I have to admit that photography has gotten a little easier since the tripod came my way. But I have also managed to put together a sort of light box, following the instructions I found on wikihow. I fully recommend you all try this, if, like me, your house is plagued by very yellow or dim lighting. It is very cheap to make and also sort of fun, and two desk lamps with cool daylight bulbs for the light source can be pretty inexpensive also. It can really help you if you want to get that white light and white background effect. But also I would recommend doing a light hunt in your house, trying to find where the softest and whitest light comes in. I discovered my upstairs bathroom and the small bit of corridor outside it have beautiful light. I have been practising taking photos there on my stomach, a chilly venture on the tiles I tell you! But if, like me, you can’t afford expensive photography equipment I do recommend the light box trips to trash and treasure places in search of old tripods, some white tissue paper or linen and some cheap desk lamps with cool daylight bulbs. It took me quite some time to work out how lighting can really help the appearance of your dish. It’s not cheating to bathe something in cool light, it makes it look soft and delicious and is less offensive to your eyes than orange or yellow light. Besides, if you also have trouble with a real lack of lighting a light box can be just the ticket to get around those shadows that are taking the oomph out of your dish.
It really helped me this time around because by the time I has finished my coconut rice pudding and prepared it in some glasses the clouds had stolen my pretty lighting away. I hunted all around the house, but the darkness had well and truly descended. I was lucky to be able to pop my rice pudding straight into my light box and snap a picture of it that way.But I tell you, it was hard to stop scraping the leftovers out of the saucepan so that I could set up my photo. I honestly didn’t expect the coconut milk to work as well as cream does in rice pudding. But I actually prefer the coconut milk because the arborio rice drank it up much faster and it gave the dish a far more wholesome taste. I might try a little coconut cream next time just to see how that goes down, but I think that the coconut milk worked perfectly well. It mixes very well with vanilla and white sugar, something I know from making cream alternatives. But no single flavour dominates this dish. It’s all a mesh of complimentary flavours. It also makes small, but decently sized portions, and would work well as a sort of after dinner treat with fresh fruit on top.
Coconut Rice Pudding
Serves: 4, Prep: 5 mins, Cook: up to 20 mins
- 800ml coconut milk, full fat
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1.5 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp white sugar
- OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup raisins
- OPTIONAL: Cinnamon, fresh fruit or toasted coconut flakes as topping
- Put the rice and coconut milk in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
- Reduce the heat, add the sugar and vanilla extract, and simmer while stirring.
- Once the grains of rice have become swollen and soft the rice pudding is ready. If you are using the raisins then add them now.
- Serve hot, topped with toasted coconut flakes, or serve chilled, topped with ground cinnamon.