Home' Greymouth Star : December 19th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, December 19, 2014
haring food and wine delights
with family and friends is
what Christmas is all about.
And what is a festive feast
without a dessert that destroys
the resolve of even the most
calorie conscious among us?
The versatile pavlova will feature on many
New Zealand Christmas menus and is still
one of our most popular desserts. The base
can be topped with whipped cream, custard,
ice-cream or lemon curd and served
garnished with fresh fruit, Christmas
fruit mincemeat, chopped ginger and/or
chocolate, nuts, or drizzled with fruit purees
or chocolate or caramel sauce.
Cheesecake is a ‘special event ’ dessert
that can be prepared ahead and some
variations can be frozen. Light cream
cheeses plus lower fat ricotta cheese has
helped to improve the image. Thin slivers of
cheesecake can be served with a fruit coulis
providing a modern, light look.
Tr i fl e is the classic dessert that has graced
British tables for centuries and was even
vouched for by Charles Dickens. It is quick
and easy to prepare. Cut about 300g of
trifle sponge into thin fingers. Place half in
the base of eight, squat drinking glasses or
a large bowl. Sprinkle with about a half cup
of orange juice or sherry. Top with a cup
of custard and a cup of sliced strawberries.
Repeat the layers and top with whipped
cream. This temptation is best prepared a
day ahead and refrigerated.
Christmas mincemeat is one of my
summer standbys. It is great thinned with
a little orange or pineapple juice, heated
and poured over ice cream, steamed pud
or barbecued bananas then topped with
Feast on Christmas — and enjoy.
This pavlova-like mixture is rolled around
a filling of Christmas mincemeat and
whipped cream. It can be frozen for up to
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon each: vanilla essence, white
1 tablespoon each: dark cocoa powder,
3⁄4 cup cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
3⁄4 cup fruit mincemeat
extra icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 180degC. Lightly
grease and line a 24cm x 30cm sponge roll
tray with baking paper.
Beat the egg whites, until stiff. Gradually
add the sugar, beating well, until all the
sugar is dissolved. Fold in the vanilla
essence, vinegar, cocoa powder and
Spread the mixture evenly into the sponge
roll tray. Bake for 15 minutes, until set.
Sprinkle a piece of baking paper with
extra icing sugar. When the meringue log is
cooked, turn onto the paper. Cool.
Whip the cream and the 2 tablespoons of
icing sugar together, until stiff. Fold in fruit
mincemeat. Spread over the meringue and
roll up from a long edge, using the edge
of the paper to help. Use a long spatula to
place the roll onto a serving dish. D ust with
the extra icing sugar and ser ve with fresh
berries. Ser ves 6-8 .
Chocolate crusted raspberr y
2 packets chocolate thins
200g butter, melted
500g cream cheese
250g ricotta cheese
1 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon gelatine dissolved in
1⁄4 cup boiling water
2 cups cream, whipped
21⁄2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
Finely crush the biscuits in a food
processor. Mix with the melted butter. Press
onto the base and sides of a 23cm cake pan.
Refrigerate until firm.
Beat the cream cheese, ricotta and
caster sugar together. Stir in the dissolved
gelatine. Fold in the cream. Lightly fold
2 cups of raspberries through the mixture
and pour onto the biscuit base. Refrigerate,
Top with the remaining raspberries before
serving. Serves 12.
Cherries Jubilee was created by French
chef August Escoffier in honour of Queen
Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
50g unsalted butter
1⁄4 cup caster sugar
2 thinly sliced pieces orange peel (no pith)
500g dark cherries, pitted
1⁄4 cup kirsch
Melt the butter over medium heat in a
large frying pan or chafing pan. Add the
caster sugar and orange peel and stir a little
to dissolve the sugar. Add the cherries.
Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Add the kirsch,
and carefully ignite. Cook until the flame is
Great served warm over vanilla ice cream,
pavlova, cheesecake or Christmas pudding.
Ser ves 6.
Ginger Christmas pud
This light fruit pudding can be made one
day ahead. Reheat in the microwave or
75g butter, softened
11⁄4 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon each: baking powder, ground
1⁄2 teaspoon each: salt, baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon each: ground cloves, nutmeg
2⁄3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1⁄2 cup each: orange marmalade, dried
1⁄4 cup molasses or treacle
Spray the inside of a 6-8-cup pudding
basin, Bundt pan or similar with oil. Then
rub with a teaspoon of the butter.
Sift the flour and remaining dry
ingredients — except the sugar — into a
Beat the sugar and butter in large bowl
— preferably with an electric beater —
until well mixed. Beat in the eggs, one at a
time. Add the marmalade, mixed fruit and
molasses and mix, until smooth. Add the
flour mixture and mix until just blended.
Pour into the prepared pudding basin or
pan. Cover tightly with foil.
Place the basin on a rack in a large
saucepan. Add hot water to halfway up the
sides of the basin. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Cover and steam the pudding until a thin
skewer inserted near the centre comes out
clean, about 11⁄4 hours. D uring cooking, add
more boiling water if needed to maintain
Carefully remove the basin from the
saucepan. Uncover and stand for 10
minutes. Run the tip of a knife around the
top of pudding and the basin to loosen then
turn onto a serving plate.
