Since visiting Cognac earlier in 2016, and learning about the process and heritage of the spirit, I’ve been eager to learn more about the actual cognac brands, in particular Martell – one of the oldest and well-known houses within the region.
At the time of the year where we’re getting friends and family together to toast the year gone by and look ahead to the new year, Martell has created ‘The 4th Course’ cognac serve, a series of food pairings designed to enhance the harmonious blend of fresh citrus and pear flavours, wood and spice notes and velvety texture of Martell VS.
Based on the after-dinner French Café Gourmand serve and playing homage to Martell’s rich cultural heritage and associations with extraordinary food, The Martell 4th Course pairs Martell Cognac with a selection of petits fours .
I was lucky enough to be introduced to the 4th course recently, during a culinary experience hosted by Martell at Malmaison London. The event was lead by Martell Brand Ambassador, Matthias Lataille, who introduced the small-intimate dinner table to the four recipes, created in partnership with Martell and Cordon Bleu trained Chef, Luiz Hara.
The simple food pairings can be prepared cold and can be prepared and left in the fridge ahead of entertaining guests, including this easy-to-follow Iberico Charcuterie & Cognac Soaked Prunes recipe:
Ready to eat prunes are soaked in sugar syrup, lightly flavoured with Martell VS, then wrapped around ultra-fine, marbled Iberico de Bellota ham in a sophisticated interpretation of ‘Devils on Horseback’.
100g Iberico ham, finely sliced
250g ready-to-eat, stoneless prunes
50g granulated sugar
4 tbsp Martell cognac
1. The prunes will need to be soaked preferably overnight in cognac syrup. Before soaking, make the syrup by mixing the
water and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Add the prunes to the sugar syrup and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
3. Pour the prunes and their cooking liqueur into a tupperware, let it cool down until lightly warm then stir in the cognac.
Leave to cool, cover the container and chill in the fridge overnight (or for at least a few hours if you forget to start a
4. To serve, wrap the prunes in Iberico ham
Pears, Roquefort & Almonds with Martell Soaked Raisins – A festive blue cheese pairing, light enough to be enjoyed as a fourth course, yet full of flavour, especially when the Martell-soaked raisins burst with flavour.
Christmas Pudding Ice Cream – You can’t get more Christmassy, than Christmas pudding! and this Christmas pudding with cognac infused raisins personifies not only Christmas, but the elegance and modern slant the Martell 4th course offers.
For more information on Martell and The 4th course head over to http://www.martell.com/en-uk/ or search for #Martell4thCourse.
*This is a collaboration with Martell. All opinions expressed are all mine and not that of Martell. Please drink responsibly.