An easy vegetarian savoury pudding flavoured with leeks and cheese which is just as good (if not better) than its sweet counterpart. If you’ve not tried this cheese and leek bread pudding recipe from Cranks, you’re definitely missing out.
I always try and make the boys next door something for Christmas as a thank you for uncomplainingly taking in our parcels throughout the year. Seeing some cranberry Wensleydale cheese for sale recently, I remembered how good the Wensleydale apple cake I made last year was and thought I should perhaps try it out in some muffins. I found this recipe on the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Co website and adapted it accordingly.
So, this is how I made:
Wensleydale and Cranberry Chocolate Muffins
- Sifted 225g flour, 50g drinking chocolate, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of rock salt into a bowl.
- Stirred in 110g golden caster sugar.
- Crumbled in 125g Wensleydale cheese with cranberries.
- Peeled, cored and finely chopped one small apple and stirred this into the mix.
- Made a well in the centre and broke in 2 smallish eggs.
- Added 90 ml Mrs Middleton’s cold pressed rapeseed oil and 200 ml sour milk (ordinary milk should be fine or add a tsp of lemon juice to the milk and leave to stand for a few minutes).
- Stirred until just combined.
- Spooned into 12 muffin cases and baked at 180°C for 22 minutes when risen and firm to the touch.
Not very elegant perhaps, but these would make great snack food for keeping the cold at bay whilst seeing in the New Year at some favourite spot out in the wilds, as we have been known to do. A flask of hot mulled wine to accompany them would not go amiss either. As such I am submitting these to Emily’s Recipe of the Week over at A Mummy Too, which is all about New Year’s Eve Nibbles.
Who’s up for a Christmas hamper of homemade foodie gifts? You won’t find many people that will turn one down. Here you’ll find a few ideas for what you might like to put in your Christmas hampers should you feel like creating some.
Earlier in the year, the more than occasional baker made an apple cake using Wensleydale cheese with added cranberries. Well, I was intrigued by this and her description had me bookmarking the recipe immediately. As with most of the recipes I bookmark, it’s taken me some time to try it out, but try it out I eventually did. The Wensleydale I used was one studded with cherries. With my recent discovery that chocolate and cheese go very well together I also added some chocolate, but this could of course be left out if it is deemed to be overkill.
I was recently sent a few Fairtrade goodies from the Fairtrade Foundation and I was keen to try them out.
This is how I did it:
- Placed 150g unsalted butter in a bowl and left it on our storage heater for an hour to soften (the kitchen has gone into it’s no need for a fridge phase).
- Sifted 175g flour (half white, half wholemeal) into a bowl together with 1 tsp baking powder.
- Peeled, cored and chopped 1 large tart apple (unidentified Cornish variety) and tossed into the flour ensuring all surfaces were coated to prevent browning.
- Chopped 50g of Traidcraft dark chocolate (70%) into chips.
- Crumbled 125g cherry Wensleydale cheese into small bits.
- Creamed the butter with 175g golden caster sugar until it was really pale and fluffy.
- Beat in 2 duck eggs, one by one.
- Folded in the flour and apple, mixing in 3 tbsp milk when the mixture became too stiff.
- Gently stirred in the chocolate and cheese.
- Spooned into a 2lb loaf mould.
- Cored, peeled and sliced a small tart Cornish apple (variety unidentified) and laid over the cake.
- Sprinkled over 1 tbsp demerara sugar and baked at 180C for 45 minutes.
- Allowed to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack and cutting a slice immediately!
The cake looked so tempting with its shiny toffee apple top that I couldn’t wait for it to cool, so I cut a slice whilst still warm. The smell of cheese on toast as I raised it to my lips was slightly disconcerting, but luckily this didn’t put me off. It had a fantastic texture and good flavour, sweet with little bursts of saltiness courtesy of the cheese. As the cake was quite sweet, this worked really well; together with the tart apple and bitter chocolate almost all taste sensations were covered.
I’m submitting this to Jac’s Bookmarked Recipes over at Tinned Tomatoes.
This honeyed fig & goat’s cheese tart with walnuts & thyme is drizzled with homemade spiced chocolate balsamic vinegar. It makes for a great starter or light lunch when you don’t want to spend too much time on preparation. It looks quite impressive and tastes fantastic. You can make it as one large tart, as I have, or cut the pastry into squares or rectangles and serve as individual tarts.
