So when I stumbled across Luscious Lemon Desserts this weekend and saw it was well under $20 and packed with recipes, it was impossible not to impulse buy a copy.
(Not livestock, so Mr. Humble can't say a thing!)
This was so good. I'm sure this mousse will find its way into many other dessert creations...
Luscious Lemon Mousse
from Luscious Lemon Desserts
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon plain gelatin
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks (save the whites for macarons, of course)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
In a small bowl add the water and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow it to bloom for 10 minutes and then set the bowl into a dish of hot water and whisk until dissolved.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the sugar, salt, lemon juice and zest. Whisk together and then add the egg yolks. Place over medium low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon (this should take roughly 8-10 minutes). Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle, if it begins to steam remove it from the heat for 20 seconds to allow it to cool then return it to the heat.
Once it has thickened, whisk in the gelatin and then immediately pour through a fine mesh strainer into a second bowl.
Allow this mixture to cool too temperature, stirring occasionally.
Once the lemon curd has cooled, beat the whip cream to stiff peaks. Adding the cream in thirds, gently fold it into the lemon curd.
Divide the lemon mousse between 4-6 bowls and chill for a minimum of two hours before serving.
Top with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and a candied violet.
All in all, I'm loving my mousse and Mr. Humble's new toy. More than I love this shot, since my candied violet looks like a dead insect...