There can’t be many ingredients that provide an almost tangible sensation of being cuddled from the inside-out quite like cheese can.
This article is in collaboration with The Prep Kitchen Podcast.
Whether in its natural state, enjoyed with some crackers, or perhaps something more elaborate like a perfectly risen, pillowy soft Soufflé, if ever I’m offered cheese, the answer is most definitely: yes, please!
Here are three recipes that we really hope you’ll have great fun making and even more fun eating.
Goat’s cheese frittata with tomato, fennel seed, chilli flakes & basil
A simple, classic Italian egg dish. This grown-up, sophisticated cousin of the humble omelette is a perfect light supper, best served with a simply dressed green salad.
8 large eggs
110g soft goats cheese (I recommend Vulscombe)
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 banana shallot, or small white onion, finely sliced
100g cherry tomato, sliced
20g butter Basil
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) / 190°C (conventional). Crack your eggs into a large bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside ready to season just before going in the pan.
Add a tablespoon of olive or rapeseed oil to the pan and gently start to sweat your shallots, for around 5-6 mins, until translucent and soft.
Add the chilli flakes and fennel seeds, followed by the sliced tomatoes and cook for a further 1-2 mins. Season lightly with a pinch of salt and a couple of twists of black pepper. It’s important that the tomatoes don’t burst, as the excess juices released may cause the frittata to become soggy.
Season your eggs with salt and pepper.
Add the butter to the pan. Once melted into the ingredients nicely, pour over your egg mixture.
Leave the frittata on the hob, cooking gently for 3-4 mins. Once you can see the outsides of the frittata have started to cook, scatter over the goat’s cheese in liberal chunks.
Place in the oven for 10-12 mins, or until the top is nicely browned and the frittata has a slight wobble in the middle.
Leave the frittata to rest in the pan for 2-3 mins, leaving you ample time to pour yourself a drink.
Garnish with some fresh chopped basil and even a fine grating of parmesan if you’re feeling flush.
Cheddar & smoked paprika choux buns
These delicate little buns make a perfect canapé for a post-lockdown celebration, or can even fit in nicely as a rather contemporary addition to a cheeseboard. If you really want to take it up a notch, why not whip some soft cream cheese with a little truffle oil and pipe into the middle?
125ml whole milk
100g unsalted butter
150g plain flour
2tsp smoked paprika
100g grated mature cheddar (I recommend Godminster)
Makes 28 buns
Add the water, milk, butter (cut into small cubes) salt & smoked paprika to the pan. Bring the mixture to the boil, but don’t allow it to reduce. Just enough to melt the butter.
Add the flour and vigorously beat into the mix. Keep over the heat, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes.
Tip your mixture into a large, clean bowl and leave to cool for 1 minute.
Add your eggs one at a time, rapidly beating after each one, until combined. Once all eggs are incorporated, add the cheese and mix well.
Turn your oven on at 200°C and place a small empty tray at the bottom of the oven.
Place your choux bun mixture into two separate piping bags. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and begin piping your mix. Leave an inch or so between each choux, so they don’t stick together whilst cooking.
Place the buns into the oven and just before closing the door splash a cup of water onto the empty tray at the bottom of the oven. The steam created will help create well risen, perfect buns.
Cook at 200°C for 8 minutes, then reduce the oven to 160°C and cook for a further 12-15 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch on the underside.
Once cooked, turn the oven off, open the door a little and leave to cool in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack and dust with a touch more smoked paprika.
Quick vanilla cheesecake with seasonal fruits and lemon crumble
A simple and satisfying dessert that ticks all the boxes required from a cheesecake, with the ease of being set into a glass and popped in the fridge. Use any seasonal fruit to garnish that you wish, just try to use vanilla extract and not vanilla essence if you can!
I suggest squeezing half of the lemon juice you’ll have spare over some halved strawberries with a pinch of caster sugar and leaving them covered for 20 minutes in the fridge. This will release some juices from the fruit and will be a delicious garnish for your cheesecake. This trick works with any soft fruit!
200g full-fat cream cheese
275ml double cream
55g icing sugar (sieved)
2 tsp vanilla extract
50g caster sugar
100g butter (cubed) 160g plain flour Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Beat the cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth and well mixed.
Whip the cream to soft peaks, just falling through the whisk when lifted from the bowl.
Gently fold the cream into the cheese mixture and portion into chilled glasses and set aside in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
In a clean bowl, mix the cubed butter, sugar, flour and lemon zest until all the butter is incorporated and you have a chunky looking crumble mix.
Place onto a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden.
The crumble may look like 1 large biscuit, don’t worry. Simply allow to cool and break into lovely large chunks.
Scatter your chosen fruit and crumble mix onto the set cheesecake and get stuck in.
Make sure to try out these three delicious cheesy recipes – enjoy!