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This combines the best of 3 things: a light cake, fresh fruit & BBQ. Be sure to watch the angel food cake very carefully while it is on the BBQ. Take your eyes away for a second & it could burn…especially when it is coated with maple syrup!
Grilled Angel Food Cake with Fresh Fruit Salsa
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries - diced
2 golden delicious apples peeled - dice finely
2 kiwi – peeled & diced finely
1 cup raspberries – fresh or frozen
1 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar (or omit & add more brown sugar)
2 Tbsp raspberry jam (or Farm Boy Fig Jam is also good)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
Mix in a bowl & chill until serving.
This is a great fruit mixture to top a bowl of yogurt, pound cake, ice cream…you name it!
How to Grill the Angel Food Cake
- Heat BBQ on medium high.
- With an already prepared Angel Food Cake, cut cake 6 or 8 slices, brush very liberally with real maple syrup.
- Place on a hot BBQ until toasted – the sugar starts to caramelize and you get attractive grill marks (done when it looks like a campfire marshmallow -- not the ones that catch fire!).
- Serve on a plate topped with a spoonful of fruit salsa and whipping cream (Tip: infused the whipping cream with lavender sugar or a splash of Tia Maria liqueur).
- Garnish with a sprig of mint or slice of orange
- Be ready for oohs and ahhhs!
What bottle of wine to uncork?
With the fresh fruit and light cake, you have many wine pairing options! Try a bottle of red icewine (made with Cabernet Franc grapes), Sparkling Shiraz or take a dry approach by serving a glass of sparkling white like Moscato d’Asti made in Italy.
Voila! Your BBQ'd dessert is ready to eat.
One of our Savvy Selections wine of the month subscribers invited me to dinner & served this dessert. It is OMG delicious! And while he fessed up that he doesn’t usually make desserts, this recipe is no sweat at all. His tip - be watchful that the pie pastry doesn’t brown too quickly.
Quick Apple Tart
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
3 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, very thinly sliced
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp white sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon (or so) of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup apricot jam, melted
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold pastry on parchment paper (do not skip this step!)
- Using the tines of fork, pierce 1/2-inch border around edge of pastry, then pierce center all over
- Arrange apples atop pastry in 4 rows, overlapping apple slices and leaving border clear.
- Brush apples with melted butter; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 30 minutes.
- Brush melted jam over apples. Put the tart back into the oven until golden, about 8 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.
What bottle of wine to uncork?
When you pair a dessert with a wine, the rule of thumb is to select a wine that is sweeter than the dessert. Nothing goes better with an apple dessert than Ontario ice wine. Chill a glass of icewine made with Vidal or Riesling or even Gewürztraminer and you have a heavenly match. See our list of suggested Ice wines
These are my favorite spiced nuts and I’ve been asked for the recipe more times than I can count! I honestly think the secret ingredient is the rosemary—there is lots of it and it is sharp yet fragrant.
Ingredients (this recipe makes 5 cups)
5 cups mixed raw nuts (I like almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine and spread them out on a rimmed cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until they become light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
- In the large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Thoroughly toss the warm toasted nuts with the spiced butter.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
What bottle of wine to uncork?
Quite simply a bottle of port of course. Whether you prefer a Ruby, Tawny, Late Bottle Vintage or Single Quinta port, there are so many to choose from that you can spend all fall & winter learning about the world of port.
Be Savvy! A quick guide of Ports
The history of Port is closely linked to Portugal’s trading relationship with England. Port was introduced to the rest of the world by the British, as they searched for an alternative to French wines during the unrest of the late 17th century.
Most of the Port Houses are based inVila Nova de Gaiain, Oporto. The vineyards are carved into the mountainside north of Oporto along the River Duoro that meanders across the north of Portugal before it heads to meet the Atlantic Ocean in the city of Oporto.
The winemaking process results in many different styles including:
Made with white grapes, white port can range from off-dry to sweet.
These Ports have retained their deep red colour.
Ruby - Young, refreshing port matured in large casks 2-3 years, ready for immediate enjoyment.
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) – This is made in a specific year (vintage), aged in casks 4-6 years before being bottled. LBVs can be enjoyed soon after purchasing & will keep several weeks after opening.
