Canadian Whisky by Davin de Kergommeaux.
September 22, 2012
No, Canadian Whisky Dot Org is not transmogrifying into a food blog. It’s just that when people are having fun with their whisky it can only help others discover the hidden joys of Canadian whisky itself.
Sometimes we whisky lovers can be a little overly earnest about our drams. So yes, soon it’s back to the serious connoisseur stuff we all love, and the oh-so-easy-on-your-wallet Canadian sipping whiskies. In the mean time, join me while I introduce Kam McGonigal and her Highwood-infused Alberta Whisky cakes.
Packed to travel and sealed for freshness, the Alberta Whisky Cake is a unique way for travelers to remember visiting Alberta. The essences of Highwood whisky and Canadian maple syrup pair naturally, with the subtle whisky complementing the scrumptious woody elements of the syrup itself.
Several years ago, Kamila McGonigal and a couple of business partners set out to produce a unique, high quality gift that would represent the unbridled spirit of the West. That’s their slogan, “The Unbridled Spirit of the West.” They set their sights high, positioning their whisky cakes as one of three things travelers would take home from Canada. The others? B.C. salmon and maple syrup.
Kam recommends pairing the cake with a sip of White Owl Spiced whisky allowing the not-so-subtle vanilla and butterscotch of the whisky and cake to mingle in traces of cloves and oak. And I’d add a presentation suggestion. Just as you are about to serve it, sprinkle the cake lightly with fresh icing sugar.
Carefully sealed in plastic, the cake was as moist and fresh as the day it was baked. Still, this did not keep gusts of maple-filled bakery air from bursting into the room as soon as the outer box was opened, an inviting prediction of what was to come.
Sliced and served, the malted maple cake felt firm and moist on the palate, while exuding sweet, rich maple-caramels and vanillas. Slightly woody and herbal elements of maple syrup, (or oak) whispered very softly of the Highwood whisky used in the recipe. There were no overt whisky notes.
A dram of White Owl Spiced whisky complemented the vanilla sweetness as Kam had suggested, but with black coffee this maple whisky cake simply screamed “maple-walnut smoothie.”
The chocolate version is a contender for the creamiest chocolate cake ever made. For those familiar with Quebec’s Vachon cakes, this was a grown-up rendition of Mae West or Joe Louis without the dipping chocolate. Creamy moist and so chocolaty sweet, it’s probably best to start with a small slice (or a shot of insulin). Again, the whisky notes, if present, were very subtle.
Black coffee and chocolate marry well, and in this pairing the coffee delivered a satisfying post-prandial delicacy. However, it was with White Owl Spiced that the whisky runner chocolate really became an indulgence. Suddenly, it echoed Black Forest cake in a whisky and dessert pairing with each element building on the other. Among the combinations, this, by far, was my dessert of choice.
Alberta Whisky Cakes are available in two flavours – Malted Maple and Whisky Runner Chocolate.
Suggested retail price is $35.00 for a 12-slice cake and $60.00 for one that serves 24 slices.