Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Meringues (Pavlova And Ambrosia)



I know. I am as horrified as you are. Wassup with all the recent photos of my food? All styled and dressed up? Whatever happened to The Little Teochew, the home cook? Home cookin' need no stylin', y'all.

Well, just in case you have been wondering, "Who are you and what have you done to Ju?", let me assure you that it's still me.

It's just that I have been on "camera high" lately. It's amazing what a DSLR does. I notice so many new details through the lens, so much beauty in the unlikeliest of places. In fact, I just have to share with you the pretty things I saw today. Now.

Indulge me, will you?

First of, my friends, Linda, Quinn and Ellie all made gorgeous pavlovas recently. I couldn't resist but join in. I mean ... meringues, you know? Pure and white, cute and cloud-like. Bite into the delicate crisp shell and melt into the marshmallow-like centre. What's not to love?

I made mini ones.


So ethereal ...


... I can almost see a halo (halo, halo, halo ... sing it Beyonce!).

But keep an eye. I baked this batch a tad too long (because I made them petite). :(


But even in a cracked meringue, I can still see beauty (love the arch). Don't throw them out. Give them a makeover ... they can still steal the show.


Pavlova and spring go hand in hand. OK, who am I kidding? I live in perpetual tropical heat and humidity, but I did think of spring when I saw this lone bunch of Sweet William at the market. They called out to me and my heart sang. Their petals reminded me of farfalle. :)


I found this Oneida spoon that belonged to my late father (part of a set ... I'll show you the gorgeous fork another day). It could well be as old as me. I was helping my mom get something from her cupboard when I caught sight of this box ... hidden in a corner, yellow with age ... forgotten over time. But golly, the cutlery ... they were in mint condition! I held each heavy piece tenderly for a moment, admiring the intricate swirls.

Gosh, I miss him so. He was the one who opened my eyes to beauty from a tender young age, starting with the picture of the sea he painted for me when I was six. He was extremely talented in art, among many things. The image is still etched in my mind ... the most beautiful painting to me.


My fruit of choice was the strawberry. This batch was from the USA. They look fatter and juicier, but their taste paled in comparison to the Korean ones I got recently. Oh well, buying fruit is like playing Russian Roulette, no?


So you're supposed to top with a generous serving of chopped macerated berries, but it soon turned into a floppy mess! It was a nightmare to photograph, and I had no choice but to prepare another one. For the sake of photography, all you get is this halved strawberry. Don't fret ... I made up for it with extra whipped cream. :)

I used Linda's recipe, which comes from Ms Nigella Lawson herself. I only omitted the vanilla so that the meringue stays pure white. Visit Linda's blog to see the recipe and her notes. She knows her pavlovas. Don't you, my dear Linda? ;)

Here's what you do with the cracked meringues:


You crack them further, layer them with the macerated berries in a verrine, and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Voila! You now have Ambrosia! Does it not turn heads too? :)

Have a beautiful day, everyone of you!

51 comments:

  1. gorgeous fotos JU!!!!! u are really enjoying ur camera arent you! LOOOOOL I love merigues because theyre so pretty but it stops there...I doubt I can eat one..but i would try the anbrosia...i like cream :)

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  2. OH my dear....those are spectacular very Ju like... petite pavlovas! They are gorgeous...the pics are gorgeous!
    I would love to taste one right this minute!
    They look like the food of angels!
    L~xo

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  3. Lovely pictures! The ambrosia-like mini pavlovas in a glass sounds and looks very pretty!

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  4. Wat can i say...the camera is indeed a good toy for you. Vivid and "can talk"...

    Happy that you have one real babe!

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  5. Yummy! And yay, so glad comments are back- I've been dying to tell you how much I'm loving all of the new beautiful pictures! Glad you're enjoying playing with your new camera, too :) That spoon is absoloutely gorgeous and the close up of the spoon handle with the flowers in the bowl is my favourite pic! :D Ahh, I love to admire pretty pictures..

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  6. nice photos and u've even changed the header ;)
    Glad u're back on the blogging mojo :D

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  7. Yummy! I love meringue, cracked or otherwise! I kind of love the cracking because then you can see all the awesome pillowy innards.

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  8. I especially like the first bokeh shot. One of the greatest limitation of having a P&S is its inability to shoot these kind of photos! And the spoon is indeed gorgeous. So tempted to get a D90! :D

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  9. Le meringhe, la ricetta e le foto, è tutto fantastico. Bravissima. Ciao Daniela.

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  10. Amazing pictures , dearJu!!

