As lovers of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, each year we participate in multiple ways. This year we certainly enjoyed our annual madness at the enormously popular Grand Tasting on Saturday, Nov. 17 and wowed the elegant, high-profile clientele at Friday night’s Reserve Tasting at the newly renovated Mariott Marquis. But starting the festival by enchanting students with a seminar of our own is always the best. We were excited to meet Morning Show personalities Nolan & Kim of Walrus 105.7 FM Radio before the event for a quick interview, but we were REALLY FLATTERED that they stayed for the whole class!
Here are some highlights and the line up of Dessert paired with fortified wines* that we selected:

Our “Port-Paired Decadence” Dessert Class, held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, was a blast! Donna taught the steps to creating 4 delicious desserts, and Elaine explained their pairings with a beautiful array of donated Ports & Madeira by the Premium Port Company. See below for the line up of Sweet Cheeks Baking Co’s desserts with the Port & Madeira that Paul Mugnier of Premium Port provided for our class:
:: Flourless Chocolate Cake drizzled with Grand Marnier – Graham’s “Six Grapes” Reserve Port
:: Marzipan-Italian Cherry Pop Tarts – Cockburn’s “Special Reserve” Port
:: Presidential Pecan Diamonds – Graham’s 10 Year Tawny Port
:: Champagne Tosca Cake with Fresh Raspberries & Macadamia Nut Cream – Blandy’s 5-Year “Alvada” Madeira

*Fortified Wines are basically made when brandy or distilled grape spirit is added to fermenting wine in order to kill the yeast and stop its eating of the grape sugars. This results in a sweet, high alcohol wine. Examples include many, such as: Port, Madeira, Sherry, Muscat de Beaumes-des-Venise, etc.

**Homemade Pop Tarts, a neat new use of extra chilled pie dough and super fun for kids!
Cut equal size squares out of the chilled pie dough (aerate if you own a dough aerater).
Egg wash the bottom piece of poptart, place a popscicle stick in middle of dough.
Choose your favorite jam or mini chocolate chips and place in middle of rectangle ( keep the edges clean)
place the top piece of poptart on top and pinch the egdes together, make sure of no gaps.
Egg wash the top of the poptart, chill in frig for 20 minutes.
Then bake at 375* for 10 minutes or until poptarts are golden.
If the jam seeps out remove carefully from pastry with butter knife, Don’t touch jam gets very hot!
Once poptarts cool dust with powdered sugar, cinnamon or cocoa depending on the filling.
For classic Pop Tart design, drizzle with Royal Icing and press into rainbow nonpareils. FUN!!!

Pop Tarts…Eat ’em up!