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Whisky Recipe: Mature Cheese Spread

by Oliver Klimek on March 31, 2011

The combination of whisky and cheese is nothing uncommon these days. I even made an experiment of marinating stilton in port wood whisky a while ago. Let me present you now another recipe that involves cheese and whisky.

This is actually the adaption of a French recipe where cognac is used. But with the right kind of whisky it works just as fine. Originally this is a way to get rid of cheese leftovers, especially those that have matured a little too long to really be enjoyable on their own. But of course you can also buy the cheese right for this purpose. You should just make sure that the cheese indeed is mature enough to give a strong flavour. This is not for sissies.

Ingredients

  • 400 grams mature cheese, at least 2/3 of it being soft cheese.
  • 100 grams butter
  • 30 ml of whisky

Preparation

Remove any rinds from the cheese and cut into small pieces. In a small casserole gently heat the butter until liquid. Slowly add the cheese pieces stirring often. Adjust the heat so that the mass is just simmering. When all cheese has melted let simmer for 2 minutes stirring constantly and remove from heat.

Allow to cool down until lukewarm occasionally stirring. Pour into a bowl, thoroughly mash with a fork, add the whisky and mix up well. Then refrigerate.

Serve with baguette, toast or nut bread and a dram of the whisky.

Comments

While the recipe itself is shockingly simple, the texture of the spread poses a bit of a problem. Too much hard cheese like Gruyere or Cheddar will result in rubber-like chunks. You could prevent this by using additives, but we want this to be natural and not some kind of Velveeta. The more soft cheese like Stilton, Roquefort of Camembert is used, the smoother the texture will be.

As the cheeses are strongly flavoured, the whisky needs to have some power as well. To balance out the salty and tangy character of the cheese, a fruity and sweet single malt is the best choice. I would favour a not too old sherry monster like the Aberlour a’Bunadh which I used myself, the Glenfaclas 105 or the Macallan Cask Strength.

You can have the spread as a full meal like a cold version of cheese fondue, as a proper dessert or also as part of a larger cheese platter.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nathan March 31, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Sounds tasty Oliver!

From my own experience melting hard cheeses like cheddar and gruyere, in order to keep them from breaking into that awful oil-and-curd, I shred all the hard cheese on a box grater, heat a little milk or cream to just below simmer, and add the cheese just a 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly and lowering to heat so it never simmers. If the cheese melts too fast, lower the heat. When each addition of cheese is melted, add the next. This makes a very nice creamy fondue, to which whisky would be an amazing addition. I will also try your method, as I’m sure soft cheeses go a long way towards keeping the mixture smooth.

I personally have trouble accumulating enough scraps for this, as I’m the only cheese-head in the house, and the older pieces tend to go ammonia before I’ve got a good quantity. Have you had any success freezing scraps for this kind of preparation?

Reply

Oliver Klimek March 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm

A hot fondue with hard cheese is no problem at all. Just add a little starch, no milk or cream is needed. And of course you need to add some wine, that’s the classical Swiss method. Of course you can then replace the traditional Kirschwasser with whisky ;-) But this wouldn’t work here because it would become “rubber” after cooling down.

I have never frozen any cheese, so I can’t help you on that issue, I’m afraid.

Reply

Mary April 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Freezing cheese is fine – especially the “harder” cheeses like cheddar & gruyere. Makes sure to wrap them well & try to use within 3 months or so. I actually freeze these little extra bits to collect enough for a fondue so I know it works! I usually wrap each piece in wax paper & put in a freezer ziploc bag – makes it easy to add more cheese.

Reply

Mary April 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Freezing cheese is fine – especially the “harder” cheeses like cheddar & gruyere. Make sure to wrap them well & try to use within 3 months or so. I actually freeze these little extra bits to collect enough for a fondue so I know it works! I usually wrap each piece in wax paper & put in a freezer ziploc bag – makes it easy to add more cheese.

Reply

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