Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let it Blanche, let it Blanche, let it Blanche...

Earlier this year we were able to taste the excellent and deliciously aromatic Blanche Armagnac from Domaine des Cassagnoles (their shop is located close to Gondrin between Condom and Eauze). Until last night I couldn’t decide if I preferred it straight-up at room temperature or ‘frozen’ and poured over and to accompany Prune & Armagnac ice cream. Now however this Yuletide Martini has entered my life and has gone straight in at number one!!


* Ice cubes
* 250ml Blanche Armagnac
* 75ml dry vermouth
* 125ml cranberry juice
* 8 cranberries, frozen
* 4 lemon zest twists


1. Put 4 martini glasses in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.
2. Just before serving, fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Pour in the Blanche, vermouth and cranberry juice. Cover with the lid and shake vigorously up and down for about 10 seconds. Strain into the chilled glasses, dividing evenly.
3. Garnish each glass with 2 frozen cranberries and a lemon twist. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Armagnac Domaine de Meillan - 20 Ans

After arriving in Gascony, this wonderfully integrated Armagnac was one of my first discoveries and I regularly return for more. Unquestionably one of my favourites, I could drink it all night long!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

If I were a house this Armagnac would definitely be my central-heating

Domaine de La Haille 1979 Ténarèze Armagnac (Gold Medal - Paris) joins the list of tried and tested

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Armagnac Dupeyron XO

The dark and seductive Armagnac Dupeyron XO joins my list of 'tried and tested' Armagnacs.

Click here for more.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Armagnac is a great way to test if your smoke detectors are still working!

Filet Mignon de Porc Flambé a l'Armagnac

Try this easy and scrumptious recipe at home but please ensure that all necessary precautions are strictly adhered to. Not for the faint-hearted. The author accepts no responsibility for melted cooker hoods or any other fire damage.

Take a pork fillet(s) and massage the little fella(s) in the juice of a lemon, some soy sauce and a generous glug of honey. Season with freshly ground black pepper and place in a warmed oven (180 degrees) for about 25-30 minutes on a low-sided metal dish/pan. This can be done in advance.

Meanwhile roast some chopped, oiled and seasoned potatoes or boil up some rice and prepare a simple sauce (we had pan-fried Mushrooms with Yellow Courgettes with Crème Fraîche, Honey and Armagnac).

Lift the fillet into a warmed, oiled pan, pour over a couple of shots of Armagnac and approach slowly with a lit match!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gascon Coffee with Armagnac

I had my first at Auberge Les Caprices d'Antan, Lannepax but what does your 'Gascon Nuit' look like and can you beat this stylish and contemporary effort (below)?

I'm looking for pictures of your creations - can you better this or the current leader Emily? Any more takers for the prize (20cl) bottle of 10 yr old Bas Armagnac?

If you've not tried this wonderful concoction before then you're missing a real treat! Armagnac blends with cream so perfectly you'll probably never use an Irish Whiskey again!

See my Facebook page for more details....

An Armagnac fit for ET to take home...

A new entry on my list of tried and tested: Baron de Sigognac – Bas Armagnac 10 Years.

Baked Cheesecake with Armagnac soaked Prunes and Armagnac Custard

Utterly simple, this creamy and delicious pudding is a must. Best with an Armagnac-infused Crème Anglaise.

250g Digestive Biscuits
125g Butter
500g Fromage Nature (Type St. Moret)
125g Crème Fraîche
125g Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
200g Roughly chopped Prunes soaked in a little Armagnac
Icing sugar to decorate or, if you prefer, chopped walnuts

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

2. Place the butter in your cake tin (24 cm) and melt for a minute or two in the warming oven while you finely crush the biscuits.

3. Place the crushed biscuits in a bowl, pour in the melted butter and mix well. Return the mixture to the cake tin and press down to form a firm base.

4. Place the soaked-prunes on top of the base and pour any remaining Armagnac into a mixing bowl.

5. Add the Fromage Nature and the Crème Fraîche to the Armagnac and mix together with a fork until well combined. Add the sugar, the vanilla extract and the eggs and whisk again to create a creamy mixture. Pour/spoon oven the prune covered base.