    How are you?? I haven't heard from you in a while,....????

    These mini pavlovas look stunning!!

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  11. WOw, you are having fun with your new toy! Gorgeous pictures Ju!

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  12. Ju,
    Strawberries and many other fruits from the US aren't as flavorful. I don't know why or how the flavors seemed to be disappearing. It's really sad... but it's true.

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  13. Hi Ju, I have been following your blog for a while now, and I just have to comment after seeing your recent pixs. YOu have natural talent with the camera. I have the same camera as you and my photos are no where near your quality. I only shoot in auto mode because if I try other modes, I will not be able to get proper pixs at all!!!! ;) It goes to show that it's the photographer and not the camera. Also, you write really well and you have a really good sense of humour. Love your blog! :))) Keep it up!

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  14. Gorgeous!! Gorgeous for the photos, the cute pavlova, the flowers and the spoon! Just gorgeous!

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  15. Drooling. Every picture makes me drool more. I can't think of anything I want more in the world than a meringue with strawberry and cream.
    I had better go now.....

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  16. Gorgeous photos, Ju! Especially the strawberry on the spoon. Your dad raised you both well, really well.

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  17. Wonderful pics! I also find that passion fruit works well. Love your blog! Keep going, keep cooking and most of all, keep laughing that unmistakable laughter that is YOU!

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  18. I'm enjoying all our lovely photos. Your pavlovas look very pretty and delicious. I love it with whipped cream and strawberries.

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  19. Wow!!! Some of my personal friends in da house!! Thanks for visiting! :D

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  20. Do not ever return the DSLR! I am getting so spoiled with all your beautiful pictures. Love how you turned the cracked meringue into verrine. Thanks for the mention :p

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  21. Meringues! One of my Top 10 Dunno-How-To-Make Items! Haha. But just like your fabulous pineapple tarts, I think I will give these a try too. Well, when I get my darn oven fixed!!!

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  22. Those flowers do look beautiful...love those purple hues ;)

    Agree with you on the strawberries. I bought those Korean strawberries (4 punnets for 10 bucks) and enjoy it lots. But no dessert making for me - gave 2 away and left 2 to stuff myself silly with - it's really not much, small punnets.

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  23. Love all the photos! How much fun. I am having fun with my new camera too!

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  24. haha- looks like you had a lot of fun with your camera =] I love your photos! I've never made pavlova before, but I'm not a huge pavlova fan.....but yours look much nicer than the ones I've had- I actually like the cracked one- it looks really yummy!

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  25. Gosh, I am as excited as you are with your new DSLR. I see you've discovered subject isolation and BOKEH, both very essential in food photography. You're going to kill us with tilt-lens next....more please!

    p.s It's really the person behind the camera, so KUDOS!

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  26. Very very very, absolutely very gorgeous and amazing shot Ju! The first one is simply divine, that ambrosia is just calling out to me! Thanks for the mention by the way! Your picture is way way better quality than mine. It's not cuz it's an SLR, it also matters who is the photographer and you're definitely a great one!

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  27. Gerrie: Thank you! Bokeh is currently my favourite word, along with aperture. :) You seem very well-versed in photography. Do you have your own photo gallery you can share with me? I can be contacted by email if you want to keep it personal. ;)

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  28. Quinn: You are very very very, absolutely very welcomed!

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  29. Hey Ju
    I enjoy your photos; you are making me love meringues all over again! Ethereal, yeah, dainty, yeah, crispy, yeah and with that cream on top and the strwberries, irresistible!!!!!

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  30. Little T...I forgot to mention to you that I also love those flowers and here they are called "Sweet William" or Dianthus. I always plant some with my summer annuals. And another name for crumbled up meringues, whipped cream, and strawberries...is Eton Mess. Your verrines are much more delicate and ladylike...
    I miss my Daddy too...every single day!
    L~xo

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  31. keep 'em comin'!!! I love your blog. excellent photography and very witty content make your blog such a pleasurable read, even for *pretend cooks* like me.

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  32. I really love the little bunch of flowers with the gorgeous spoon.
    But, spring time is not really spring time in London... so cold ;(

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  33. Your comments are back on, yippee! Well, your photos are knocking my socks off. Funny - I had to make a meringue today as part of my practical pastry final, and she said they were a little under whipped. I think yours look better! NExt time please take my test for me. ; )

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  34. It's completely understandable that you would produce such lovely photos because your photos were already fantastic with your old camera. Now, you're able to add special effects just as bokeh. As everyone has stated already, these are lovely shots. My favs are the first and last ones...oh, and the one with the lone strawberry on the spoon.

