Winter chills are knocking at the door. It is the time of the year for lounge fires, coffee, warm duvets and piping hot food.
It is time to adjust menus for the cold season.
As grand finale to a meal, desserts are an integral part of any menu. There is no better way to brighten short days and long nights than with a rich and comforting winter dessert.
Culinary guru Linda Matfield defines winter desserts as seasonal desserts for wintertime.
"These are generally rich and dense, full of sweet spices, dark chocolate and toasted nuts that taste so right at this time of year.
Think gingerbread, coffee cake, apple crisp and rice pudding.
These are recipes designed to satisfy your soul as much as your sweet tooth."
Matfield says winter desserts can be divided into three categories:
lTarts and other puddings such as crumbles (apple, rhubarb, quince, pineapple, plums and pears) that combine the fresh, fleshiness of fruit with the moist, biscuity or crispy texture of sweet flan pastry, shortcrust and flaky pastry.
"These desserts go best with fleshy, round Champagnes."
lCreamy, moist, melt-inthe-mouth cakes, such as plum pudding and rice pudding.
These sumptuous desserts strike a fabulous chord with smooth, long Champagnes that combine structure or a measure of creaminess with soft warm aromas.
lDry cakes such as biscuits and cookies, almond cakes, rock cakes and shortbread.