I love to throw parties, especially ones in the middle of winter with some of my favorite gal pals, lots of bubbly and decadent chocolate desserts. Last week, I invited some friends over for a bash to show some love with a few of my favorite brands. Take a look at our lovely evening, and why not plan a Champagne & Dessert tasting of your own?
My husband and I love sparkling wines- our absolute favorite is Segura Viudas Brut Cava, which we even served at our wedding. It was named as the 2013 Value Brand of the Year by Wine & Spirits and is one of the MANY sparkling wines offered by Freixenet, one of the ten largest wine companies in the world. When they approached me to sample some of their other offerings, I of course jumped at the chance! They sent a selection of still and sparkling wines, perfect for Valentine’s Day and Red Carpet Events.
Our “Sipping Station” included these 6 amazing wines:
Freixenet Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée
Segura Viudas Brut Rose
Freixenet Cordon Rosado Brut Rose
And the winner was……The Freixenet Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée hands down! It was sweet without being sugary, very bubbly without taking away from the taste. The tasting notes are described as “peaches and cream” and “highly drinkable.” We agree! Of course, the gorgeous Black Bottle style added to the wine’s panache.
Since I love getting creative with my cocktails, I thought it would be fun to have a “Mixology” spot! Another of my favorite brands, Wild Hibiscus, sent some of their amazing hibiscus flowers in syrup to add to the mix. If you haven’t heard of them, this company actually preserves all natural whole hibiscus flowers in cane sugar syrup, and they are completely edible and delicious. When you drop one into a glass of bubbly, it creates an amazing cocktail! Wild Hibiscus also preserves these in Rose Syrup, which adds a little extra unique flavor. You can find this delicacy at many Whole Foods stores, specialty markets and online (Amazon.com and their own website). They also make cocktail concentrates, which are all natural product line which uses the color and flavor from flowers to jazz up food and drink. I just loved the gorgeous lavender hue!
Since we are in the middle of Red Carpet Season, I thought it would be fun to have a Photo Opp red carpet for our creations!
Here is what I came up with:
|Segura Viudas Cava, Wild Hibiscus Flower, Raspberry Cane Sugar Rim|
I recently discovered Simple Mills Baking Mix, and it will be the only mix in household from now on! If you saw my post about the Raspberry Butter Cream Chocolate Hearts, you know how awesome this stuff is. The ingredients are all natural, nutrient-rich and the mixes make creating insanely delicious desserts a snap. The muffins are gluten-free, dairy-free, low-glycemic, soy-free, and non-GMO, made with 100% almond flour. Best part? The taste.
I created a Chocolate Strawberry Coconut Mini Trifle in a champagne glass for the party using the Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin Mix. They. Were. Fabulous.
Chocolate Strawberry Coconut Mini Trifle Recipe (adapted from this Coconut Cream Trifle Recipe on Living Eventfully)
1 bag Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin Mix + coconut oil, egg & water according to directions
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 lb fresh strawberries, cut into 1″ chunks
Make mini muffins according to mix, cool and break into quarters.
Heat oven to 350 and toast coconut on a baking sheet (about 10 minutes, making sure to toss to prevent burning).
Combine coconut milk, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil, making sure to stir. Reduce heat and continue to stir and cook until slightly thickened. Transfer to a different dish and set aside to cool.
Beat heavy cream for a couple minutes in a bowl and add the 6 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract. Continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
Add half of the whipped cream to the cooled coconut mixture and fold in.
Assemble the trifles-
Add 2 muffin quarters to the bottom of a wide mouth champagne glass.
Add a dollop of regular whipped cream.
Add a few strawberry pieces.
Add a dollop of coconut cream.
Sprinkle toasted coconut.
Repeat, ending with coconut cream and toasted coconut sprinkled liberally on top.
I also made a Hibiscus Salted Caramel Chocolate Fondue with Wild Hibiscus Flower Salt. I added fresh pineapple, strawberries and Simple Mills Chocolate Muffins for dipping.
Hibiscus Salted Caramel Chocolate Fondue
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 bag caramels (11 oz.)
1 bag bittersweet chocolate chips (10 oz.)
1/2 tsp. Wild Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes
Heat heavy whipping cream in a saucepan over low heat. Add unwrapped caramels and continue to heat as they melt. Add chocolate chips and heat until melted, stirring to prevent burning. Add salt and mix. Place in a pre-heated fondue pot.
Of course, there were the hearts for Valentine’s Day!
I also made homemade Vanilla Champagne Marshmallows using Segura Viudas and this recipe:
And I couldn’t let my guests leave without gift bags, could I?? I love sending friends home with parting gifts- it gives them a little something to keep the party going.
Each guest went home with a jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers, a bag of Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin and Cupcake Mix, a Segura Viudas split with a heart-shaped straw for sipping, and a copy of my friend Beth Aldrich’s book: Real Moms Love to Eat, chock full of amazing, healthy recipes for REAL moms! Thanks Beth for sharing this with us, you know how much I adore your cooking and expert advice 🙂
A HUGE, massive thank you to our party friends for supplying all the yummy bubbles and bites- I am so excited to work with each and every one of you on many more projects in the future. I adore these brands from the bottom of my heart; they are the crème de la crème!