As some of you might have gathered by now, there is a monthly blog challenge for the Best of British created and supported by The Face of New World Appliances. Each month, a different region or county within the UK is featured and the challenge is to make either a dish from that area or using ingredients that come from it. I’m keen to support this as it is very much about promoting British produce AND I did kick things off with the Best of British Cornwall back in May. There is also an incentive of a possible £50 Amazon voucher for one lucky entrant. Janice of Farmergirl Kitchen hosted a Scottish challenge in June and the current one, for Yorkshire is hosted by the exuberant and energetic Karen from Lavender and Lovage.
Now, since trying my first (and only) Yorkshire curd tart when I was in York last year – from the famous Betty’s Tea Rooms no less – I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making them myself. Needless to say, it took this challenge to get me kick started. A couple of nights ago a group of us went to see No Fit State, an amazing animal free circus that is performing at the Eden Project throughout August. We were all meeting up for a picnic beforehand, which seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out the tarts. Of course, these were my interpretation of this classic recipe – I had to get chocolate in somehow! I based the filling on this Hairy Bikers recipe.
This is what I did:
- The night before, brought 2 pints of milk to a simmer.
- Squeezed in the juice of a lemon and left the milk to cool down, stirring very briefly.
- Poured the mixture into a sieve lined with a cheesecloth and left overnight for the whey to drip out.
- Placed 150g of wholemeal flour in a bowl with 25g cocoa powder and 15g icing sugar.
- Added 100g of cold cubed unsalted butter and rubbed the mixture between my fingers until it resembled breadcrumbs.
- Threw in an egg yolk and a splash of cold water.
- Stirred and brought the mixture together into a ball.
- Placed in a plastic bag and put in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Creamed 65g of unsalted butter with 65g cardamom (caster) sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Grated in the zest of an organic lemon and creamed some more.
- Beat in an egg until thoroughly combined.
- Stirred in the curd cheese.
- Added 25g of raisins (would have used current, but didn’t have any).
- Rolled out the chilled pastry and cut into rounds to fill four 9cm tart cases and 7 jam tart sized dimensions – I used my muffin moulds.
- Divided the mixture between the tarts and baked at 180C – 20 minutes for the larger tarts and 13 minutes for the smaller ones.
The tarts were delicious, just as good as I remembered the one from Betty’s Tea Rooms. The chocolate pastry offset the sweetness of the filling and the overall effect was very satisfying – certainly everyone seemed to enjoy them. We picnicked in the evening sunshine, a rare event this summer. We then enjoyed a fabulous performance of flying trapezes, rope climbing, hula hoops, trampolining, contortionism and pole dancing like you’ve never seen before. Oh and the music was good too.
As these are tarts and they were baked especially for a picnic – where they were all consumed I might add, they fit very well into this month’s Tea Time Treats. Hosted on alternate months by Kate of What Kate Baked and Karen of Lavender and Lovage, this month’s theme chosen by Kate is picnic pies. I might almost have planned it 😉
Chocolate and cheese isn’t the most obvious combination. Not until you start thinking about chocolate cheesecake that is. With these 34 cheese and chocolate recipes you’ll find cheesecake for sure, but so much more.
Cheecolates I hear you ask? Cheeky little cheesy chocolate biscuits. I’ve been meaning to make the chocolate wafer biscuits in Paul A Young’s Adventures with Chocolate since I first got the book. Like many other good intentions, this one hasn’t quite made it. But whilst I was scratching my head as to what to make using cheese and chocolate for this month’s We Should Cocoa, I remembered the concept of savoury chocolate biscuits to have with cheese. Why not try some biscuits actually made with cheese instead? I used this recipe on the BBC good food site as my starting point, but changed the quantities a bit and added cocoa.
This is how I did it:
- Placed 120g flour (half wholemeal spelt and half white) into a bowl.
- Added 10g cocoa, 1/2 tsp of mustard powder, a pinch of sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper.
- Rubbed in 50g unsalted butter until a breadcrumb like consistency was achieved.
- Added 50g grated Cheddar cheese and mixed in.
- Added about 2 tbsp water bit by bit until the mixture was ready to be bought together in a ball but not wet – always quite difficult to judge in my experience.
- Rolled the dough out to about 6mm thick and cut 8 cm rounds out with a cutter reforming the offcuts into a ball and rolling again. I got 19 biscuits.
- Placed on a baking tray and baked for 12 minutes at 180C.
- Removed from the tray and left to cool on a wire rack.
Well I have to say I wasn’t bowled over by these biscuits. They were perfectly pleasant, but we couldn’t really taste the cocoa, only cheese. The mustard also gave a bitter note that really didn’t marry well with the bitterness of the chocolate itself. If I made these again, I would double the amount of cocoa and leave out the mustard. Given that they are not really chocolatey enough to be included for We Should Cocoa, I am going to have to think of something else for the challenge.