Saturday, 21 December 2013

Extreme Refreshment

Miramar Semillon 2012

Sniffling and coughing away as I write this note, at least it will remind me of the aroma and taste of wine. No one likes a cold, but in the summer heat and being unable to taste properly I really hate it. The upshot is the chance to write up some jottings, of which this is one.

This is a wine for the hot weather, lovely and bright with great refreshment. This is also reflected in the pale brilliant colour. Nose of lemon, herbs and some tropical guava hints, even a grassy touch. This follows through on the palate with superb balance. There's more lemon zest on the front with grassy green, followed by the waft of tropical fruit and lemon grass. It's all nice and restrained and with underlying acid and minerality, has nice length and balance. There is even at this early stage a whiff of honey/lemon lolly peeking out, so you can expect this to age with elegance and interest.

It seems the winemaker is deft as ever, really approachable and easy to enjoy with hidden depths. 11.5% alcohol is also a big plus in the warm weather. 91 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Sweet In The Evening

Strawberry Lemon Brulee Tart

I thought it looked rather alright, despite the rustic photo!
I cannot lay claim to being an experienced or even competent pastry cook, so this recipe was somewhat of a leap for me.  It is rather easy to follow a recipe or create a dish where technique and process are familiar despite difference of ingredients or style, but then of course we would never get better or try new things in the kitchen.  This would be rather sad and the pleasure of new food, success and achievement would be missed.

It was decided I would attempt a sweet pastry dessert, recipes were perused examined and discarded; it's hard to decide what to make you know and always advisable to get a sense of the prevailing taste of your audience.  Chocolate, baked ricotta and fruit tart were considered, but in the end you just can't go past a Creme anglaise right!?  The recipe used appealed because I'm not the sweetest of palates and I like the lemon playing off the richness of the custard.  The strawberries were my own addition to the recipe I used, courtesy of sbs and Matthew Evans.

The recipe is available from the link, so I will detail my slight alterations and observations, rather than the whole.  The first of these being that I should have started earlier as I had the most interrupted afternoon!  Aside from this:

I topped with strawberries.  A 100g almond meal substitution was made in place of flour to the base, I always love the texture and flavour this gives.  A little vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon were added to the custard, as it's such a lovely accent with the strawberries.  The berries were also added after removal from the oven then grilled with icing sugar, I simply must buy that blow torch! 

For a first go I'm pretty pleased and I hope those who tried it were too.  I must also say thank you to my friend Catherine, for her sweet inspiration.

Close up on the plate...