Pairing wines with summer desserts

It’s hot out there! When the weather is warm we love to whip up some light and fresh shortcakes, pairing them with ripe summer fruits and our favorite sweet wines. In our latest episode of Wine Sisterhood TV, we feature some delicious shortcake recipes and wine pairing ideas.

“When pairing wines with sweet dessert, there’s one very important thing to remember: The sweetness of the wine should be at or higher than the sweetness of the dessert,” recommends our Wine Sisterhood personal sommelier Erin Sullivan. Watch the Wine Sisterhood TV episode above for more of Erin’s tips and wine pairing suggestions with three different shortcake dessert ideas (featured below). Stop by our Wine Sisterhood TV YouTube Channel for more great videos.   

Cheers to summer!

Click the links below to jump to each shortcake recipe featured in the Wine Sisterhood TV episode:

Traditional Strawberry Shortcake

Macadamia Crusted Shortcake

Cinnamon Almond Shortcake


Strawberry Shortcake

Traditional Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Whipped Cream, recipe follows

Directions:
Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden (18 to 20 minutes).

Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally. Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.


Tropical Shortcake

Macadamia Crusted Shortcake

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz salted dry-roasted macadamia nuts (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz milk chocolate, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Toast nuts in a 4-sided sheet pan in oven until golden, 8 to 10 minutes, then cool and coarsely chop. Leave oven on.

Stir together butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt in a bowl with a rubber spatula until combined well. Stir in flour, nuts, and chocolate until a soft dough forms. With floured fingers, pat dough into a 10-inch round (about 1/2 inch thick) on a baking sheet. Bake until golden (20 to 25 minutes).

Chop and dice papaya, mango, and pineapple for garnish.

Cool on baking sheet, then cut into pieces and split each piece in half horizontally. Spoon some of the fresh fruit onto each shortcake bottom. Top with rum creme fraiche and passion fruit coulis (see below), and then the shortcake top.

For Rum Crème Fraiche:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark rum
1 package alouette cuisine creme fraiche
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
2 ounces dark rum

In a saucepan bring the water and sugar to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, add rum, stir to mix and allow cooling. Spoon the rum simple syrup over the cakes and repeat until cake can no longer absorb the syrup.

Place crème fraiche, confectioners sugar, and rum in a mixing bowl and whip to form a soft peak. Drain soaked cake and place on platter. Top center with rum infused whipped crème fraiche and top with fresh fruit.

For Passion Fruit Coulis:
1 cup fresh passion fruit, 1 cup sugar

In a medium saucepan, combine the passion fruit pulp/juice and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, simmer for 3-5 minutes. Strain if you prefer smooth texture and without seeds, set aside to cool. 


Cinnamon Almond Shortcake

Cinnamon Almond Shortcake

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
Pinch fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Directions:
Into a small bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, stir together butter, sugar and salt until well mixed, then stir in egg and cinnamon to combine. Add flour mixture, mixing with clean hands until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour).

Heat oven to 325 degrees with rack in middle. Lightly dust a 12 x 16-inch sheet of wax paper with flour. Roll out dough piece onto prepared wax paper and sprinkle with 1/3 of the nuts, then roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Slide wax paper onto a baking sheet (preferably rimless). Bake until edges are lightly golden (about 20 minutes). Remove pan from oven and cool.

Cut dough into biscuits and split each piece in half horizontally. Spoon blackberries and brown sugar onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream, spicy caramel and a bittersweet chocolate sauce (see below); then add the shortcake top.

For Spicy Caramel:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 whole clove
5 cardamom pods
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

Put granulated sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and crumble brown sugar over. Melt sugars, undisturbed, over moderate heat until granulated sugar is mostly melted. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until a deep golden caramel. Carefully pour in cream (mixture will bubble up and caramel will harden slightly) and stir in clove, cardamom pods, fennel, peppercorns, and cinnamon sticks. Simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and sauce is reduced to about 1 cup (about 10 minutes). Pour sauce through a sieve into a 2-cup measure and cool to just warm.

For Bittersweet Chocolate:
1/2 cup heavy cream, 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (coarsely chopped), 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream just until small bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from the heat, add the chopped chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth; serve warm.