Monday, March 7, 2011

Banana, Strawberry, and Custard Twinkie Colossus paired with 2003 Chateau de Myrat Sauternes

Twinkie Cake with 2003 Chateau de Myrat-2
Our French friends are rolling their eyes while exclaiming “comment cela peut-être?”  Yes, this is a fine French desert wine paired with twinkies (albeit twinkies dressed in a tux).  This pairing, which turned out to be spectacular, resulted from some joking that went too far. 
Golf Buddy Steve and Formerly Dawn of Austin invited Chef Sue and I over for drinks.  Over the course of the week, the invite expanded from drinks to dinner.  Chef Sue asked what she could bring and the response was “desert.”  Probing a little further, we asked if there was anything in particular they enjoyed.  Response; “Twinkie.”  This back and forth was carried on entirely via texting, and likely contributed to the response of “Twinkie.”  Chef Sue decided to run with the joke and quickly planned a deconstructed Twinkie desert.  At my urging, she discarded the original idea and went with a more literal approach – incorporating twinkies into the dish.
So, on we go with the post mortem.
The Food
Chef Sue decided on a simple yet effective approach to the twinkie.  I will not be providing a recipe because I am confident you could (if desired) replicate this desert based on the following description.  Chef Sue’s concept was to use Twinkies sliced lengthwise (1/2 base, and 1/2 top) to form a shell in spring form pan.  The shell was then alternately layered with custard, bananas, fresh sliced strawberries, topped with whipped cream (made in domain of Chef Sue of course) and garnished with another layer of strawberries.
Twinkie Cake
The challenge with this recipe is making the twinkie halves stand up while the layers are built.  Chef Sue conquered this challenge by some crafty use of toothpicks.  Remember to remove these once the twinkies are adequately supported – wood is not part of the recipe.
Twinkie Cake-1
The custard serves not only the purpose of creamy goodness, but also as the mortar holding this masterpiece together.  And of course, the strawberries are a great flavor that pairs nicely with wine, but also adds some beautiful color and texture.  Once constructed, the twinkie castle heads to the fridge for a couple of hours to meditate and gain a sense of self as cohesive whole.
Twinkie Cake-2
In combination, the twinkie fades into a minor role and does an adequate job of forming a “crust.”  The balance of flavors are a wonderful blend of bright strawberry contrasting with the mellow sweet tones of banana, custard, twinkie cream, and whipped cream.
The Wine
I was unable to find a wine maker’s tasting notes for the 2003 Chateau De Myrat Sauternes.  This is a very well respected and appreciated vintage with plenty of commentary on the web with ratings consistently at 90+.  Rather than comparing notes with others, I will give you our impressions directly.
Twinkie Cake with 2003 Chateau de Myrat
This wine is wonderfully sweet and fruity.  Like many desert wines, it is viscous and intense.  Aromas included apricot, pineapple, and a hint of caramel.  The flavors are complex including strong fruit, apricot, citrus and nutmeg.
At $20, this wine is a great value and would go particularly well with any desert featuring fruit.
The Pairing
As much fun as we had with the idea and creation of a twinkie cake, the wine pairing was the most interesting.  Both Chef Sue and Formerly Dawn of Austin are not fans of desert wines.  And as one might expect, they grudgingly took their first sip of the wine which confirmed their aversion – too sweet!  But the magic happened when they followed their first nibble of the twinkie colossus with a sip of the 2003 Chateau De Myrat Sauternes. 
Twinkie Cake with 2003 Chateau de Myrat-3
In opposition to what you might be thinking, the twinkie cake as not overly sweet (no additional sweeteners were added to the fruit).  The wine added a level sweetness that completed the cake.  The prominent role of fruit in the 2003 Chateau De Myrat Sauternes seamed to enhance the strawberries and fruit in the twinkie cake.  And the hint of nutmeg we found in the wine tasting was further enhanced in the pairing which added a nice hint of spice to the combination.  Finally, the notes of caramel in the wine blended perfectly with the custard.  Overall, this was a surprise win.
I swear the next article will return to our normal fun – sans twinkies.  I am sure you will want to see the upcoming article featuring a New England seafood extravaganza paired with a 2009 Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio.
In vino veritas, buen provecho.
Craig

2 comments:

  1. Chef Sue outdid herself with this creation! It was wonderful and the dessert wine was quite a tasty surprise. I am enjoying learning about wine!

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  2. As a side note, I also noted a hint of apricot in the wine. There were just so many wonderful flavors associated with this dessert wine in combination with the Twinkie Cake....mmmmmm....yummmy!

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