If 2020 offered me any moments of retrospection, I’ve learned to slow down and return to the simple pleasures in life, as often as possible. I recently broke bread over the table with a couple of bottles of Cathedral Cellar Wines, and my homemade version of Chef Mynhardt‘s spiced harvest loaf.
I received a loaf of this delicious bread along with Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay 2019 and Pinotage 2018 as part of an Easter celebration harvest box. Beautifully glazed and layered with dried fruit between clouds of sweet dough, it was a silver lining to the inevitably subdued nature of Easter weekend this year.
Cathedral Cellar’s ambassador chef, Chef Mynhardt Joubert, has been justifiably motivated to create something which reflects the energy of harvest and Easter.
“I love everything about Easter and this time of the year – the bounty of seasonal produce, the change in weather and the harvest which is in full swing all add to the magic this season’s spirit,” said Mynhardt.
With Easter long only a memory of crinkled chocolate egg wrappers, I wanted to re-create the cherished memories of Easter by replicating this humble loaf of bread, for it held promises of new tomorrows.
Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay 2019
Tasting notes: Showing a prominent nose of pineapple, mandarin and apple with secondary aromas of orange blossom and lime, this textured palate shows hints of peach and pear. It follows through with a lime finish.
In the vineyards: 76% Elgin, 16% Stellenbosch, 7% Wellington
In the cellar: The wine was left on extended lees contact for 270 days after fermentation and stirred regularly during this period. The wine was matured in 50% new, 25% second-fill and 25% third-fill French oak barrels for nine months.
Cellaring potential: Enjoy now or cellar for up to four years.
Cellar door price: approx. R100 a bottle
Cathedral Cellar Pinotage 2018
Tasting notes: An abundance of blackcurrant, black cherries, plums, and hints of fruit cake and marzipan on the nose. The intense concentration on the palate is the result of a combination of sweet fruit and well-integrated oak. The silky smooth tannins contribute to the juicy, round and seamless finish.
In the vineyards: Darling, Stellenbosch and Swartland
In the cellar: The wine spent 16 months in barrel. A 40% portion of the blend was aged in new barrels and the remainder in second and third-fill barrels. The wood utilised in the making of the wine comprised 85% French and 15% American oak.
Cellaring potential: Enjoy now or cellar for five years from vintage.
Cellar door price: approx. R150 a bottle
Spiced golden sultana, lemon and cinnamon bread
Easy to make with loving help from some of our favourite South African food brands, this bread is simply a showstopper. Don’t be daunted by the fact that the dates go into the bread whole; whilst baking in the oven, the dates turn gooey and soft, creating pockets of umami-inducing flavours. The addition of golden sultana raisins act like little drops of sunshine, scattered throughout clouds of sweet bread, followed by the lingering lemony goodness of the olive oil.
Sticky, spicy, gooey and incredibly soft, it paired beautifully with both wines, and even better with a responsibility-free afternoon. Serve with zero portions of guilt, with just a lashing of self-indulgence.
Spiced golden sultana, lemon and cinnamon bread
- 1 kg Sasko sweet dough bake mix
- 2 sachets instant yeast
- 600 ml lukewarm water
- 15 ml Hinds ground cinnamon
- 45 ml Willow Creek lemon flavoured olive oil
- 1 cup Montagu sultanas
- 1 cup Montagu pitted dates
- Rhodes Quality apricot jam, warmed to brush over the bread
- 1 cup Montagu coconut flakes toasted
- Mix the sweet dough bake mix, yeast and water together and knead until glossy and smooth.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with clingwrap.
- Leave to proof in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour or until doubled in size.
- Knock down the dough and roll out flat on a work surface with some of the lemon oil, about 1/2 cm thick.
- Mix the cinnamon and lemon oil together and brush over the dough.
- Scatter over the sultanas and dates and press lightly into the dough.
- Roll the dough into a long sausage shape and cut into 8 rolls.
- Pack the rolls next to each other in a prepared deep baking dish.
- Cover with a cloth and leave to proof until doubled in size.
- Bake until golden brown and cooked.
- Brush with the warmed apricot jam and garnish with the toasted coconut.
If nothing else, let’s remember to hold onto the things that feel like sunshine. Whether that’s your favourite person, a beautiful sunset, a stunning bottle of wine, or a golden sultana bread filled with nostalgic spices that remind you of your childhood.
Thank you, Cathedral Cellar and Chef Mynhardt, for creating a space where I could settle down and share a loaf of bread and a few glasses of wine with those I love. It was a momentary reprieve from life, and a reminder that every ending is followed by a new beginning.
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.
The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.