Dessert Recipes
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Fall, Winter, Spring & Summer Carrot Cake

This cake is both decadent and less sweet than most carrot cakes, making it a wonderful pairing for a sweet wine like Essensia or Electra. It has about half the sugar of other carrot cake recipes. Some of the sweetness comes from the pineapple. This cake also uses whole wheat pastry flour, resulting in a moist cake. In our opinion the best carrot cakes have cream cheese frosting. This frosting is a decadent mixture of cream cheese, a little buttermilk, and a litte sugar.

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots (4-6 medium)
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsn. buttermilk
2 Tbsn. flaked coconut, toasted

To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat one 9-by-13-inch baking pan or two 9-inch round pans with cooking spray or butter. Drain pineapple in a sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids. Reserve the drained pineapple and 1/4 cup of the juice. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and the 1/4 cup pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and 1/4 cup coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes for the rectangular pan. Check at 30 minutes for the two circular pans. Let cool completely on a wire rack. To prepare frosting and finish cake: Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Fall, Winter & Spring Flourless Chocolate Cake

Diane Posner’s Flourless Chocolate Cake Per I Piede di Hana was a winner at one of our Northern California Elysium Dessert Competitions and we like to make it for Valentine's Day. The judges remarked that the Elysium wine acted as a unifying factor toward the dessert’s multiple flavors. This rich cake is multi-layered, and resembles a rich pudding in texture. Wash it down with Elysium.

1/2 cup warm water
9 oz. extra bittersweet chocolate
7 tbs. unsalted butter
pinch salt
6 large egg yolks
8 egg whites
2 Tbs. Elysium Black Muscat

Melt chocolate with butter. Combine egg yolks and Elysium and mix with chocolate water mixture. Beat egg whites with pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Gently fold into chocolate mixture. Bake in a buttered floured spingform pan at 325 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. The center of the cake will be moist and cake will pull away slightly. Let cake cool and remove springform.

Chocolate Sauce:
2 cups heavy cream
12 oz. extra bittersweet chocolate
1 Tbs. corn syrup

Warm chocolate slightly with corn syrup in a double boiler on medium high heat. When thoroughly melted beat in cream, until fully incorporated.

To serve, slice cake with a hot dry knife. Serve with the chocolate sauce and berry or apricot sorbet.
Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter Panna Cotta Parfait with Cherry Jelly

For those who want to match the cherry flavors in Elysium with a perfect dessert, this is your recipe. Plus, it's just gorgeous to present! This dessert takes some time to prepare because the different layers need to set in the refrigerator, so it's a good idea to make it the evening beforehand.

Cherry jelly:
4 cups pitted cherries
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsn. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh cherry juice or cranberry jice
1 oz (28 gram) envelope unflavored gelatin

Combine pitted cherries and sugar in a large stainless steel bowl. Place stainless steel bowl in double boiler. Bring water to a boil. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour through a fine sieve, pressing on cherries with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Add lemon juice. Measure the amount of Cherry juice. It should make around 1⅔ cups. If it's not quite 1⅔ cups, add a bit of cherry or cranberry juice. Set aside. Put ⅓ cup cold water into a small bowl; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes, add to cherry juice mixture, stir well.

Panna Cotta:
3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. powdered gelatin
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the cream, ½ cup of milk, the sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Place the remaining ½ cup of milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. When the gelatin has softened, place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Stir the dissolved gelatin into the hot cream mixture, cool to room temperature and remove the vanilla bean.

To assemble the parfaits: Carefully fill each of 8 parfait glasses one-quarter full with the liquid panna cotta mixture and refrigerate until set. Pour an equal layer of the cooled fruit liquid on top of the panna cotta mixture and refrigerate until set. Pour another layer of the panna cotta mixture into each glass and refrigerate. Finally, fill each glass with a final layer of the fruit liquid and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with cherry sauce (recipe here). Serves 8.

Spring, Summer, & Fall Elysium Chocolate Sauce Milkshake

This has quickly become a favorite in our tasting room! Anette's Chocolates in Napa baked Elysium into their chocolate and the result is delicious Elysium Chocolate Sauce! Elysium is 15% alcohol, but when they bake Elysium into the chocolate, the sauce ends up being 4.8% alcohol. Our Elysium Chocolate Sauce is only available in our tasting room, our online store and by phone order. When we make this milkshake for wine trail weekends, we see a lot of happy customers! If you can't come out for wine trail, you can make it at home too! A few more ways we enjoy this sauce are drizzled over ice cream, cheesecake, brownies, cakes, dessert, or to make a fancy mocha coffee.

5 parts Whole Milk
2 parts vanilla ice cream
2 parts Elysium chocolate sauce
toppings of your choosing

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles. Place in freezer if you desire a thicker consistency.

Fall, Winter, & Spring Essensia Cake

Andrew Quady says: "I know you will enjoy this cake. It is not too sweet and has just the right level of orange character to compliment Essensia."

