ARCHIVE LIBRARY

CENLA PAIRING: TEQUILA … MORE THAN A MARGARITA!

by Jodi Marze Belgard

Tequila, there are songs about both it and its mixed offerings. It is hard to mention summer or Fiesta and not include it in some way. What do we know about it when it comes time to choose one?

Well, one thing I wasn’t familiar with until a year ago was the fact that Tequila comes from the mezcal family. Mezcal is a distilled spirit from agave plants. But Tequila is a specific form of mezcal which is only made from blue agave plants located in the Jalisco Region. You may find that mezcal can be a little smokier with some spice notes.

There are five types of Tequila, which are based on strict times of barrel aging. They are ~~Blanco (Silver), Joven (Gold), Reposado (Rested/Aged), Anejo (Añejo extra) aged and Extra (Anejo-añejo). The darker the color, the smoother the taste profile will be. Most bartenders will tell you that the best mixer for your Margarita will be the Blanco due to other flavors that make up for the bite and it usually is the least expensive of the five.

If you do happen to find yourself sitting around sipping tequila neat, you can pair it with a light cuisine that has bright and acidic juice notes. While it may be a bit traditional, Ceviche is a top choice to pair as an appetizer. Another ideal choice would be a roasted vegetable of some sort with a goat cheese dip.

James Beard Award winning Chef, Alon Shaya, has brought Israeli food to the forefront of New Orleans cuisine and his Roasted Cauliflower with Feta and Goat Cheese Dip is born to pair with all kinds of liquid refreshment, including Tequila.

Fish tacos would be a great main course with Tequila. However, in a glass is far from the only way to enjoy Tequila.

Tequila spritzed over cheese-covered nachos and lit with a table torch is an excellent way to get the flavor of the spirit blended with the roasted goodness of the nachos.

Last, but certainly not least, MyCakeSchool.com has offered an incredible dessert that does its star ingredient justice with its Margarita Cake with Tequila Lime Buttercream. Many thanks to Melissa Diamond for her permission to share and commitment to her passion.

Remember, life is made of moments; pair them well! Cheers!

Margarita Cake with Tequila Lime Buttercream

Ingredients
•1 stick (1/2 cup) (113g) unsalted butter, softened
•1 3/4 (350g) sugar
•4 eggs, room temperature ( eggs can be warmed by putting in a bowl of warm water)
•3 cups (342g) cake flour – **if you do not have cake flour, see note below
•1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon (15g) baking powder
•1 teaspoon (6g) salt
•1 1/4 cup (326 g) frozen Margarita Mix, thawed (we used 10 oz can Bacardi brand non-alcoholic frozen concentrated mixer)
•1/4 cup (50g) vegetable oil
•1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla
•**Substitution for Cake Flour: For each cup of all purpose flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of the all purpose flour and replace with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. For this recipe, you will measure out 3 cups all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoon flour and replace with 6 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk to blend.

For the Tequila Lime Buttercream
•2 cups (4 sticks) (453g) unsalted butter, softened
•10 to 12 cups (1150g to 1380g) powdered sugar (measure by lightly spooning into a cup, then sift. I used 12 cups.)
•1 teaspoon (6g) salt
•4 Tablespoon (49g) lime juice (2 small limes)
•3 Tablespoons (37g) tequila
•2 teaspoons (11g) milk – milk is optional, you could also use lime juice or tequila

Directions

•Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans. Use parchment paper or wax paper in the bottom of each pan.
•In a medium sized bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk for 30 seconds to blend and set aside.
•In a separate bowl, add the thawed Margarita Mix, oil and vanilla. Set aside.
•In the bowl of your mixer, cream the softened butter. Slowly add the sugar and beat at medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, blending after each until the yellow is blended into the mixture.
•Add the dry ingredients alternately with the margarita mix mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients ( 3 additions of dry and 2 additions of wet ingredients).
•Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool in pans 10 minutes then turn out.
•Also works well for cupcakes. Makes 7 cups of batter.

For the frosting…
•For the frosting, cream the softened butter until smooth. Add the salt and slowly add the powdered sugar until mixed with the butter. Add the vanilla, lime juice, tequila and milk. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix an additional 3 minutes on slow speed until creamy.

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