Pairings | Cake

What to drink with cake

What to drink with cake

A recent email from a reader asked me to suggest a wine to go with “a triple coconut cake with a tangy pineapple icing served with fresh fruit salsa that has kiwi, strawberry, madarine oranges, blueberries and fresh pineapple in it”. Quite a challenge (I suggested demi-sec Champagne or a peach-flavoured liqueur topped up with fizz) but it got me thinking that there are many possible matches for cake beyond a cup of tea or coffee, particularly if you're serving it as a dessert.

Claire Clark's Austrian Coffee Cake

Claire Clark's Austrian Coffee Cake

The cover recipe from pastry chef Claire Clark's gorgeous new book 80 Cakes from around the World, photographed by the equally talented Jean Cazals.

A Spring Scandinavian Supper for 8

A Spring Scandinavian Supper for 8

Now that we're firmly into spring here's a menu to celebrate from Danish cookery writer Trine Hahnemann introduced by her Scandi compatriot food writer and blogger Signe Johansen

The 4 best wine pairings for a classic Pancake Day pancake

The 4 best wine pairings for a classic Pancake Day pancake

If you live in the UK and are enjoying pancakes today it’s most likely the classic kind, simply topped with lemon juice and a sprinkling of crunchy sugar. But what to drink with them?

Upside-down blueberry and elderflower cake

Upside-down blueberry and elderflower cake

If you're thinking of celebrating Midsummer Day this weekend here’s a fabulous pudding cake from my friend Scandinavian food writer, Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious Baking.

Baked apples with porter cake crumbs and whiskey custard

Baked apples with porter cake crumbs and whiskey custard

A perfect, simple, but indulgent winter pudding from Trish Deseine's lovely new book about Irish cooking, Home. "Truly unbeatable when made with thick Irish cream, farmyard eggs and a dash of Bushmills."

Orlando Murrin's seed cake

Orlando Murrin's seed cake

If you're thinking of baking something for teatime today try this traditional English caraway seed cake from cookery writer Orlando Murrin.

Matcha cheesecake and shiso icecream with Smith Teamaker Astoriamaro ‘Digesteaf’

Matcha cheesecake and shiso icecream with Smith Teamaker Astoriamaro ‘Digesteaf’

It might seem perverse to pick a tea pairing as my match of the week after four days in wine country and one of the leading beer cities of the US but this combination was so unexpected and so brilliant I had to single it out.

Vidal icewine with feta and honey cheesecake

Vidal icewine with feta and honey cheesecake

It’s always satisfying when a challenging food and wine hit it off and both cheesecake and icewine undoubtedly present their problems.

Dark, sticky Christmas cake with prunes and Guinness

This delicious cake, which comes from my book An Appetite for Ale, is based on a recipe from one of Britain's best bakers Dan Lepard. Do use organic dried fruit in it - you’ll get a much better result.

Homemade Dundee cake and Midleton Very Rare whiskey

Homemade Dundee cake and Midleton Very Rare whiskey

What do you eat with a great bottle of Irish whiskey? Fruit cake might seem a bit frivolous to some and even brand you as, well . . . a bit of a fruitcake, but I can highly recommend it.

Margot Henderson’s Turkish Coffee Cake

Margot Henderson’s Turkish Coffee Cake

This is one of the recipes I go back to most often. Yes, it’s a cake but you can also serve it as a pudding. It comes from Margot Henderson’s* wonderful You’re All Invited which I strongly recommend you to buy.

What food to pair with coffee

What food to pair with coffee

For many people coffee is a regular companion to food whether it’s breakfast or that great German institution of kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) - only the amount of caffeine they might consume holding them back.

Simnel cake and Orange Pekoe tea

Simnel cake and Orange Pekoe tea

Simnel cake, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is the traditional British Easter cake (although at one time it was baked to celebrate Mother’s Day).

Apricot pancakes and apricot (or peach) beer

Apricot pancakes and apricot (or peach) beer

Pancakes and beer might not sound like the most obvious of combinations but as with other flour-based foods such as sandwiches or pies they work together remarkably well. Especially, as I discovered when I was writing my food and beer book An Appetite for Ale last year, fruit-filled pancakes and fruit beers.

Chocolate marmalade slump cake with Tokaji dessert wine

Chocolate marmalade slump cake with Tokaji dessert wine

As we have so much freshly made marmalade in the house I thought I’d make some kind of marmalade pudding as my contribution to the lunch we had with friends yesterday and settled on this chocolate marmalade slump cake from Lucas Hollweg’s marvellous Good Things to Eat.

Turkish coffee cake and espresso

Turkish coffee cake and espresso

I was casting around for a dessert to make for friends on Saturday when I remembered this fantastic coffee cake from chef Margot Henderson’s book You’re all Invited. I suppose it’s more of a mid-morning or tea-time treat but I sometimes prefer cake to a full-blown pudding at the end of a rich meal.

Olive oil vanilla and pistachio cake with Muscat de Rivesaltes

Olive oil vanilla and pistachio cake with Muscat de Rivesaltes

It was a tough call to single out the best pairing from my meal at Galoupet in Knightsbridge last week but as I haven't featured a dessert for a while this just shaded it.

Chocolate and chilli cheesecake and Merlot

Chocolate and chilli cheesecake and Merlot

You may be unconvinced about the wisdom of incorporating chilli into achocolate cheesecake, let alone accompanying it with Merlot but bear with me!

Espresso and Hazelnut Cake and Fairtrade Coffee

Espresso and Hazelnut Cake and Fairtrade Coffee

As you've probably noticed we're currently in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight. Encouragingly sales of Fairtrade produce and products were up 12% last year making sales in the UK worth £1.32bn in 2011, compared to £1.17bn in 2010, according to this recent piece in the Guardian.