6. Level the mixture and bake in the centre of your oven for around 45 minutes.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Armagnothèque - la selection 30 à 45 euros

Check out the new addition to 'la selection'; tried and tasted Armagnacs with tasting notes, prices and where to buy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Armagnac Croissant Pudding

Don't wait for the unlikely event of having a couple of leftover, stale croissants in the house! Bag extra on your next visit to la boulangerie and ensure these don't go anywhere near the breakfast table!!!

Serves 2

2 stale croissants
100g caster sugar
2 x 15ml tbsp water
125ml double cream
125ml full-fat milk
2 x 15ml tbsp Armagnac
Small handful of chopped Pruneaux d'Agen
2 eggs, beaten

1 Preheat the oven to 180C.

2 Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish mixed with the chopped pruneaux; I use a cast iron oval one with a capacity of about 500ml.

3 Put the caster sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over a medium to high heat.

4 Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away, without stirring, until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take about 10 minutes.

5 Turn the heat down to low and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – and, whisking away, the milk and Armagnac. Any solid toffee that forms in the pan will dissolve easily if you keep whisking over a low heat. Take off the heat and, still whisking, add the beaten eggs. Pour the caramel Armagnac custard over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes if the croissants are very stale.

6 Place in a hot oven for 20 minutes and prepare to feast.

Armagnothèque - la selection 20 à 30 euros

Check out the new addition to 'la selection'; tried and tasted Armagnac with tasting notes, prices and where to buy.

Armagnothèque - la selection 20 à 30 euros

Check out the new addition to 'la selection'; tried and tasted Armagnac with tasting notes, prices and where to buy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Armagnothèque Tasting & Lunch

Please take note that our first tasting and lunch will take place at Le Domaine de la Haille (Montréal du Gers) on Thursday 08 July at 12 noon.

Places are limited so please RSVP to to avoid disappointment.

'Itinerary' (subject to change)
'An Introduction to Armagnac' by Amanda Garnham (Attachée de Presse BNIArmagnac)
Armagnac Tasting
Armagnac-themed 3-course Lunch preceded by Blanche Armagnac Cocktail
Coffee & Armagnac Liqueur

The cost will be €30 per person.

Full details to follow shortly.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Open doors at Domaine de la Haille

Saturday 05 & Sunday 06 June 2010

Don't miss the annual 'open doors' weekend at Domaine de la Haille, just outside Montréal off the road to Fources.

They produce excellent wines and Armagnac, which will be available for tasting.

Lunch can also be taken on site - prepared by the excellent 'traiteur' Christophe Piques (€20) but please call 06 77 11 08 37 for a reservation.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Banarmagnac Cake - the recipe you've been waiting for all your adult life!

Ok, as a result of the huge demand I have decided to release the 'secrets' of Banarmagnac Cake, a recipe originating from the plantations of Guadeloupe and handed down through generations of the Wilkins family - my Grandma used to make it whenever the oven was on!

First of all set your oven to 180 degrees and heat a cake tin containing 150g of butter for a few moments until the butter has melted.

Place 2 or 3 ripe bananas in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and 150g of best quality Muscovado or unrefined sugar and a generous handful of sultanas. Mash all of this with a fork.

Sift 300g of flour into the banana mash along with 2 teaspoons of Baking Powder and 1/2 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda. Add two eggs to the mixture along with 100ml of Vegetable Oil and a healthy (50ml) splash of Armagnac. Continue the mashing/whisking with the fork until all ingredients are combined and a creamy texture is obtained (3 minutes).

Pour the mixture into the warmed cake tin and place this in the hot oven for 40 minutes or until the top of the cake has turned a deep, golden brown.

Options: Add slices of banana to the top of the mixture (as pictured) before placing in the oven. Get creative and experiment by adding cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla seeds.

Tip #1: Slice and toast the cooled cake and enjoy with Armagnac-infused Nutella!
Tip #2: Delicious served hot with ice cream and drowning in Armagnac

Friday, May 7, 2010

Armagnac 700 Years

Here's a little video I made to help remember the great night enjoyed recently at London's Connaught Hotel to celebrate the 700th Anniversary of Armagnac. The BNIA hosted a spectacular gala dinner from Helen Darroze, preceded by an Armagnac tasting from around a dozen different producers.

Let's hope the Armagnotheque events can recreate this magic!

Armagnac 700 Years