Single Quinta Port – ‘Quinta’ is Portuguese for an estate or vineyard, and is roughly equivalent to in wine terms, a French ‘Château’. A Quinta may (or may not) have an elaborate house on the property. ASingleQuintaPort is from grapes grown in the best vineyard. This style matures earlier thanVintagePort.
Vintage Port - Only produced in exceptional years, & declared a Vintage year by the Port Wine Institute. This wine spends 2-3 years in barrels, then ages in the bottles for 20+ years.
By increasing the wine’s contact with air and wood over time, Tawny matures more rapidly than Ruby & transforms into a delicate orange hued colour & smoother flavour.
Aged Tawny - blends of various harvests, the average age is indicated on the label as “10 year old Tawny” or “20 year old Tawny”.
Colheita – the Portuguese word for ‘harvest’ or ‘vintage’. This port is made from a single vintage (specific year) & is aged in barrels for a minimum of 7 years.
This is the last week in our ABCD blogs where A is for Australian wines, B is for BBQ recipes, C is for Chilean wines and D…well it is for Desserts of all kinds. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, we have a treat to serve after every meal.
For starters…Chocolate. Honestly, who doesn’t like chocolate? Here is a favorite (and easy dessert) from Savvy Sommelier Patti who always gets rave reviews when she makes this dessert.
Bittersweet Chocolate Terrine
From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Patti Petty
14oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. Unsweetened cocoa
5 tbsp. strong espresso coffee
2 tbsp. brandy
6 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream chilled
- One loaf pan, 8½” x 4½” x 3”, greased and lined with baking parchment
- Heat oven to 325 degrees
- Put the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl with the cocoa and coffee. Set over a pan of barely simmering water and melt gently, stirring frequently. Remove the bowl from the heat, stir in the brandy and let cool.
- Meanwhile put the eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until frothy. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and very thick.
- In another bowl, whip the cream until it holds a soft peak.
- Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs. When combined, fold the whipped cream in.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, then stand the pan in a bain-marie.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 325 for about 1 hour to 1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the center of the mixture comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, let cool in the bain-marie for about 45 minutes, then lift the pan out of the bain-marie and leave until completely cold.
- Chill overnight then turn out. Serve dusted with confectioner’ sugar or alternately prepare a bittersweet chocolate ganache and smooth over entire surface.
- Store, well wrapped in refrigerator.
What bottle of wine to uncork?
As the food & wine pairing tip says on the business card of Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm – “A rich, dark chocolate cake & a big, bold red wine - a heavenly match.” Serve a California Zinfandel or velvety Chilean Carmenere or a jammy Cabernet Franc from British Columbia or Ontario. If you rather a sweet wine with chocolate, then a tawny port or a Hungarian specality - Tokai - would definitely fit the bill.
Does the menu come first or selecting the wine? I am often asked this question. Hard to say as there is no real rule. My interest in wine stems from my love to cook, so more often than not, for me, the food comes first. In my blog postings, you can count on me to share my favorite recipes and provide suggestions of wine pairings. At any time, feel free to send me an email with a recipe that you would like a wine suggestion.
Let's get started!
When the Savvy team got together to chose the wine selection for a wine tasting to feature Natalie MacLean & her new book, Red, White & Drunk All Over, I took one sip of the Katnook Founder's Block Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia ($18 at LCBO) and I knew that I had the perfect beef recipe to pair with this big bold wine. Enjoy!
Beef Tenderloin with Port, Mushroom & Stilton Sauce
¼ cup butter
½ tsp. coarsely ground pepper
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
2-3 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
1 tbsp butter
4 oz. crumbled Stilton cheese
1 cup beef broth
¼ cup Maderia wine
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup green onions
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a skillet melt ¼ cup butter until sizzling; stir in pepper and garlic. Place tenderloin in skillet. Cook over medium high heat until browned on all sides (7 – 9 minutes). Remove from pan; reserve pan juices and browned particles in skillet. Line a 13 x 9” baking pan with foil; place tenderloin in pan. Bake 35 – 50 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 160 F (medium). Remove from oven and let rest, tented for 5 – 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp. butter in same skillet with reserved pan juices and browned particles until sizzling; stir in blue cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted (4 – 5 minutes). Stir in beef broth and wine; add mushrooms. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are tender. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients. Serve over carved tenderloin.