Decisions can sometimes be the hardest things to make. Do we hold on to things because it makes sense or because we are used to ‘having’ it? It’s the time of month to do my tax returns and that got me thinking about the cost involved in keeping my studio versus the return it gives me. Three years ago when I first rented the place we said we would have a look at how it went and if it would be profitable enough for me to keep the studio or if we would need to look for another solution. In 5 months time I will have to renew the contract for 5 years or cancel it… So I did a lot of calculating and then some more thinking of different angles, other ways to use the studio but it seems to all lead towards the inevitable end of my studio…
My goal has also changed in the last three years from doing more people shots to doing more food and with that comes the fact that I am using my studio less except for larger productions where a little extra space is needed. I still do the occasional portrait in the studio as well as product photography but in the end I do not need 120 M2 to do the work. A lot is done at home (such as these lovely pannacotta’s) since I have more cooking equipment there…
But even though my mind tells me that it makes sense to find another solution; my heart tells me differently! I love my studio. Spend hours and hours there, painted and decorated the whole place and have soooo many props stored there too. The scenario’s of what next keep tumbling through my mind… It makes me tired to even think of all the consequences but there are a couple of possible scenario’s
- Keep the studio
- Find a smaller studio
- Convert one of the rooms at home into a studio of sorts and rent a larger studio if I need one
- Co-rent a studio with a photographer friend in Amsterdam
- Store all my stuff in a storage facility (but that would mean it’s hard to find anything if I need it)
Right now I’m leaning strongly towards option 3. But believe me when I say I keep changing my mind just about every day or so.Something I have no need to change my mind over is this totally delicious pannacotta with a hint of amaretto… You’re gonna love this with some poached pears!
The original recipe for the pannacotta came from Delicious cookbook by Valli Little which I had bought the day before (if only for the gorgeous photographs by Brett Stevens and styling by David Morgan!) and since Charlotte was coming over for a cooking session we cooked all the recipes from the book. A totally delicious hummus and fallafel with green peas and pita bread were our first courses after which the room was filled with garlic… I will remake the hummus and falaffel and shoot them at some point but the light was gone and none was left after dinner.
I changed the recipe for the pannacotta by adding amaretto instead of cognac as I simply do not like cognac but love amaretto. For the pears I used just about anything I had on hand; pomegranate juice (leftover from the pomegranates we used with the hummus), verjuice and loads of spices… Loved it and again not as red as I would have wanted them to be. I’m gonna try and add some dark ruby port in them next time. That should do the trick!
Cinnamon amaretto pannacotta and poached pears in verjus
Prep Time: 1 hr, 30 mins
Cook Time: cooling time 4 hrs
Total Time: 5 hrs, 30 mins
- 500ml whipping cream
- 125ml milk
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 40g sugar
- 3 sheets gelatin
- 2 tablespoons amaretto
POACHED PEARS IN VERJUS
- 1kg Wilder Gieseman pears (or another pear that can be poached)
- 1 cup verjuice
- 3 star anise
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 6 green cardamom pods (crushed)
- 1 pomegranate (juice only)
- 3 tablespoons sugar (use sugar to taste and depending on the sweetness of the pears)
|Bring the milk, cream, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon and sugar on medium heat to the boil, take the pan of the fire and leave to stand for about an hour to infuse the flavors into the cream.|
|Soak your gelatin leaves for 5 minutes in cold water until they are soft. Slowly heat the cream mixture on low heat. Squeeze the water out of the gelatin leafs and still them into the warm cream until they dissolve. Add the amaretto en put the liquid through a sieve. Pour your pannacotta into 6 ramekins or other forms and leave them in the fridge for at least 4 hours to firm up.|
For some reason I had a skin forming on the pannacotta so my guess is that it was still slightly too warm when I put it in the fridge. I've never had this issue before with any pannacotta so I'm a bit unsure what caused it. Thought I mention it anyway!
POACHED PEARS IN VERJUS
|Peel and core the pears.|
|Put the pears in a pan that is big enough to hold the pears plus poaching liquid. Add the verjuice, the sugar, the pomegranate juice, the cardamom, staranise and cinnamon and top with water until the pears are almost covered but not quite.|
|Bring to the boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat down and let it simmer until the pears are done. This really varies a lot depending on the type of pear you use. For the Wilder Giesseman pear that I used it was stated it should cook 1 1/5 hr but mine were done after 20 minutes! So check regularly if they are soft enough. Once cooked let the pears cool in the liquid. If the liquid is still too thin you can remove the pears and cook the liquid down a little further until it becomes syrupie..|
Delicious autumn dessert and paired with the cinnamon pannacotta it is really good!