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A Guide to Matching Desserts and Wine
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A Guide to Matching Desserts and Wine

Matching desserts to alcohol can be a tricky business. But we’ve got the hot tips on what goes with what (and some delicious recipes you should try this winter). Put the word out to your loved ones – this weekend*-, dessert is on you.

Lemon and blueberry cheesecake slice

Making a cheesecake for your guests is always an impressive feat – but what if you made an extra special version with a tasty strudel topping? They’ll be talking about it for yonks! This make-ahead recipe would pair beautifully with a riesling; the light and fruity taste cutting through the creaminess of the cheesecake perfectly.

Try a bottle of Hans Baer Riesling 750mL.

Prep: 15 mins (+ cooling, 30 mins freezing and two hours chilling time)
Cooking: 50 mins

Ingredients:

250g butter, softened
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
2 cups (300g) plain flour
250g cream cheese, softened
395g can condensed milk
2 eggs
1 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
1 cup (150g) frozen blueberries

Strudel topping
80g butter, softened
⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
¾ cup (110g) plain flour

Method:

1. To make the strudel topping, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the flour and stir to combine. Shape the mixture into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 30 mins or until firm.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base and two long sides of a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan with baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.
3. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the flour and stir to combine. Press the mixture over the base of the prepared pan. Bake for 20 mins or until light golden.
4. Use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and condensed milk in a bowl until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon rind and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Add the blueberries and gently fold to combine. Pour over the base in the pan. Smooth the surface.
5. Use a grater to coarsely grate the strudel topping into a bowl. Sprinkle strudel evenly over the cream cheese mixture in the pan. Bake for 30 mins or until just set. Set aside in the pan to cool completely. Place in the fridge for two hours to chill. Cut into pieces.

Melting Moments with mixed berry filling

Melting Moments (or Yo-Yos) are an Australian childhood classic, but they also lend themselves very nicely to a grown-up, modern update. These refined Melting Moments have a refreshing mixed berry filling that adds a nice tanginess to the biscuit. Which wine pairs wonderfully with fruit? A bubbly glass of prosecco.

Try a bottle of Zilzie Prosecco 750mL.

Prep: 20 mins (+ cooling time)
Cooking: 15 mins

Ingredients:

125g butter, softened
¾ cup (110g) plain flour
¼ cup (40g) icing sugar mixture
¼ cup (35g) cornflour
1 tbs custard powder
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
Mixed berry filling
¼ cup frozen mixed berries
60g butter, softened
⅔ cup (110g) icing sugar mixture
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp finely grated lemon rind

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter in a bowl until very pale. Add the flour, icing sugar, cornflour, custard powder and lemon rind and stir until just combined.
2. Roll teaspoons of mixture into balls. Divide among the lined trays, three 3cm apart. Use a fork lightly dusted in cornflour to gently flatten each ball. Bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 10 mins or until light golden. Set aside on the trays to cool completely.
3. To make the mixed berry filling, cook berries in a small saucepan over low heat for two mins or until berries start to break down. Cook for a further two mins or until mixture thickens slightly. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard solids. Set aside to cool completely.
4. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter in a medium bowl until very pale. Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Add the berry puree, lemon juice and lemon rind and beat until well combined.
5. Spread the mixed berry filling over the flat side of half the biscuits. Sandwich with the remaining biscuits.

Curtis Stone's sweet potato churros with warm chocolate sauce

Winter is a great time for experimenting with warmer desserts. A matching sauce – be it butterscotch, caramel or, in this case, chocolate – is an instant way to liven up a dessert. This recipe takes an unconventional ingredient and a classic Mexican sweet, and gives it the cold weather treatment. Chocolate always pairs well with a red wine, perhaps a red blend like a cabernet.

Try a bottle of Pepperjack Premium Cut Cabernet Shiraz 750mL.

Prep: 20 mins (+ cooling time)
Cooking: 45 mins

Ingredients:

1 small (about 250g) gold sweet potato, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
90g unsalted butter
1¼ cups (185g) plain flour
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Chocolate sauce 1 cup (250mL) thickened cream
⅓ cup (75g) light brown sugar
1 tbs cocoa powder
85g dark chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

1. In a small saucepan, cover sweet potato with water. Bring to the boil. Cook for 15 mins or until tender. Drain and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for two mins or until pureed. (Alternatively, transfer sweet potato to a food processor and process until pureed.) Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium heavy saucepan, bring butter, one tsp sea salt flakes and ½ cup (125mL) water to the boil over medium heat. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon for one min or until a dough forms. Transfer to the clean bowl of the stand mixer and mix on medium speed for three mins or until cool.
3. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in ¾ cup of the sweet potato puree until just blended. Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a 12mm star nozzle. Meanwhile, to make the chocolate sauce, in a small saucepan, whisk cream, sugar, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt over medium-high heat for four mins or until simmering. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Keep warm over low heat.
4. Pour enough oil into a large deep saucepan to come halfway up the side. Heat oil to 175°C. Working in batches and holding bag at an angle so tip is close to the surface of oil, pipe 12cm lengths of dough into the oil, using a paring knife or kitchen scissors to cut off dough and carefully release into the oil. Cook for two to three mins each side or until golden all over. Transfer churros to a baking tray lined with paper towel.
5. In a large bowl, mix caster sugar and cinnamon. Toss warm churros in cinnamon sugar and serve with warm chocolate sauce.