I know it is odd……………… I have a job where I am able to spend time, working out how you are going to use up the last bit of that expensive cheese you bought at the deli. This is also where I am going to tell you that cheese is not just served with crackers….. it really makes a great dessert. We are already comfortable with cheese cake and perhaps even baked ricotta with berries, mascapone in tira misu, these are all creamy cheese laden desserts already established, in kitchens across Australia. I want to introduce you to another world of cheese as a dessert. This is the first. Cheese goes with chocolate, fruit and cake, and lots of other interesting things. No really, you will understand soon enough.
Lets start with a triple cream pannacotta . You can use a triple cream cheese, a mild goat cheese or a creamy blue cheese, even brie will work. You just can’t use philadelphia cream cheese because it doesn’t have a taste of it’s own. Reserve this for icings, cheesecakes or pancake fillings.
For those whose minds just can’t finish on cheese, serve some chocolates after , ( or a big bowl of lollies- if you are like my family). If there are no figs try it with rhubarb, caramelised apples, poached pear in red wine or marinated dates ( orange and Ximenez sherry vinegar works nicely).
•150gm Delice de Bourgogne without the rind (discard). ( see explanation of delice in cheese)
- 100 ml thickened cream
- 1 leaf titanium gelatine (4 gm), soaked in cold water and lightly squeazed
Pistachio brittle ( crumble)
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1/4 cup ( 80 ml) water
- 1/4 tsp ( a couple of drops) lemon juice
- 1 cup of roasted pistachios
- Heat delice ( or other cheese broken or chopped into smallish pieces) and cream and the gelatine in a small saucepan on a very low heat, stirring constantly, don’t let the mixture boil. Take off the heat. Making sure everything has melted gently together
- Strain the mixture into a jug. Pour into greased moulds and put into fridge, 3 hours or overnight . The moulds can plastic or ceramic and quite small, as this is quite rich
- That is it for the pannacotta
- Unmould onto a plate, using the tip of a small paring knife down the side of the mould to release easily .Serve with a fresh fig or rhubarb and caramelised orange.
to make the praline crumble:
- Put the sugar, water and juice in a pot over medium heat occasionally giving it a swirl until it starts to bubble.
- Watch carefully, until it turns golden to lightly brown. Add the pistachios swirl.
- Pour onto a paper lined tray to cool. You will not successfully mix the nuts together with any spoon or spatula… so don’t even try, just pour it straight onto a tray and tilt the tray so it spreads. Don’t be tempted to touch it , spread it or manipulate it in any way after this as you will be burnt to death and never talk to me again.
- When cold ( and it can be refrigerated) Break up in the food processor.
Serve with fried or butter painted and baked wonton wrappers ( cut to shape before cooking). If frying drain well and dust with a little icing sugar. Buy these fresh at an asian store or some supermarkets
If there is any praline left over put it into an airtight container and freeze it. It keeps very well this way.
Go on make some……………………………………………………………………….