Excellent ser ved with brandy sauce or
custard and lashings of whipped cream.
Ser ves about 8.
t does not have to be Champagne.
There are hundreds of good New
Zealand sparkling wines. Now is the
time of celebration, and sparkling
wine is the essential lubricant to
make that happen.
So let ’s see what is out there — French,
Spanish, Italian, Australian and New Zealand
— Dry, Medium, Sweet, White, Rose, Red;
14% — 8%, $7 to $200. What do you want?
Other people buy Lindauer; it is the
biggest seller in New Zealand. The best is the
Lindauer Rose for as little as $9. There are
heaps in the $10 to $15 range from Brancott
Estate and Jacobs Creek and others. ‘Brut ’
means the wine is dry and is made from
Pinot Noir grapes with skins discarded, and
Chardonnay grapes same as the original
Champagne method. It should have a bright
acidity and light fruit flavour and a hint of
yeast with lots of bubbles.
Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc is a New
Zealand development and it is fruity and
dryish. Sparkling Pinot Gris is usually
sweeter and fruity, as is ‘Fraise’ and ‘Summer’.
A new development is the arrival of low-
alcohol sparkling wines at 9%, two-thirds
less alcohol. The best are Selaks Breeze
Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, Crawford First
Pick Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc and Brancott
You are paying $18 to $35 for quality and
look for Deutz, Q uartz Reef, Daniel Le Brun,
Hunters Mirumiru Nautilus, Number 1, Huia.
More than $50 and you are into the French
Champagne, with two best deals the same as
last year, Lanson $55 and Lanvin $52 rising
up to $200 with many famous brands on the
way; try Billecart Salmon. Two good cheaper
French non-Champagnes are Pol Remy and
The Italian pop bubbly is ‘Asti Spumante’
with Gancia Asti the best and Riccadonna
Asti readily available. This style is medium,
with musk orange flavours. Bernadino is
a good New Zealand copy but the best is
Soljans Sparkling Muscat $15. ‘Prosecco’ and
‘Lambrusco’ are two other lighter Italian styles
of low sparkling wines worth a try.
The Spanish have their dry ‘Cava’ available
with Freixenet Cordon Negro Cava the
biggest selling bubbly in the world.
Australia has interesting red bubblies,
look for Seppelts Sparkling Shiraz, Bin 555
Sparkling Shiraz or Brown Brothers Cienna.
Drink your sparkler from a tall wine glass
flute or tall tulip glass so you see the tiny
bubbles forming and rising in a bead up to the
surface and spreading as a fine mousse.
Bottles of wine and spirits make great
presents. Remember to think about what the
person might like not just what you like to
The best whisky is a Single Malt Scotch, the
best brandy is Cognac, the best rum is Havana
Club Anejo 7yr. Rum, Vodkas and Gins are a
minefield — just go off the price. The serious
wine drinker needs Michael Cooper’s Buyers
guide to New Zealand Wines and anyone
travelling or holidaying in a wine region
needs the Cuisine Wine Country 2015 ($20),
a magazine format guide to 250 wineries
including restaurants, cafes and farmers
Air New Zealand is finally ser ving a New
Zealand craft beer when the trolley comes
around with drinks and awful coffee. Moa
Brewery of Marlborough have made it
through tough new regulations that specified
beer in cans not bottles. Aren’t the wines in
those dangerous bottles? So the Moa Pale
Ale comes in an aluminium can shaped like
a bottle at 330ml. You may have to ask for
it, the staff do not seem to be promoting
it much. They should be proud to offer a
distinctive craft ale.
Sparkling Cassis — Into a tall wine glass
place an iceblock, 15ml blackcurrant liqueur,
shot of brandy and top with cold sparkling
Health warning on a bottle of wine — The
consumption of this wine might cause you to
think you can sing.
treats Christmas chocolate roulade.
Your time to sparkle and relax
Cobra Premium Beer — Glistening
golden colour, good persistent
sparkling bead, enticing caramel malt
aromas and then the taste with a fine
blend of malted barley and wheat
combined with a gentle hop bite. This
is an Indian beer made under licence
in Burton-on -Trent, the home of
famous British beers. An excellent
international lager. 660ml. 4.8%. $7.
White wine choice
Jules Taylor Rose 2013 — Bright
pink wine perfect for summer, made
from Gisborne merlot grapes that
were fermented with skins until there
was enough colour, then had skins
removed. Delicate berry and spice
flavours with gentle acidity. Drink
now do not wait. Dry. $19.
Red wine choice
Saint Clair Pinot Noir 2013 —
Classic Marlborough pinot with
intense aromas and flavours of cherries
and plums with a lovely medium
bodied mouthfeel balanced with
fine acidity and tannins. Saint Clair
produce about 12 different pinot noirs
from different vineyards and this is
their best blend. Drink now till 2018.
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