Five ideas for cooking with Champagne
Champagne adds a bit of sparkle to any spread, but usually in drinkable fluted form. We have found that the sparkling wine can also be put to good use in recipes ranging from cakes to jelly to candied fruits. These five dishes will make for an effervescent accompaniment to your bubbly New Year’s Eve cocktails.
Tip: Buy an extra bottle to make these, because counting on having leftover Champagne is not wise.
Having a party and looking for a small favor to gift your guests? This is a fun thing to send them home with. To make, combine 3 cups sugar and 2 cups Champagne in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat and stir often. Stir in 1 pouch (3 ounces) liquid fruit pectin, then boil for 1 more minute, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat, then let cool completely. Jelly should thicken up. Store in refrigerator and eat within 3 weeks.
I made this recipe for my husband’s birthday earlier this year, and sparkling wine added directly to the cake batter gave a lovely lightness to the finished product. Make them miniature and top them with a homemade whipped cream and they will be a sweet addition to your New Year’s table. To make, add 1 ¾ cups cake flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon kosher salt to a bowl and mix. In another bowl, cream 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter and 1 cup sugar. When blended, add 2 large eggs and 2 tablespoons vanilla extract and blend again. Beat in ¼ cup vegetable oil, ? cup plain Greek yogurt and the dry ingredients. Mix well, then pour in ? cup Champagne and stir to form a smooth batter. Bake in a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish lined with aluminum foil (enough that it hangs over the sides) and sprayed with cooking spray at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, then lift cake out of pan using the foil. Cut into small circles using a 2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter. Top with homemade whipped cream: Beat 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream in a bowl with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and a splash of Champagne. Recipe adapted from Molly Yeh.
Mimosa butter cookies
Champagne adds both fizz and sugar to baked goods in particular. These cookies use sparkling wine and orange juice to create a slightly sweet treat that mimics the cocktail. Best served at a mimosa-heavy brunch. Maybe on New Year’s Day? To make, cream 1 cup softened butter, 1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, 2 teaspoons grated orange zest and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup orange juice with ¼ cup Champagne. Alternate adding orange juice mixture and 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour to butter mixture. Mix well after each addition. Scoop about 1 tablespoon dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat until dough is gone. Or, for a nicer presentation, add dough to a large zip-top bag, snip one of the bottom corners off the bag, then press dough through and pipe 2-inch circles onto the baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until cookie edges are firm.
A sabayon is a custardy sauce of sorts made with egg yolks and wine, and typically served alongside oysters. If you’re into oysters, this is an ideal accompaniment. If not, it can also be used to top fresh berries. (Just omit the shallots and savory spices.) To make, finely dice 1 shallot, chop 1 teaspoon fresh thyme and set aside. Fill a saucepan with 2 inches water. Set over medium heat and bring to simmer. In a large stainless steel bowl, whisk together 2 large egg yolks, ½ teaspoon sugar and ¼ cup Champagne and whisk until very well combined. Place bowl over the pan with simmering water and whisk until mixture has thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and place in another large bowl filled with ice water, to cool the bowl and its contents down. Stir in shallots, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
Add 2 cups fresh cranberries to a medium saucepan, then top with 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup Champagne. Cook over low heat, stirring often, so the cranberries get nicely coated with the sugar. You want the mixture to heat just slightly, not enough to cook the cranberries or totally melt the sugar. Once berries are coated, transfer them to a bowl and let cool for about 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest and ¼ cup more sugar and toss to coat. Use to garnish cocktails and cakes.