Carrot Cake with Wine

Easter was always about the gift basket.  Screw coloring eggs, I was in it for the chocolate bunny, stuffed rabbit and coloring books.  The day before Easter was always reserved for decorating eggs, which I loved to dip in every color and write my name on so that there was no doubt as to who the best Easter egg designer was.  We'd even leave carrots outside on our patio table for the Easter bunny to fuel up on while he hid our eggs.  My grandmother would usher me to bed the night before Easter as she set out my basket, returned carrots to the fridge and hid eggs for me to find.  One year she even went as far as throwing rocks on the roof to pretend the Easter bunny had landed at my house.  As with Santa Claus, I was told the only way to receive my gift was to fall fast asleep.  I pinched my eyes tight as I imagined the Easter bunny on our roof.  I don't know how she did it, but somehow there was always a basket right next to my bed on Easter morning.  When it came to finding eggs hours later, it was strictly a competition thing for me.  I wanted to find the most eggs at any cost, even if that meant taking one out of your basket when you weren't looking!  Here's to wishing you great memories this Easter with family and friends and a great bottle of wine!

In honor of the Easter bunny I've chosen a dish based on his favorite food, carrots!  Carrot cake was always a favorite of mine.  The sweet moist cake layered with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts is the perfect dessert to celebrate the end of a delicious Easter dinner.  Take this dessert to another level by adding a glass of Harvey's orange infused Cream Sherry and even the Easter bunny would rethink eating carrots without a glass of wine.  Sherry is a fortified (alcohol has been added) wine from Spain that comes in a range of styles from dry (almost no sugar) to sweet.  Cream Sherry is made by blending different sweet wines together.  After a bite of the cake and then a sip of the wine I notice the orange zest found in the cake spring to life against the orange flavors present in the wine.  The two combined create almost an orange creamsicle like creamy texture and flavor on the palate.  The wine has just enough acidity to wash the cake off the tongue and neither one out does each other; meaning that I don't loose the flavor of the cake or the wine when I combine the two.  Other wines to try with carrot cake are Muscat (esp. orange), Tokaji Aszu, sweet Riesling, Malmsey Madiera and late harvest Zinfandel.  Cheers!