When it comes to entertaining, I usually rely on old favourites when choosing wines to accompany the food. But help is at hand for anyone who, like me, struggles with matching wines according to what ingredients you’re using. This week I sampled some delicious food and wine to celebrate a new launch from everyone’s favourite Aussie, Masterchef presenter John Torode. He’s teamed up with winemaker Neil McGuigan to launch a new collection of matched food and wine. It’s such an easy idea – simply scan the QR code on any bottle of McGuigan wine with a QR code reader app on your smartphone to receive your personal recipe collection. This was my favourite dish, which works well served with a McGuigan Black Label Sparkling Rose, a lovely pink fizz with hints of strawberry and blackberry which perfectly complements fruity desserts… (Altogether a perfectly heavenly combination)
Poached Plums with Panna Cotta (serves 6)
1 Lightly oil six individual pudding basins or dariole moulds. Pour 250ml full fat milk and 250ml double cream into a pan and add 1 vanilla pod with the seeds scraped out and also added. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
2 Soak 4 gelatine leaves in cold water. Squeeze out excess water and stir into the cream mixture until dissolved. Add 50g caster sugar and continue to stir over a low heat until dissolved. Remove the vanilla pod and add a few drops of almond extract. Pour into the basins and transfer to the fridge. Leave to chill for two hours or until completely set.
3 Cut 300g damsons or dark skinned plums in half and remove the stones. Put into a pan with 1 split vanilla bean and 200g caster sugar. Just cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until tender but still holding their shape. Using a slotted spoon carefully lift out the plums and set aside. Bring the poaching liquid back to the boil and reduce by half until sticky. Remove from the heat and return the plums to the liquid. Leave to cool and refrigerate until needed.
4 To serve, fill a deep bowl with boiling water and carefully dip the basins or moulds into the water. Turn out onto individual plates. Add the plums and a little syrup. And watch them disappear.Read more →