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What's Cooking? - Posted January 29, 2016 11:12 a.m.
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Photo by Shannon Richardson Recipes courtesy of McKay Anderson

Sweet Bubbly

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Most people are familiar with standard pairings of meals and wine – white wine with lighter entrees like fish, red with richer meats – but what about after the meal? Coffee is always a popular post-meal dessert partner, but don’t discount the bubbly. While champagne can often be an expensive choice, more affordable sparkling wines like Prosecco or Moscato also work well with desserts. McKay Anderson of the recently opened Taste Dessert Bar suggests a few of her favorite after-dinner drink pairings with sweet and savory dishes.

Photos by Shannon Richardson
Recipes courtesy of McKay Anderson, Taste Dessert Bar


Strawberry Wheat Scones with Chocolate Ganache
¾ cup cold buttermilk
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Zest from 1 lemon
1 large egg
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled butter (must be cold), cut into small pieces
8 large strawberries, cut into small pieces
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
Vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees; spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Combine buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, zest and egg in medium bowl. Whisk until combined. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in chilled butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add strawberry pieces, and then add milk mixture until well combined. Place dough onto floured surface and knead lightly four or five times with floured hands. Form dough into a circle on baking sheet. Brush egg white onto top of dough and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Cut into eight triangle-shaped pieces and bake for 20 minutes. While scones are baking, melt chocolate chips in small saucepan with heavy cream. Add splash of vanilla and stir well until melted. Once scones are golden brown, drizzle chocolate mixture on top. Pair with Valdo Prosecco.

Makes 8 servings


Moscato Poached Pears
1 bottle Moscato
1 cup water
½ cup honey
Pinch cinnamon
6 pears, peeled

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. From time to time spoon liquid mixture onto pears. Pair with Bulletin Place Moscato.

Makes 6 servings


Puff Pastry Baked Brie
1 ½ sticks cold, unsalted butter
½ cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces Brie

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, water, salt and flour in food processor and pulse until combined and dough begins to clump. On floured surface, roll dough into small square. Place Brie on dough and wrap it (like a present). Flip over so seams are not showing. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with fruit puree or caramel. Pair with Gruet Demi Sec.

Make 8 to 10 servings


About the Wine
Gruet Demi Sec is a semi-dry sparkling dessert wine from the historical Gruet Winery in New Mexico.

Bulletin Place Moscato, from Australia, is a refreshing light bubbly with well-balanced sweetness to accompany its fruit flavors.

Valdo Prosecco is an Italian sparkling white wine, known for a fruity flavor and fragrance.

Meet the Cook: McKay Anderson of Taste Dessert Bar

Fittingly, McKay and Sean Anderson, owners of Taste Dessert Bar, met in a bar in Denver, Colo. Neither was in the restaurant business at the time. A Baylor graduate, McKay worked as the human resources and recruiting manager for an accounting firm. Sean served on the administrative side of a nursing home company. But both discovered they shared a related passion.
“I’ve always wanted to have my own business and I’ve always loved baking,” McKay says. Her corporate job left her in need of a creative outlet, so she began baking in her free time. When friends offered to pay her to bake for them, she opened a cupcake business out of her home in Denver.
Meanwhile, Sean had grown up in the restaurant industry and bartended his way through college at the University of Northern Iowa. “He always wanted to have a restaurant,” she says. “His favorite thing was the mixology side of bartending. I loved baking. So we decided to marry the two.”
An Amarillo native – her family owns the Mays Group, which owns and operates Wolflin Square and other real estate ventures – McKay and Sean married in 2014 and opened Taste Dessert Bar at the shopping center’s prime end-cap in the fall. She describes Taste as an “oasis of positivity where people can come relax,” complete with a full bar and an extensive dessert menu.
“My mom always said she wished there was somewhere to go get dessert after the ballet or the symphony,” McKay says. “We got to thinking there was definitely a hole there. We thought we would tap into that niche and create our own.” Though Taste offers to-go orders, it’s more of an after-dinner lounge than a bakery. “I’m the kitchen aspect. Sean’s the bar aspect.”
In this issue, McKay shares a few of their favorite dessert-and-drink pairings. The strawberry wheat scones match well with a Valdo Prosecco. “It’s a really easy-to-drink bubbly,” she says of the sparkling Italian white wine. When pairing drinks with food, she prefers working with similar tastes – fruit with fruit – or complete opposites, such as combining a dry taste with something sweet. “Everybody loves strawberries with chocolate,” says McKay. “The light sweetness goes really well with the prosecco. It makes really good mimosas, too.”
The moscato-poached pears are made using Australia’s Bulletin Place Moscato. “Not everyone knows moscatos,” she says. “It starts out sweet and ends up dry. They’re not champagne, but they are bubbly and sweeter than a Riesling, with a lot of floral aromas.” The fruit bed brings out that floral taste, and the lingering dryness of the wine acts as a palate cleanser.
As for the puff pastry, she suggests pairing it with Gruet Demi Sec, a delicate sparkling wine with a subtle fruit flavor. “Everybody loves Brie. It’s such a great cheese, and the butter of the Brie cuts really nicely with the light body of that demi sec,” she says.

by Jason Boyett

Jason has written more than a dozen books and is the host and creator of “Hey Amarillo”, a local interview podcast. Visit heyamarillo.com and jasonboyett.com.
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