Sunday, June 16, 2013

Neil Perry's Olive Oil and Sauternes Cake

I came into her room half an hour before the bridal dinner, and found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress — and as drunk as a monkey. She had a bottle of Sauterne in one hand and a letter in the other.
“’Gratulate me,” she muttered. “Never had a drink before, but oh how I do enjoy it.”
Chapter 4, The Great Gatsby,  F Scott Fitzgerald 

A couple of weekends ago, my family and I went on a day trip to Stanthorpe in Queensland. Stanthorpe is a rich fruit and wine area, so we were looking forward to a day of great eating (which indeed transpired).

At the cafe where we ate lunch, they sold a wide variety of locally made alcohol. I bought a bottle of Sauternes, a sweet dessert wine, having confused it with Calvados, an apple brandy, because of the apple on the label. I was a little disappointed when I discovered my mistake, as I had wanted to cook with Calvados. However, a trusty Google search later, I found that there were plenty of recipes using Sauternes as a component. We were back in business.

The recipe that particularly caught my eye was a one for Olive Oil and Sauternes Cake by Neil Perry, a famous Australian chef.  He served his cake with roasted pears, but as I did not have any pears, I made the cake by itself.  It is a plain but moist affair, and I can see why it would be a perfect vehicle for roasted fruit and syrup or poached fruit, as it would soak it up like a good bread with pasta sauce or rice with a curry.

Despite the non-obstrusive nature of this cake, it was popular at work and was gone in a flash.  The next day, a lovely girl whom I don't know ( but who clearly knows who I am!) complimented me on that cake.  I love getting feedback, so I was very pleased that this cake was a quiet achiever.

Have a great week.