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A FRESH TAKE ON FESTIVE SWEETS WITH THE 2014 LEOPARD’S LEAP CULINARIA MUSCAT DE FRONTIGNAN

A FRESH TAKE ON FESTIVE SWEETS WITH THE 2014 LEOPARD’S LEAP CULINARIA MUSCAT DE FRONTIGNAN

The Leopard’s Leap’s Culinaria Collection celebrates the harmony of food and wine and never is it more fitting than for the festive season when many an hour goes into planning the ultimate festive meal.

The new vintage (2014) of Leopard’s Leap’s Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan is not only a delightful glassful on its own, but a very versatile companion to food – especially to some of the favourite festive ingredients such as caramelised fruit, sweet spice, pastry, berries, dried fruit, nuts, Gorgonzola cheese and chicken or duck liver, whether they come in the form of a terrine, pâté or parfait.

The Christmassy flavours of fruit cake – that intricate mix of fruit and spice – is perfect with the Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan. Try our recipe for Christmas cake lollies and serve the wine well-chilled in beautiful small glasses for a special festive dessert.

Muscat de Frontignan is a sweet wine made from muscat grapes – traditionally from the town Frontignan in the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region in Southern France. The initial syrupy and very sweet style popular with philosopher Voltaire and American president, Thomas Jefferson, later developed with new trends to be fresher and lighter.

The 2014 Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan was made by allowing the grapes 12-hour skin contact to ensure the beautiful pale salmon colour. The nose offers delicate whiffs of rose water and Turkish delight with a hint of lemon and litchi. The wine is sweet without being syrupy and offers an attractive freshness.

The 2014 Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan sells from the tasting room at R72.

 

Fruit-cake lollies dipped in white chocolate

INGREDIENTS

Makes 70 cake lollies (You can, of course, use the cake as a whole, but if you like our fun idea of doing lollies, this recipe makes 70. Dipped in chocolate, they keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. Without the chocolate, they will continue to ripen like normal fruit cake. Please keep in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out.)

Fruit mixture

  • 125 g dates, finely chopped
  • 50 g dried apricots, cut in quarters
  • 50 g raisins
  • 50 g sultanas
  • 25 g currants
  • 50 g candied citrus, finely chopped
  • 85 g ginger in syrup, drained and finely chopped
  • 250 g green fig in syrup, drained and chopped
  • 250 g glacé cherries
  • 60 ml Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan

Cake batter

  • 125 g butter, soft
  • 190 ml castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2.5 ml of vanilla essence
  • 250 ml cake-flour
  • 1.25 ml of salt
  • 250 g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 60 – 125 ml Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan
  • 300 g white chocolate
  • 70 lollipop sticks

METHOD

Mix the fruit in a mixing bowl and pour the Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan over the fruit. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to steep overnight.

Pre-heat oven to 180 °C. Line a deep cake-tin (28 cm in diameter) with four layers of baking paper.

In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and gradually add the sugar, then beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla essence. Add a teaspoon of cake-flour to the mixture if it looks curdled.

Sift together the flour and salt and mix into the butter mixture until smooth. Fold in the prepared fruit mixture and scrape the batter in the prepared cake tin. Place a double layer of baking paper on top of the cake. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

When cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the baking tin. Sprinkle half of the Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan over the cake.  Turn the cake onto a wire rack and sprinkle the bottom with the remaining half of the Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan. Allow the cake to cool completely.

When cooled, break off pieces of cake (roughly 20 g each), lightly press together and roll into a ball.

Melt white chocolate over a double boiler, then dip the lollipop sticks in the melted chocolate. Insert the sticks into the cake balls. Place the cake balls in the fridge to firm up – this makes it easier to dip.

Dip the cake lollies in the melted chocolate, swirling to get rid of drips, and place them sticks-up on a waxed paper or parchment-lined sheet. Place in the fridge and allow the chocolate to set.

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