When Alberto and I decided to team up for WBW #21 and IMBB #26, I had aspirations of doing a five- or six-course tasting menu with our favorite foods with our favorites wines.
As happens way too often for my liking, a hectic real life forced me to scale back severely. Instead of multiple wines and courses, I'm offering one wine with one dish. But, this combination more than makes up for the lack of quantity with quality.
Almost immediately upon announcing the event, I wanted Nena to pick the wine or wines we would pair with food. I should have known that when I asked her to pick at least one favorite wine that my small stash (two bottles) of Wolffer Estate 2003 Late Harvest Chardonnay was in danger.
Right I was...and now we're down to just one bottle. And just so you know, Nena, that bottle is not being opened for at least another five years. Got it?
On to the event and pairing.
Nena loves this wine with good reason, it is a rich, alluring gold in the glass, with intense aromas and flavors of peaches, apricots and burnt sugar. Succulent and sweet, it's balanced extremely well with acidity that makes me think this wine will age and improve for years to come. At one point, we had six or seven bottles of the stuff...and despite our best efforts, the stash has dwindled.
Personally, I enjoy this wine by itself...it's a delicious sipping wine after a meal or with cheese. But, that isn't the point of the Fabulous Favorites Festival...so, we tried something new -- Grilled Pound Cake with Grilled Peaches.
You can use store- or better yet bakery-bought cake for this, but making it yourself isn't hard at all.
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 cups butter at room temp.
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
12 lightly beaten eggs
1. Preheat your oven to 350 and spray two 8-inch loaf pans with cooking spray (or use butter or parchment paper)
2. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside
3. Cream the butter and sugar until very smooth and light (3 minutes or so). Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing until incorporated and smooth
4. Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture until just combined. Don't over-mix.
5. Fill the loaf pans 2/3 of the way and bake for about an hour until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean
6. Let the cakes cool completely before moving to the grill
I don't have any 'official' steps for the grilling portion of this recipe, but it's pretty simple.
Get your grill going and pre-heat it to medium-high. Slice the cake into thick slices and grill for about 4 minutes on each side -- enogh time to give you nice marks warm the cake through.
At the same time, cut the peaches in half, remove the pit and grill, cut side down for a similar length of time until lightly charred and softened (soft, but not mushy). Remove the peaches from the grill, squeeze with a little lime juice and slice into wedges.
To plate, lay a piece of the cake on a plate, add a few peach slices...and you can either do whipped cream or french vanilla ice cream.
Why this combination works is beyond obvious...peach flavors in both...acidity with richiness together...and the addition of vanila ice cream accentuates the burnt sugar flavors of the wine as well.