1 3/4 cup sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 Tbsn. grated orange rind
1/2 cup finely grated blanched almonds
1/3 cup Essensia Orange Muscat

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch loaf pan. Line bottom with wax paper and butter the paper. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter. Add sugar gradually and beat until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract, orange rind and almonds. On lowest speed, add Essensia; beat until incorporated. Add dry ingredients, beating just until mixed. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake about 50 minutes, or until cake tests done with a toothpick. Let rest 10 minutes in pan before inverting onto a cake rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter Cherry Sauce

This recipe adapted from Norman Van Aken's Feast of Sunlight, is both one of the simplest and most satisfying dessert sauces we've ever encountered. You can use this sauce for the Essensia Cake, for the Panna Cotta Parfait, for vanilla ice cream, or even chocolate cake.

2 cups Elysium Black Muscat
1 cup bing cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Place all the ingredients except the cherries in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add cherries and continue cooking 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick. This sauce may be served hot or cold. Makes 3 cups.

Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter Chocolate of Madame du Barry

This dessert was selected by Chef Gerard Vie of Les Trois Marches, the three star restaurant in Versaille France to complement our Essensia wine at a banquet condcluding the American Institute for Wine and Food conference on gastronomy in Boston.

During the reign of Louis XV in eighteenth century France, the Chateau at Versailles contained many private apartments reserved for various courtesans, inlcuding the famous Countess du Barry.

The King, a renowned cook and gourmet, would frequently visit the Countess very late at night to dine on a selection of dishes which were considered aphrodisiacs at the time. One of these specialites was the desset given below which was served in small cups and eaten with a spoon. The image above is not an accurate depiction.

5 eggs
8 oz cocoa
8 oz powdered sugar
10 oz heavy cream, whipped

Combine cocoa powder, eggs and sugar. Fold in whipped cream. Place in small moulds or cups - no more than 1 oz per mould.Small paper cups as used to hold candies will work. Bake at 300 F for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook. They should be still soft but not runny in the center. Serve with Essensia Orange Muscat.

Winter Elysium Fruit Compote
2 cups Elysium
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
6 allspice
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup Elysium
6 black peppercorns
2-3 inch cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 oranges, zest and juice
3 dried pear halves, quartered lenthwise
3 dried peach halves, quartered lenthwise
6 dried apricot halves, cut in half
6 dried prunes, pitted, cut in half
1 vanilla bean, split lenthwise

Combine 2 cups Elysium, water, sugar, spices, zests and citrus juices. Simmer 10 minutes. Add dried pear and peach halves. Simmer 10 more minutes. Add prunes and apricots. Simmer 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining ½ cup Elysium. Serve compote at room temperature or serve with vanilla ice cream.

Fall & Winter Blueberry Pear Tart in a Walnut Black Pepper Crust with Roquefort Custard

The dessert below was the winner in our first dessert pairing competition held at the Nikko hotel in 1988. Head judge Harvey Steiman noted: “The dessert looked sweet but it wasn’t. As a fruit tart, it wasn’t sweet. As a cheese tart, it was unusually mellow. The dessert formed a perfect 'frame' for the Elysium.

If you enjoy making tarts, you will especially enjoy this recipe for it's simplicity and delicacy.

2 cups all purpose flour
4 oz butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely grated blanched almonds

Cream together flour and butter. Combine remaining ingredients and add to flour and butter mixture. Roll out crust to about 1/8” thickness and place in tart pan. Prebake with parchment paper and pie weights (uncooked rice can be used for pie weights) until about 50% baked.

Poached Pears:
4 pears
1-2 cups Elysium
2 cups blueberries
1/4 tsp. salt

Poach 4 pears in a mixture of sugar syrup and Elysium. Fan the pears and line the bottom of the tart with them. Fill with the berries.

1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup softened Roquefort

Combine flour, cornstarch, and sugar. Mix in eggs to make a paste. Add milk and cream. Add Roquefort. Pour custard over fruit and bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes. Serve with a slice of Roquefort, a piece of poached pear and a glass of Elysium.

Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter Elysium Sundae

Effortless - Elysium over ice cream.

2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup Elysium Black Muscat

Scoop ice cream into bowl. Pour Elysium over the top. Add whipped cream and a cherry as desired.

Fall & Winter Triple Chocolate Port Cake

This is a chocolate lover’s passion. Devastatingly rich and further enhanced aromatically by the mingling of Port and chocolate while baking. Serve in thin slices as you would the finest cheesecake whose velvet-like texture it resembles.

1/4 cup Starboard Batch 88
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 cup butter
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt

In a small saucepan bring port wine to boiling point. Reduce heat immediately to warm and add butter and baking chocolate to melt. Cool. In a bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Add flour alternately with the cooled port wine mixture in about 3 parts, blending thoroughly. In a separate bowl whip until stiff the egg whites with salt. Fold into the batter. Bake in a well-greased 8” round cake tin at 325F for about 30 minutes.

Due to the richness of this cake, no icing or frosting is necessary but it is indeed good showmanship if you must. Dust with powdered sugar, top with whipped cream topping. If you split and fill the cake, we suggest baking it in a 6-6½” tin. Our choice of filling was blackberry preserves. Maybe iced with chocolate butter cream frosting.


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