Tag Archives: cheese

The Cheese Shed

It’s not that I forget birthdays. More that I remember them at the last-minute and, more often than not, procrastinate when it comes to posting the gift. So I do a lot of gift buying online and my latest online gift saviour is The Cheese Shed who specialise in West Country cheese.

My husband and I honeymooned in that part of England and we ate a lot of local cheese while we were there, some of which is among the best cheese I have ever tasted, so I had high hopes for these cheesy gifts. I was not disappointed.

The Cheese Shed offer 16 different gift boxes to choose from starting at £25, with names such as Nothin’ But The Blues and Some Like It Raw. The Big Softy below is making me dribble on my keyboard…

The Cheese Shed - The Big Softy

If you want to spend a bit more you can upgrade to one of the four hampers, a cheese subscription or gift vouchers. You receive an email when your gift is delivered, which I think is a nice touch to stop any worries.

If you haven’t got a sweet tooth or don’t like cake (what? It could be possible!) then look at the beautiful cakes of cheese that The Cheese Shed create. They are wedding cakes but would be stunning at any party, and are better value than most wedding cakes at £67 for one that feeds 20-25 people.

The Cheese Shed - Tyneham Wedding Cheese CakeIf you have specific cheese tastes or like trying out different combinations you can have a go at creating your own cheese cake masterpiece using the interactive cakebuilder. I warn you though – I have just spent almost an hour building different cake variations.

Would you prefer cheese, chocolates or flowers in the post?

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Fancy Cheese in Toast

At Christmas one of the courses I made for my extended family was brie wrapped in brioche from a Good Food recipe. I made two of them between 12 of us and although they tasted delicious they were massive and so rich that between us we didn’t finish either of them. We spent three days after Christmas finishing them off and by that time we were all thoroughly sick of the sight of them.

Nearly three months later I found myself hankering after one but put off at the quantity I decided to have a go at making individual portions.

I used the same quantities for the dough from the original Good Food recipe but instead of a large brie I used four small brie rounds. I also found that two eggs for glazing was far too much so reduced it down to one. As I don’t eat pork I also left the prosciutto out but if you do, wrap the brie rounds in prosciutto before you wrap them in the dough.

  • 375g strong white bread flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 75ml milk
  • 3 large eggs , plus 1 beaten eggs for glazing
  • 185g softened unsalted butter
  • 4 x 80g rounds of brie (or camembert works too)

Mix the first five ingredients together in a mixer with the dough attachment until the dough is smooth.

Add the butter and mix for another 4 minutes or so (make sure the butter is really soft before you add it).

Put the dough in a container covered with clingfilm in the fridge for at least six hours.

A couple of hours before you are ready to cook it remove from fridge and roll it out onto a floured surface so it’s large enough to wrap your brie rounds.

Brioche dough rolled out ready to wrap brie

Cut the dough into sections large enough to wrap each brie and fold the dough round smoothing as you go so it is neat and totally encompasses the brie.

Repeat for each round of brie and place on a baking tray covered in baking parchment. Leave plenty of room between them, as they cook they’ll rise considerably.

(You’ll be pleased to know I resisted the strong urge to add dough ‘nipples’, yes I’m childish).

Brie wrapped in brioche dough

Brush your brioche parcels with the beaten egg and put in the fridge for 30 mins. Repeat.

(I did the above the first time I cooked this recipe and didn’t the second time and I didn’t notice a real difference, so if you’re in a hurry you could save an hour by omitting the chilling stages)

Leave to rise at room temperature for an hour then place in a preheated oven at 220 degrees C/gas mark 6 for 18-20 minutes.

When you take them out they should look something like this.

Brie wrapped in brioche

When you cut into them you free the oozy brie loveliness. My husband aptly described them as fancy cheese in toast.

Oozy brie loveliness

Although my aim was to make individual portions these were still quite large and the dough would probably be enough to make six smaller ones.

I was wondering if it would work with bresaola instead of the prosciutto? I also think adding a couple of sun-dried tomatoes on top of the brie rounds would be really tasty. Or indeed spreading something like onion marmalade on the outside of the brie before wrapping. I think I’m going to have to make some more to try these ideas out…

If you’re looking for a tasty weekend brunch-time treat these would be perfect.

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Chocolate Cheese?

I know. Chocolate cheese? Sounds revolting.

Revelation Cheddar Cheese from the Truckle Cheese Co.

But let me tell you, the level of gross you are imagining is the level of gorgeous that it tastes.

I discovered Revelation Cheddar at a fair recently with my mum and we both screwed our faces up when we saw it on display at the Truckle Cheese Co stand but I couldn’t not try it. I tried a chunk smeared with Pear & Vanilla Pod Chutney and it was beautiful. The mature cheddar twang combines creamily in your mouth with the dark chocolate and the result is heavenly.

My mum was a little harder to convince to try it. But the second time we passed the Truckle stand I still hadn’t stopped talking about it so she agreed to shut me up try it and it got her seal of approval too. Whilst Mum was trying some of the other varieties I had a quick chat with the lovely Truckle Cheese lady. She told me they are a family business that make all the produce they sell, her husband invented the chocolate cheese (that man deserves a medal) and her daughter runs the online store.

It would be perfect at Christmas, not just because of the festive taste, but to see the surprise on your friends’ and families’ faces as they go from tentatively trying a tiny bite with a wrinkled nose to devouring the next bite whole and demanding more.

If you’re still not convinced about the chocolate cheese consider trying some of Truckle Cheese Co’s other delights, especially their Fig & Honey Wensleydale (my mum’s favourite), Mature Vintage Cheddar and their Onion Marmalade which is seriously the best I have ever tried. The gift hampers look good value too.

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