On NPR’s Kitchen Window, Kirstin Jackson (aka It’s Not You, It’s Brie) evangelizes for cheese in the dessert course, and makes a very convincing argument. Included are recipes for Tarentaise And Strawberry Puff Pastry Gallette, Dulce De Leche Goat Cheese Cookies, Fromage Mont Blanc and Goat Cheese Chocolate Truffles:
It was not until I tasted my first sheep’s milk ricotta cake in Florence that I realized cheese’s true dessert potential. Accustomed to the sugary cheesecakes with graham cracker crusts in the states, I assumed that cheese reached its dessert height when spread with raspberry preserves or rippled with coffee liquor. I was put over the edge by tasting a salty, meaty blue cheese work its magic on a piece of warm, earthy, cherry-and-cocoa toned dark chocolate. I was convinced that cheese and dessert belong together. The Italian cake’s lemony, savory, nutty flavors proved me wrong. Unlike the monotone sweet, mildly tangy taste of many American cheesecakes that bores the tongue after three or four bites, this new dessert had more flavor layers than a multicolored jawbreaker.
Back home, I tasted my first local goat cheese version of the dessert and realized there was something blaringly delicious about the artisan cheese and dessert combination. I was put over the edge by tasting a salty, meaty blue cheese work its magic on a piece of warm, earthy, cherry-and-cocoa toned dark chocolate. I was convinced that cheese and dessert belong together.
Fortunately, it is a great time to explore the possibilities. Artisan cheese in the United States has never been more abundant and delicious. Domestic creameries are winning hearts at home and surprising enough European tourists in blind tastings that American artisan cheese has made a name for itself abroad, too. It is time, then, for a new twist.
Cheese works well as a dessert for a couple of reasons: A nearly perfect food by itself, cheese can hold its own in a world of sugar and cream, and cheese — sweet and salty and sometimes even lemony all at once — gives dessert some unexpected tastes. Because today’s artisan cheese is so multifaceted, it provides a tasting experience that many dishes that rely on a lot of butter and sugar for flavor often do not.
Check out the full post and get the recipes.
(Photo ©2013 NPR.org)
Woah. I’m usually deeply suspicious of “cheese with stuff in it”, especially of the sweet variety, but I have to admit, a Triple Creme cheese — combined with Mast Brothers Chocolate — sounds kind of intriguing (although I’m curious as to how the presence of chocolate in the paste affected the aging process). Murray’s Cheese is responsible for this unusual Valentine’s confection:
LOVE AT MAST VALENTINE’S DAY COLLECTION
Like Beyonce covering Nina Simone, Murray’s covers a classic, hand ladled triple-crème in luxurious sweetness. We’ve married goods from two of our best-loved NYC artisans to create one classy, sensual cheese. Starting with a decadent and rich triple-cream from Champlain Valley Creamery, we layer it with shaved bittersweet chocolate from Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers and then age it to bloomy perfection in our Bleecker Street caves. This collection makes a lovely thing even lovelier by pairing it with velvety French black cherry confiture, and then, to get your heart pounding a little faster, we nestled a bar of Mast Brothers’ Black Truffle chocolate into the hay. At last — a valentine that puts your lips in sync with your heart!
one piece of Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Love at Mast
one bar of Mast Brother’s Truffle Chocolate
one jar of Black Cherry Confit
Pre-order it here.
Via Food Republic, a visually (and probably culinarily) amazing yogurt-based dessert from José Andrés:
Plate Deconstruction: José Andrés’ Yogurt-Pine Snow
A wintertime-inspired dessert at DC’s minibar.
It’s always cool when a chef as accomplished and celebrated as José Andrés still admits moments of uncertainty, especially when the outcome is no less masterful. Take his “Yogurt-Pine Snow” dessert at minibar in Washington, DC. “This dish started out as a simple idea — a concept consisting of pine and yogurt,” Andrés tells us. “The idea came from childhood memories of eating snow off the pine trees that had amber-colored sap dripping from the tree. But we really did not know what form or shape this was going to take.”
One glance and it’s obvious that the resulting plate took on a literal presentation. And why shouldn’t it? Dramatic and spellbinding at once, the light dusting of yogurt-turned-snow evokes the natural beauty of the forest and the wintry season, and yet it’s entirely befitting for the avant-garde eatery’s menu. Read on for Andrés’ nostalgic interpretation.
1. Spruce Tree Branch | A seasonal, naturistic touch, dusted with a light layer of edible “snow.”
2. Yogurt-Pine Snow | Frozen yogurt, delicately and quickly shaved into a fine ice resembling snow.
3. Pine Honey | Honey infused with pine essence. “The pine flavoring comes from a perfumist in California, who makes natural distillations and essential oils.”
4. Candied Pine Nuts | “Pine nuts come from pine trees—it was almost too obvious a choice for the dessert.” Here, the nuts are candied two ways: the darker ones are caramelized, while the darker ones are morsels of a pine-nut praline.
855 E Street NW, Washington DC, www.minibarbyjoseandres.com
(Photo ©2012 Food Republic)
Wow, that looks, and sounds, amazing (I love anything cassis, and cheese, well, you know). Via Bien Cuit’s Facebook page:
Prepare to have your standard in cheesecake redefined. Our special take on this classic favorite is a perfect cube of fluffy decadence, resting on a foundation of vanilla crumble and capped with an airy layer of cassis mousse. Just the thing to get your weekend squared away.
(Photo ©2012 Bien Cuit)
Camembert Ice Cream
140 grams/ 5 ounces camembert cheese (1 MouCo Camembert)
260 grams/ 1 cup milk
275 grams/ 1 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
200 grams/ 1 cup sugar
1.5 grams/ 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat a circulator or CVap or pot of water to 180F/82°C
Dice the camembert and put it in the blender with the milk and the cream. Puree for 1 minute until completely smooth. Add the egg yolks, sugar and salt an puree on low for 10 seconds until smooth. Seal the base in a vacuum bag. Cook for 20 minutes in the water bath or CVap. Cool the ice cream base in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Nearly any cheese—if it’s tasty to begin with—can stand alone as dessert. But how do you distinguish a cheese that’s meant for dessert from one that’s better suited as an appetizer? Surprisingly, all cheese has the versatility to go from pre- to post-dinner. With these few pointers, learn how to make any cheese look downright dessert-y.
These tips will come in handy if you need something sweet to serve in a pinch, but they’re also great considerations to make when turning any cheese into a dessert course. The idea is to offset the savory quality of cheese by introducing something sweet, with an aim to create compelling pairings by matching the saltiness in cheese with the sugary quality of something else.
(Photo ©2012 TheKitchn.com)
And perhaps the most unusual part of the Cloche outing: The cheese ice creams with which we finished the meal. In this photo, from right to left, are the Chevre ice cream, Fromage Blanc ice cream, and Roquefort ice cream. The Roquefort ice cream had only a hint of blue cheese flavor, and all three were lovely, although chevre in consistency was a little heavy, almost like frozen butter that had been whipped.