Valentine's menu - dessert to go with icewine
I know I'm planning ahead somewhat, but my spouse and I have decided that instead of going out to a restaurant for Valentine's Day this year, we're going to stay in and cook a really special meal for ourselves.
I've been assigned salad and dessert thus far, and I need help with dessert ideas. We've got an Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Icewine downstairs, and I'd love something to go with that. Chocolate would be great, of course, but I don't want it to be too sweet. Any thoughts, chocolate or otherwise?
How about a really good cannoli with good mascarpone that isn't very sweet? I had one recently in Philadelphia that was awesome (I don't like really sweet desserts). Only a hint of sugar, but the icewine would make it a perfect combo. If you want, you could drizzle good dark semi-sweet chocolate over it.
Panna Cotta made with minimum of gelatin..
Grammercy Tavern / Claudia Flemming has a lovely version with buttermilk. I also like the Chez Panisse / Silverton version.
I would serve them with rhubarb-strawberry sauce (both just coming into season here) or espresso gelatin and a crisp cookie. Yummy.
Personally, I don't like to drink alcohol with chocolate because I think it competes too much with the chocolate. I also don't like to add cognac to chocolate ganache, and I don't care for brandied cherries and chocolate. So take my advice with a grain of salt, especially if you palate is different.
I agree with the other posters below that a cheese-based dessert is the way to go with icewine. A cheesecake with fruit swirled in, or even fresh berries might be nice. Or a custardy pear tart or fruit pie might be the ticket. I just checked Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie & Pastry Bible, and she has recipes for an Apple Weincreme Chiffon Tart and a Pear Chiffon Tart that might fit the bill. Hope this helps.
Hope you have a happy Valentine's day!