Hello! It’s food photography and styling challenge time with The Inspired Plate!
I wait too long to start these monthly challenges, especially this month. I thought my only issue this month would be the surprising number of family photography shoots I had scheduled (it’s August – in Florida), but it seems like the to-do list grew by leaps and bounds ever since the beginning of the month. And just as if there wasn’t quite enough going on, it became necessary to factor in a tropical storm/hurricane by the name of Isaac. Until the track verifies and sets its sight on a fairly definite destination, one has to stop what one is doing to stock up, get organized, do laundry, and otherwise prepare to hunker down or to evacuate. Isaac keeps tracking west, so we’re “just” going to get tropical storm conditions meaning lots of wind and rain, and flooding. We’ll probably lose power since it seems like this island can lose power on the best of days. Go figure. And I really really dislike losing power.
But on to our challenge! The assignment this month with The Inspired Plate is to style and shoot a summer dessert. I’m honestly not a big dessert person, although I’m totally impressed by the work of many pastry chefs. So…I had two plans – one for popsicles, and one for a dessert carpaccio. Two plans because I wasn’t sure if either would work!
By the way, have you seen this book? It’s called the People’s Pops by Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell, & Joel Horowitz. Amazing popsicle recipes and a well-deserved success story hailing from Brooklyn.
So I made some popsicles! And won’t do it again! LOL My kitchen floor was so crazy sticky after all of the watermelon and cantaloupe purees in spite of several wet Swifferings. One pop had booze in it – the apertif Campari – and I put toooooo much in. Oh well. That’s too bad….
So I got started, with lots of produce…
The first is for Cantaloupe with Campari and Cantaloupe with Cream. Campari is booze. Do not give to children! You may not even want to give to yourself.
And the next is a basil-infused watermelon pop – so refreshing!
Then because I wasn’t really sure how the pops were going to turn out, I also made a dish from the July issue of Bon Appetit with just a couple of tweaks. You know, just in case.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s challenge with The Inspired Plate! Next up is Valeria Howell of MindZen Photography with her delicious take on this assignment! Please travel our blog circle as we are linked to one another for additional amazing and mouth-watering summer desserts and and beautiful photography!
Cantaloupe & Campari | Cantaloupe Cream Popsicles
- 1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
- 1 cup simple syrup*
- 2 tablespoons Camapri
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Puree the cantaloupe chunks in a food processor . You will have close to 3 cups of puree.
- Divide the mixture into two large glass measuring cups. Add the Campari to one, and the heavy cream to the other.
- Divide the simple syrup and add equally to both measuring cups, tasting as you go to reach the appropriate level of sweetness.
- Pour the mixture into ice pop molds, leaving a bit of room at the top. Insert the stick through the top of the tray and freeze until solid. To remove the pops, place the mold tray in a sink of hot water for a few moments that comes up to, but does not cover the molds. Test a pop and if it releases easily, they are ready to remove. Store in plastic bags in the freezer.
Makes 10 popsicles.
Adapted from the book People’s Pops
*To make simple syrup: In a small saucepan, add ¾ cup water and ¾ cup organic cane sugar (or regular sugar) and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves; remove from the heat and let cool. Makes 1¼ cups.
Watermelon & Basil Popsicles
- 2 pounds seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
- 1¼ cups simple syrup infused with a handful of fresh basil*
- 15 small leaves additional basil, rolled an sliced into small strips (chiffonade)
- *Make the simple syrup by combining ¾ cup organic cane sugar (or regular sugar) and ¾ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; stir to dissolve sugar. When liquid is transparent, add the fresh basil, let simmer for a minute, remove from the heat and let cool. Remove the basil after the liquid has cooled and discard.
- Add the basil-infused simple syrup to the watermelon puree, tasting for the appropriate amount of sweetness. Add the chiffonade of basil to the mixture and pour into an ice pop mold, leaving just a bit of room at the top. Add the sticks and freeze until firm. Unmold by placing in a hot water bath in the sink that comes just up to the mold top, but not over it. Store in plastic bags in the freezer.
Makes 10 popsicles
Adapted from the book People’s Pops
Melon Carpaccio with Lime
Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine, July 2012
- ½ cup organic cane sugar (or regular)
- 4 sprigs mint plus additional leaves for garnish
- ½ vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- pinch red pepper flakes
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- assortment of edible flowers
- coconut sorbet
- Make a simple syrup by combining ¼ cup water with the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the mint and the pinch of red pepper flakes; remove from the heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain with a fine-mesh sieve into a glass measuring cup or small bowl and add the lime juice.
- In a large glass baking dish, add the melon slices and pour all but ¼ of the syrup over the melon. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill for at least 1½ hours.
- Present melon on dessert plates garnished with mint leaves and edible flowers and an additional drizzle of the syrup. Add a scoop of sorbet to each dish and sprinkle all with the lime zest. Serve immediately.