Strawberry & Meringue

I have another strawberry dessert recipe. Not as extensive as the Red Fruit Filo Tartlet recipe I posted earlier, but just as luscious and delicious. This is my take on strawberries and meringue.

Strawberry Meringue Dessert

Preparation method:

For the meringue:

  1. Separate about 5 eggs until you have 150g of egg whites;
  2. Beat the egg whites with 90g of white sugar. After a couple of minutes add another 90g of white sugar. Finally add 90g of icing sugar and beat to stiff peaks;
  3. Spoon the the beaten egg whites in a piping bag and pipe in little circles on a baking tray lined with baking paper;
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 100˚C for at least an hour (up to 75 minutes). Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to dry while the oven cools down. Do not open the oven during the baking process.

For the sweet & sour cherry gel, mix 100ml of cherry vinegar—I use vinegars from Oil & Vinegar—and 100ml sugar sirup(*). Set aside a little bit of the mixture, pour a the bulk of the mixture into a sauce pan over a high heat and bring it up to the boil. While waiting for the mixture to boil, dissolve 1.2g of agar agar it the mixture you set aside. As soon as the mixture in the sauce pan is boiling, add the agar agar mix to the pan and leave to boil for another 5 minutes stirring to make sure the agar agar is fully dissolved.

Leave it cool for a little while, then poor it in a squeeze bottle and set aside to completely cool. By the time is has completely cooled, the mixture should have turned into a translucent gel.

I make whipped cream in an espuma bottle and since this recipe has meringue, I don’t add sugar to my whipped cream. If you make your whipped cream by hand, add a little sugar, it helps to stiffen the cream.

Plate up the meringue, strawberries, whipped cream and the sweet & sour gel to make an attractive plate. Finish with a few sprigs of mint.

(*) sugar sirup is equal quantities of water and white sugar that you heat up until the sugar has fully dissolved.

Ingredients:
150g egg whites (about 5 eggs)
2 x 90g white sugar
90g icing sugar
100ml cherry vinegar
100ml sugar sirup
1.2g agar agar
Whipped cream

Latex Shoot with Evelien

It are busy times on the home front, so I’m running a bit behind on postproccesing and sharing images from recent shoots. But I promise to catch up on some things in the next couple of weeks.

Let me start by sharing this image of Evelien in an latex dress by HMS latex, shot about a month ago in our studio. There is something special about redheads… Isn’t there?

Evelien in Latex

Thank you for coming to our studio, Evelien. It was a pleasure to have you!

Red Fruit Filo Tartlet

Strawberry season is happening in Belgium right now: a great time to make luscious desserts.

Red Fruit Filo Tartlet

This is my homemade red fruit filo tartlet filled with a mascarpone cream and strawberry & habanero jam. Maybe a good idea for tonight’s dessert?

Preparation method:

For the filo tartlets:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease the holes of a muffin or cupcake tin;
  2. Cut the filo pastry into squares that are big enough to fit in your tin. Brush each piece of filo with metled butter. Layer 3 pieces of filo on top of eachother;
  3. Please the filo cases into the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes (until golden brown);
  4. When baked,  take the filo cases out of the oven and set a side to cool. Be careful when removing the cases from the tin as they tend to break.

For the strawberry & habanero jam:

  1. Quarter 500gr of strawberries and chop the habanero pepper;
  2. In a saucepan set over a medium heat, add 400gr of white sugar, the juice and zest of 1/2 an orange. Let the sugar dissolve in the orange juice;
  3. Turn up the heat to high and add the strawberries and the habanero pepper. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches jam consistency. Set aside to cool.

For the cream, mix 200gr mascarpone, 50gr cream and 25gr of white sugar together in a bowl until it becomes thick & creamy.

Now fill the cooled filo cases with a good spoon full of the mascarpone cream, drizzled over some of the strawberry & habanero jam and top with your favorite red fruits and strawberries. Finish with a sprig of mint for decoration.

I like my jam to be nice and spicy. If you don’t like the spice, use half a habanero pepper. (serves 4)

In case you’re wondering: yes, I made this myself. And yes, I did the photo too.

Ingredients:

  • 50g melted butter
  • 150g filo pastry (store-bought)
  • 200g mascarpone cheese
  • 50g cream
  • 425g white sugar
  • 500g strawberries
  • 1/2 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • assorted red fruits
  • a few mint leaves

 

Bluebells in the Hallerbos

Shooting nature is way out of my comfortzone. I admire good nature photographers and I love to look at nature photos but I never quite got the hang of it myself.

There is this forest near Brussels, called Hallerbos, that is famous for its bluebells. My buddy James asked me last week if I wanted to join him for a photo hike, so I said to myself: “Why not? Let’s give it a try.” After all it will be fun to do something with a friend even if you fail at making a good photo.

Hallerbos

As I said: nature photography is out of my comfortzone! This was my favorite shot of the day, but I sure had fun. And as they say: if you fail, try try again… Shall we do that again next year James?

Zermatt Unplugged

One of my best friends found this thing called Zermatt Unplugged: a series of concerts in the Ski-resort Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. They had a great lineup this year: Patricia Kaas, Heather Nova and Melissa Etheridge were all playing in the same week at the festival. When he told me, I jokingly replied: “Have you bought tickets and booked a hotel already? Why not?”

It did not take us to long to decide to go though. It has been forever since I was in Switzerland, so driving down there, do a little photography and a bit of hiking, and listing to great artists I happen to like, sure was a good idea.

Took a couple of nice pictures in the Alps while driving to Zermatt.

The Alps

The Alps

Zermatt is a small town but I’m sure it is buzzing in winter because it’s most famous as a ski resort and their main attraction: the Matterhorn. The mountain hid itself in the clouds while we were there, but when the clouds finally lifted, we go this amazing view of the mountain.

The Matterhorn

The Matterhorn

Tove Lo Concert at Le Botanique

I had the honor of shooting at the Tove Lo concert at Le Botanique for Frontview Magazine last night. Tove Lo is a young Swedish artist that caught mainstream attention with her 2nd album Queen of the Clouds. Her electro pop is a little out of my comfort zone, but she put on a nice show at a sold-out Le Botanique.

Tove Lo at Le Botanique

I have a few more photos from last night, and you can view the complete album on the Frontview Magazine website.

Tove Lo at Le Botanique

Tove Lo at Le Botanique

Elise in Latex by Pandora Deluxe

I like working with Elise: she’s is a talented young lady from Holland with great looks and a lovely personality. I had her in our studio for the 2nd time a while back and it was just fun. And even though I am still working on some of the pictures, I thought I’ld share this photo of her in a latex dress by Pandora Deluxe. I’m sure there is more to come…

Elise in Pandora Deluxe

Thank you Elise for the shoot! I hope you will drop by the studio again some time.

Joke In Latex

In between work, housekeeping and all the other madness, I took a night off for some fun with friends. I met up with my buddy Bart and Joke for a shoot in Bart’s studio. We got out some snacks, a good whiskey, a latex dress and our cameras.

Joke is so much fun to work with. And she’s so nice that the only regret I have is that I don’t see her as much as I should. And I don’t get to work with her as often as I should… But you know… The madness…

But one thing is for sure: I look forward to my next shoot with her!

Joke in Latex

Portfolio Shoots

2 weeks of shooting, retouching and sleepless nights… To complete portfolio shoots for 5 models… A lot of work, but a lot of fun too. These 5 young ladies were scouted last summer to join a modelling agency of friends of mine. All 5 had asked if I wanted to do a portfolio shoot for them, and I gracefully obliged. I completed the shoots during the month of February. These are my favorite photos from those 5 shoots.