A whole month and a half without a chirp from me. How lucky can you get!? I had every intention of making this year far less hectic than the last 43, but alas it is not to be. This puppy dog is still chasing her tail with no end in sight. My TEFL English course has finally reached its long awaited end (I am now a bona fide English teacher!!) so I should have more time next month...but then the students arrive to be taught English. Sigh. Poor me.
BUT I am NOT giving up on my beloved blog and so I am finally posting a super recipe for a Cheese Cheesecake. Why am I using Cheese twice, you wisely ask. Well, 'cos it's a savory cheesecake and if I say cheesecake you'll think I mean the deelicious sweet one, but I really mean the deelicious savory one. Got it? What I mean is that it is a cake made out of blue cheese, brie and either fresh goat's cheese or other soft cheese like Boursin.
I made this for my first and as yet only blog party (next year...) and when I said that it was a cheesecake with blue cheese, my mate Deirdre thought I was being facetious. Like I would be...! Everyone was mightily impressed and they have been impatiently waiting for 2 years for the recipe. My mother-in-law prepared it for a big birthday bash just recently and it really took center court. So without further ado, here it is. Oh yes, just one last thing, this is an adaption of a Martha Steward recipe.
The brie: Make sure it's well chilled before slicing it in half as otherwise all the cheese sticks to the knife and it's hard to cut. Preferably use a serrated knife. I will sometimes freeze it a little and then slice it as this really makes it a lot easier. You want the round “wheel” shaped brie and not the wedges.
Soft cheese: I use a different cheese every time I make this. The fresh goat's cheese is nice and mild tasting so alright for people who don't normally eat goat cheese. I often use the garlic and herb Boursin, but you can use a plain one or a different flavored one without a problem.
Quantities: I play around with these quite a lot. Packaging sizes vary in the various country so I tend to take the standard package of blue cheese and 2 portions of the standard size of soft cheese, but feel free to add more or less. The “cake” in the photo has a bit less - one I made after this one had a bit more so I covered the sides as well and that looked even nicer.
Nuts: Coarsely chop most of the nuts but leave a few whole ones for decoration.
Port: I must admit to occasionally forgetting to reduce the port and have just served the port as is. Works fine in a pinch, but is certainly more taste intensive when reduced. My mother-in-law added a bit of thickener and said it was lovely, so do as you want! Serve the port reduction separately at the table. If you pour it over beforehand the cheesecake turns a “dirty” color. Don't serve it without port in some form or other as it really “kicks it up a notch”.
150-250g blue cheese, e.g. Roquefort, Gorgonzola
2 x 200g soft cheese, e.g. fresh goat cheese, Boursin
1 big round Brie, 1kg / 9” wheel
1 cup chopped nuts, walnuts or hazelnuts
1-2 cups port
1 sprig of thyme, optional
1. Mix the blue cheese and the soft cheese until it is smooth and spreadable.
2. Slice the brie round horizontally as per the instructions above and gently ease the two halves apart.
3. Spread half the soft cheese mix on one half and sprinkle with half the chopped nuts. Top with the other half of the brie.
4. Spread the rest of the soft cheese mix over the top and sides of the brie. Sprinkle with the rest of the nuts and chill for a few hours.
5. Put the port in a pan with the thyme if using, bring to a boil, then reduce heat a little and cook until reduced by half. Remove the thyme and cool. Serve with the cheesecake.