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  35. camera high indeed, ju!
    lovely pictures. i love making meringue.
    though not a fan of eating them alone. haha.
    piping them is the fun part!
    lovely pictures. if only i had the patience to play around with my cam!

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  36. Ju (if you don't mind),

    I am very new to photography, and like you just got a DSLR to snap primarily food. Am learning the theories online, blogs, and forums, ergo BOKEH (which I have to admit I didn't quite fancy at first..I mean why blur out bits of the photos? Then,after a while, dim me went "ohhhhhhh.....". In your posts, I am learning composition, amongst other things, thank you!hehe. I don't have anything posted online, but if I ever do, will let you know.

    I use 50mm f/1.4 for food at the moment, but learning by trial and error. Is fun eh?

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  37. Hi Gerrie! It's great to find people who share the same interests. :) Oh man, what could I possibly teach anyone?!?!?! I'm a newbie, for crying out loud. I don't even know what else my camera is capable of! I'm just really happy & encouraged that people like the shots I take. I am not one to reads manuals. I am famous for going ahead with assembling stuff and getting stuck halfway. "Read the manual first!!!" my husband would always say in exasperation. But eventually, I always get the things done, through trial and error, and that's what's happening with my photography right now. I guess I always prefer to find things out on my own, "feel" my way around, rather than be "told" what to do. ;) Well, you have a very good lens on your hands! My friend lent me his (same as yours) and I enjoyed playing around with it. I am forcing myself to shoot in Manual soon ... I hope! *fingers crossed* Keep in touch! :)

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  38. Good to know your enjoying your camera!

    BTW, your friend's camera is a 400D ;)

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  39. Ju! Your pictures are brilliant! I love the ones with the flowers, they are BEAUTIFUL! Without your new camera your pictures were already great and now, they are just totally a stand out! Well done.

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  40. Hi again Ju,

    Believe me, you compose really well, even with your old P&S. Here's a flickr link, she uses a canon as well, and a 90mm TS lens, which was what I mentioned.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyphang/

    Am using a Nikon myself.

    Yes, shoot in Manual. Just remember to reset your settings to P or something once you're done. Don't do what I did - I happily snapped pictures outside once, and they all turned out white (read totally overexposed!). Sun was blazing at about 10.30am, my settings: shutter speed 1/8, and f/2.8! 'Nuff said!

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  41. HI Ju, these are gorgeous. These are on my to-do-list as well. One day soon! Love the pictures.

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  42. Gorgeous photos! If there's anything we've been wondering, it's why didn't you have a DSLR to play around with earlier?! Hehe :P

    These petite meringues are so adorable! I've been meaning to make some myself, but my family don't really have a sweet tooth. Boooo...

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  43. What a wonderful post Ju =) Warmed my heart. And I LOVE those flowers.

    And I see you reinstated comments! (A rather delayed observation I know... I've been away lah, and haven't had time to catch up on blogger business =)

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  44. Your photos are absolutely stunning!! Your meringues look gorgeous too.

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  45. I've been away foir awhile and look what gorgeous things you've made!!! :) I love finding treasures that belonged to my grandma, my mum...it's always a nice warm feeling.

    I'm a poavlova type of girl, and my favourite has to be with poassionfruit and a big dollop of heavy sweetened cream.

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  46. Haha you have gone mad with you new baby! I am wondering what your other babies are thinking hehe
    Your madness however produces a feast to the eyes!

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  47. Heya Ju, I LOVE meringues!! Was I glad to see this post! :)))) And the photos. OMG. I kept scrolling up and down just to admire each shot again and again. Anyone can take nice photos, but not everyone can take INCREDIBLE photos! And you sure take INCREDIBLE photos, so well done. :D

    Regards
    Michele

    PS: So happy that your comment box is back!

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  48. Oh, I've always been wanting to make pavlova! Here comes another reminder!! Thank you, Ju! The way you assembled pavlova is uniquely creative! Keep it up!

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  49. I lurrrveeeee your photos! You are really good with the camera. your dessert looks really refreshing, me too enjoying the current big fat strawberries from US :D

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  50. Photos really do wonders... I've been wanting to make a pavlova but my family don't have a sweet tooth you see... have never thought of trying it.. but seeing your photos has makes me wanna use my egg whites in the freezer for this! ;)

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  51. beautiful compositions..so glad you're enjoying the camera and exploring your photographic eye!

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