Posts Tagged ‘Champagne’

Fun Fact Friday, Number Forty-Seven!

October 27, 2017

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “physics.”  Do you know why a person would put a teaspoon in the neck of an opened bottle of champagne?

Contrary to any actual scientific or empirical evidence, people believe (erroneously) that this will help the champagne retain its carbonation.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Three!

May 12, 2017

This week’s fact comes under the category of “Science.”  Do you happen to know the source of the bubbles in champagne?  No, it is not carbon dioxide.

The short answer: dirt, dust, or lint!

The longer answer: carbon dioxide molecules would evaporate without something causing the bubbles to form.  This something was originally believed to be the slight imperfections with the very glass itself.  However, it has since been discovered that the bubbles form on microscopic particles of dust/dirt within the glass which act as condensation nuclei for the dissolved carbon dioxide.

Who knew!  Even straight out of the dishwasher, my glasses are filthy!

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

How About a Little Bubbly?!

December 30, 2015

Here it is, the end of December and New Year’s Eve is tomorrow.  So, if you haven’t stocked up yet, it’s probably time to head over to the liquor store to stock up on the libations for your end of year celebrations.  Here is a handy infographic on sparkling wine to assist in this endeavor.  Cheers!

Cheesecake of the Month – September 2014!

September 15, 2014

Here is a recipe that I found for a crustless cheesecake that sounds simple, delicious, AND is gluten-free.  I can’t wait to try this one!

Almond Cheesecake with Champagne-Honey Sauce

2 bricks (8-ounce) of cream cheese, plus 2 extra ounces
1 cup of sugar
3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) of crème fraîche
3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) of heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup of honey, plus 2 extra Tablespoons
1 cup of Champagne
1 sprig of fresh mint, slice the leaves into thin strips
Fresh strawberries or raspberries for the garnish

1.  Preheat your oven to 210 degrees.  Line an 8-inch cake pan with plastic wrap.

2.  Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.  Scrape the bowl and add the sugar; mix again until smooth.  Scrape the bowl again and continue to mix until the batter is smooth and creamy.

3.  On low speed, add the crème fraîche and heavy cream.  Scrape the bowl and mix for 30 seconds.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix just long enough to incorporate the ingredients.

4.  Pour the batter into the cake pan.  Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top.  Place the cake pan on a baking tray, place the tray in the oven, and fill with as much boiling water as possible.

5.  Bake for 90-100 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is firm  Remove from the oven and cool.  Refrigerate for several hours before attempting to de-pan the cheesecake.

To de-pan, carefully invert the cake pan and remove the pan.  Remove the plastic wrap and gently invert the cheesecake again onto your serving plate.  Top with the Champagne-Honey Sauce and garnish with the fresh berries of your choice.

Champagne-Honey Sauce

Heat 1/3 cup of honey in a small saucepan over medium heat.  When the honey begins to bubble, add the champagne and reduce the liquid to 1/2 cup.  Cool slightly and add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of cold honey and the mint (if desired).  Pour into a jar and refrigerate until you are ready to serve (up to one week).

Source: Cooking from the Heart, Chef Christopher Gross.

Cheesecake of the Month – August 2014!

August 15, 2014

This month’s cheesecake is a little more labor-intensive than most, but the effort is worth it!  And, it combines a couple of my favorite things . . . strawberries and champagne!

Strawberries and Champagne Cheesecake

1 cup of Champagne
2 cups of chocolate graham cracker crumbs
2 cups of sugar, divided
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
3 packages (8-ounces each) or cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg yolks
20 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening, divided
1/3 cup of white chocolate chips
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar

1.  Place the Champagne in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 of a cup (about 8 minutes).  Cool slightly.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup of sugar, and the butter.  Press onto the bottom and ups the sides of a slightly greased 9″ springform pan and set aside.  Arrange the sliced strawberries over the bottom.

3.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth.  Beat in the sweetened condensed milk, cornstarch and reduced Champagne.  Add the eggs and the egg yolks and beat on low speed until combined.  Pour the mixture over the strawberries and place the pan on a baking sheet.

4.  Bake at 325 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until the center is almost set.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen slightly (but do not yet remove the sides).  Cool an additional hour and then refrigerate overnight.

5.  Remove the sides of the springform pan.  For the garnish/topping, using washed (and completely dried) strawberries, slice and arrange them over the top of the cheesecake.  In a microwave, melt milk chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon of the shortening; stir them together until the mixture is smooth.  Drizzle over the cheesecake.  Repeat this process with the white chocolate chips.

6.  In a small bowl, beat the cream until it begins to thicken.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until soft peaks form.  Serve with the cheesecake.

Leftover Champagne?

February 26, 2011

I have never had this problem.  Whenever I open a bottle of Champagne, I manage to consume it in its entirety.  But, for those of you who have this problem (i.e., leftover Champagne just sitting around and going bad in your refrigerator), here is a recipe for a Champagne Mushroom Sauce that sounds positively wonderful.   I’m thinking that I should pop open a bottle of Champagne this weekend to try this out this recipe firsthand.  To concurrently consume Champagne while cooking with it could be an excellent strategy for moderating consumption.

1/2 ounce of dried mushrooms (preferably porcini)
1 cup of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2 cups of Champagne
1/3 cup of shallots, minced
1/4 cup of butter (to add to the Champagne)
3 Tablespoons butter (to add to the flour mixture)
3 Tablespoons flour

1. Add the chicken stock and mushrooms to a medium-sized pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat (lowest setting possible).

2. In a separate medium-sized pot, add the Champagne and shallots. Bring to a full boil and continue to boil until the Champagne has been reduced to 3/4 of a cup. Turn off the heat and allow the Champagne to stop simmering, then whisk in the 1/4 cup of butter (a little bit at a time).

3. Heat 3 Tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the flour and stir well to combine. Cook this mixture for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently (until the mixture turns the color of coffee with cream).

4. Slowly add the hot stock (with the mushrooms) to the flour mixture. It will “spit” a bit, but continue to add the stock while stirring.

5. Turn off the heat and whisk in the Champagne mixture. Strain the mixture through a fine-mess sieve (to remove the mushroom and shallot) and add salt to taste and keep warm. Do NOT allow to boil (or the sauce may separate).

Use this sauce with Chicken or Turkey (ideal), but it would also be good with pork tenderloin or pork chops (and possibly even fish . . . salmon perhaps?).