Food & wine

Desserts that are perfect with sparkling wine

Adding sparkling wine to a dessert instantly makes it feel super special. Here, fizz aficionado and Tastings & Events Co-ordinator Emma Briffett shows us two very easy puds, plus a bonus lemon curd recipe - all perfect for adding a decadent touch to Christmas Day or New Year's Eve.

Sparkling wine deserts

Moscato d'Asti and lemon curd syllabub

This is a lovely light dessert inspired by James Martin's recipe for a Champagne and Lemon Curd Syllabub. Here I've replaced the Champagne with moscato d'asti for its lovely floral, peachy aromas.


  • 8 ginger biscuits
  • 100ml moscato d'asti
  • 284ml double cream
  • 8 tbsp lemon curd (see below for recipe)
  • Toasted , flaked almonds
  • Strawberries

The original recipe calls for icing sugar but I think this makes it very sweet – especially if you are using Moscato d'Asti - so I've left it out. However, if you do have a sweettooth, add 2 tbsp icing sugar to the cream.

How to make it:

Bash up the biscuits into large crumbs and put them in the bottom of a glass dish and add half of the sparkling wine (don't do this too far in advance as otherwise they go a bit soft and it's nice to have some crunch!). Whip the cream with the sugar (if you're using it) and when it reaches soft peaks, fold in the remaining moscato and swirl in the lemon curd, which gives a lovely yellow colour to the cream.

Spoon the mixture into the glass dish and top with a scattering of toasted almonds and strawberries. Ta dah! Posh looking dessert with absolutely no effort – although you can make your own lemon curd first (which I did because I'm a huge fan, see recipe below!)

Sparkline wine desserts - Champagne and lemon curd syllabub

Lemon curd

This is really easy and makes an amazing lemon curd thatis lovely and tangy – try it in the syllabub above or spoon over vanilla ice cream for a really simple dessert.

Makes one 500g (large) jar or two 250g (small) jars.


  • 4 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
  • 200g/7oz unrefined caster sugar
  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 free-range eggs, plus 1 free-range egg yolk

How to make it:

  1. Put the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and the butter into a heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and again until all of the butter has melted.
  2. Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined, then leave to cook for 10-13 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove the lemon curd from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally as it cools. Once cooled, spoon the lemon curd into sterilised jars and seal. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Bucks fizz jelly

Bucks fizz jelly

Makes six portions


  • 2 sachets of powdered gelatine
  • 600ml orange juice – I use a mix of Tropicana (other brands are available) and the juice of 1 orange
  • 300ml prosecco or cava.
  • Sherbet to serve ( I used packets of dib dabs)

How to make it:

Put three quarters of the orange juice in a pan and bring to a simmer. Add the powdered gelatine slowly and keep stirring until all of the gelatine has melted and there are no lumps. Stir the hot juice into the rest of the juice with the prosecco or cava, then transfer to a jug. Pour the fizz and orange mixture equally between 6 small glasses and sit the jellies in a small tray or dish, cover with a sheet of cling film and chill for at least 4 hrs (or up to 48 hrs) until set. Before serving sprinkle some sherbet on top of each jelly or you could dampen the rims of the glasses before dipping in sherbert (as you would dipping a margarita glass into salt) but make sure you do this before pouring the jelly in to set!

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Emma Briffett

Tastings & Events

Emma Briffett

Tastings & Events co-ordinator Emma joined The Society in 2010. Among her many areas of expertise, Emma has a passion for matching wine with food. Her favourites include ‘steak and kidney pie with a large glass of Côtes-du-Rhône, and I always love a piece of brie with a glass of big, fat, southern hemisphere chardonnay.’

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