Frozen milk chocolate and raspberry cake with Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui

Frozen milk chocolate and raspberry cake with Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui

One of the courses at the food and wine workshops I hosted for Irish wine importer Febvre at Drury Buildings in Dublin last week was a frozen milk chocolate and raspberry cake - well, sort of cake. More like a cross between a cake and a mousse.

Cherry, pistachio and coconut cake and Seifried 'Sweet Agnes' riesling

Cherry, pistachio and coconut cake and Seifried 'Sweet Agnes' riesling

Until last night I was confident what I was going to make my match of the week, this week - the unlikely but delicious combination of a Langhe Nebbiolo and Berkswell sheep’s cheese but last night I was blown away by this pairing.

Turkish coffee cake and Abanico Solera Gran Reserva Vi Dolc Natural

Turkish coffee cake and Abanico Solera Gran Reserva Vi Dolc Natural

One of the things I most enjoy doing when I get a new cookbook is flicking through sticking Post-it notes on the recipes I plan to cook and this recipe for Turkish coffee cake in Margot Henderson’s charming You’re all Invited really stood out.

Pear and chai cake and green jasmine tea

Pear and chai cake and green jasmine tea

I’ve been rediscovering tea pairing with food lately and this was a standout match at my local self-styled modern tearoom Lahloo Pantry in Bristol. It was a simple pound cake topped with spicy pears* cooked in chai syrup with the company's own green jasmine tea.

Savoury pancakes and sparkling cider

Savoury pancakes and sparkling cider

The English - and very delicious - way with pancakes is to serve them with granulated sugar and lemon (a dessert that pairs well with gently sparkling, sweet Asti or Moscato d’Asti). But an even better match is the French - or more specifically Breton - tradition of serving savoury pancakes with sparkling cider, a vastly underrated drink.

Rhubarb cheesecake and 2007 Peller Estates Cabernet Franc Ice Wine

Rhubarb cheesecake and 2007 Peller Estates Cabernet Franc Ice Wine

With four days in Edinburgh and three at the Ballymaloe Food & Drink Litfest in Co Cork this weekend I’ve been overwhelmed with good food and drink matches but as I haven’t singled out a dessert for a while I’m making Tom Kitchin’s Rhubarb cheesecake my hero dish this week.

Chocolate and almond cake with auslese riesling

Chocolate and almond cake with auslese riesling

I’ve never been wholly convinced that sweet white wines go with dark chocolate but have had to modify that view after a surprisingly successful pairing at my friends' this weekend.

Lemon and poppy seed cake with Tippy Yunan tea with ginger root

Lemon and poppy seed cake with Tippy Yunan tea with ginger root

There’s an improbably good tea shop and café near where I live which is as good as any I’ve been to. I say improbable not because it’s in Bristol but because it’s in a far-from-smart shopping parade in one of the less cultish areas of the city. It also has a brilliantly clever name - ATTIC - which stands for All The Tea In China.

Tipsy cake, roast pineapple and Chateau d’Yquem

Tipsy cake, roast pineapple and Chateau d’Yquem

Let’s face it, I don’t get to drink Chateau d’Yquem every day so what else could last week’s match of the week be than this stellar pairing I had at Dinner at Heston Blumenthal?

How to celebrate wassail at home

How to celebrate wassail at home

Even if you don’t go out wassailing over the next few days there’s no reason why you can’t throw an impromptu wassail party at home if you have an apple tree in your garden. Or even if you don’t . . .

Where - and how - to go wassailing (updated for 2015)

Where - and how - to go wassailing (updated for 2015)

With the growing popularity of cider there seem to be more and more 'wassailing' events at this time of year. But what does wassailing involve?

Is cider more food-friendly than wine?

Is cider more food-friendly than wine?

Susanna Forbes of Drink Britain reports on a vigorously fought contest over dinner at The Thatchers Arms near Colchester last month

What to drink with cherry desserts

What to drink with cherry desserts

Cherry is one of the fruit flavours most often found in wine and liqueurs so does that make them a good pairing for cherry desserts? It depends how intense the cherry flavour is.

On the road in the Pacific North West: Day 1

On the road in the Pacific North West: Day 1

For the next 10 days I’m going to be visiting the vineyards of Oregon and Washington State so the site will turn into more of a blog. Our first day yesterday included lunch at Chateau Ste Michelle, by far Washington’s largest wine producer.

15 Easter wine pairings to learn by heart

15 Easter wine pairings to learn by heart

As with my previous ‘learn by heart’ posts this is simply a quick way to remember great food and wine pairings at a busy time of year. There are of course other possibilities to which the links will guide you.

What food to pair with Vin Santo?

What food to pair with Vin Santo?

No visit to Tuscany is complete without a glass of Vin Santo or ‘holy wine’, a (usually) sweet wine that is served at the end of the meal, almost always with hard little ‘cantucci’ biscuits.

Which foods pair best with whisky?

Which foods pair best with whisky?

I’ve been a bit of a sceptic in the past about pairing food with whisky. Not that there aren’t some great combinations but I find it hard to sustain for more than one dish.

Shepherd Neame & Sigtuna 2014 Collector’s Edition Barley Wine

Shepherd Neame & Sigtuna 2014 Collector’s Edition Barley Wine

After the excesses of the Christmas period I always reckon January drinking should be about quality rather than quantity with a small sip of something strong and flavourful being infinitely preferable to several glasses of something weak and bland.

Chocolate brownie and Churchill Late Bottled Vintage Port

Chocolate brownie and Churchill Late Bottled Vintage Port

I was invited to host a food and wine evening by the Bristol Uni Wine Circle last week which I have to say, despite the vast quantities of food and drink consumed, they took impressively seriously.

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