Sunday, February 21, 2010

Angelica and Olive Oil Cake, a Cautionary Dessert Tale




Though I am not much of a drinker, I am rising to this month's challenge to pair dessert with wine. I combined a just barely sweet, gluten free olive oil cake with a very sweet dessert wine. It is my experiment for the joint event: SHF (Sugar High Friday)-WBW (Wine Blogging Wednesdays) Dessert-Wine Pairing Event!
The bottle was a 2004 Angelica from Pichetti , a sweet little local winery the family has loved for years. Made from the California Mission grape, the uncorked bottle of Angelica wafted scents of brown sugar and vanilla upon being opened.



Angelicas, as it turns out, are typically infused with brandy- (that explains it!) On the tongue, maple, pear and butterscotch pop up from the sweetness. With some concern, I followed through on my intent to pair it with lemon olive oil cake. Yep, lemon and maple- I'm was thinking not so much about that, but I went ahead anyway.

The lemon olive oil cake received my usual maverick approach, I blithely replaced the wheat flour with rice flour, in addition to skimping on the sugar, mixing 4 pastured eggs with one...uh...less so egg, and even screwing up the beating of the egg whites. I kept beating and beating them with sugar, waiting for them to peak and they...just...didn't...peak. I mean, they didn't peak, baby! I then realized I'd mistakenly gotten a little olive oil in with them. As I went on, I became more and more convinced that I was doomed to end up with a sucky, rice-flour spoiled cake that might not make it past the kitchen green waste.
What surprised me was that the high egg content of the cake seemed to compensate for the flour swap. It wasn't too "ricey," and it had a lovely mild sweetness that let the olive oil come through. I liked having the cake first, then sipping the wine. I even wondered about pouring the wine on the cake, but when I did, it was really wierd--like a war on my tongue. Other tasters really did like the Angelica directly on the cake. All I can tell you is pair with gustatory caution!

Your Tenderest Twosome, is being hosted by Jennifer, who writes the Domestic Goddess and founded the Sugar High Friday blogging event.
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