Welcome to the latest edition of  'In The Paddock'. Hopefully you've been staying up-to-date with the series or via Facebook and/or Instagram. I've just provided y'all with the link to each so now you really have no excuse not to! For those of you who do follow us online #thanksfam you would have seen some of the new food and drink options available at The Paddock and hopefully you’ve been in to try them! On another note, Liam and Sarah are putting some of last season's delicious desserts to rest. The Dark Chocolate & Lime Ganache Tart, Strawberry Brûlée and Orange Syrup Polenta Cake have been enjoyed by many of our diners and we're sad to see them go. Fret not! Liam & Sarah have created some incredible new desserts which I have the pleasure of sharing with you right now!

We’ve mentioned Chef Sarah in our blogs before but we’ve never gone into great detail. Sarah lived in New Zealand until moving to Australia a few years ago. She grew up cooking desserts and pastries in her grandmother’s kitchen after school and on weekends. Recently, Sarah had the pleasure of jetting off back to her roots in N.Z. for her sister’s nuptials where she spent a lot of time with close friends and family. After leaving her loved ones behind and returning to Cairns with a dessert menu change imminent she decided to bring a little slice of home to The Paddock.

Now available on our new menu is Liam and Sarah’s variation on Grandma Ngarie’s Apple & Blueberry Pie. This was Sarah’s favourite dish to make as a child. Chef Liam made some minor alterations to the pastry recipe to make it a bit softer #donttellgrandma. Nevertheless, Sarah says it tastes just like Grandma Ngarie’s! Let me tell you, I’m not usually a fan of desserts but when I close my eyes and take a bite I get homesick because I’m transported to my grandmother’s dining table in the middle of a cold winter in Perth! The sweetness of the blueberries partnered with the tang of the Granny Smith apples with just a hint of spice makes this dessert magical. I recommend trying it with a nip of Applewood Limoncello from South Australia. Some people believe Limoncello aids in digestion but I think it’s a great accompaniment as the bitterness of the sour lemon will cut through the sweetness of the filling.

You may recall a few menus ago that we used to bake our breads in terracotta pots before opting to serve them on our beautiful sustainably sourced Daintree wooden boards. We’ve brought the terracotta pots back but this time it’s for our second dessert. Chefs Liam and Sarah have incorporated one of our Australian whisky’s into a classic cheesecake. Taking it one step further – they’re serving the cheesecake in a toppled over terracotta pot with a dark chocolate cookie soil and garnished with fresh mint. This is visually spectacular dessert looks like a pot plant straight out of a garden and is totally edible (besides the pot and stone slate plate). It’s creamy and sweet with a subtle undertone of whisky. I recommend enjoying this with a dram of the very whisky the dessert is made with. Starward ‘New World’ single malt whisky from Melbourne, which was recently awarded double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC). Just to turn it up even more; the team from Essendon Fields won ‘Best Single Malt Whisky’ at the World Whisky Awards. Fruity flavours such as banana, raisins and dried figs combined with sweeter notes of caramel, vanilla and marzipan make this whisky perfect to incorporate into a cheesecake.

Desserts are the perfect way to cap off an evening with friends and family. Hopefully I’ve enticed your sweet tooth and you’ll join us to for a few courses and a couple of drinks in the not-to-distant future. To make a reservation you can book online via Open Table here. It’s fast and simple!

Happy days,

Matty Bonasia

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