It might be September, but –
Wait. That’s not quite right, is it?
There, that’s better. The best, most wonderful time of the year is upon us here in the UK, as we prepare to welcome Autumn in all it’s glory.
But before I go all spiced apple, pumpkin, cinnamon and baked goods on your inbox, I have a couple more sunshine-weather recipes for you.
Partly, this is because we’re not going on our ‘summer’ holiday until the middle of this month (more on that later), and partly because I have somehow, for the first time ever, got ahead of myself with recipes-at-the-ready; so I have a teeny queue of goodness to send your way.
Starting off with a real taste of the Mediterranean, with this Rosemary-Baked Almond Cream Cheese! It’s so tasty.
Part cream cheese, part goat, I really wasn’t sure what to call this one, because it started life as a tiramisu! (I really need to make it again so I can share it with you.) Somehow, it ended up a savoury cheese for all occasions and snack-ortunities – by simply replacing the sugar with olives.
If you’ve been reading my recipes for a while, you’ll know that’s my speciality: turning sweet into savoury. It just happens.
But back to the cheese. It’s:
- a little sharp;
- a little briny;
- full of rosemary-infused wonder;
- easy to make; and
- only requires 7 store-cupboard ingredients!
This version is the result of a few (several) trials, starting by merely taking out the sugar, to adding (and then taking away again) different flavourings. The olives really add something – it’s that different level of saltiness that you only get in cheese (and olives).
It was in a pretty liquid state the first time I made it, as it was essentially a sweet dessert cream, so I experimented with ‘ageing’ it in the nut milk bag I use to rinse quinoa (that’s a top tip, for what it’s worth). But, as a cheese-ager, it didn’t work so well, and the cheese was difficult to extract from the bag.
So I did some research into using cheese cloth and came across this recipe from Vegetarian Times (clearly, making almond cheese is nothing new). Their technique is to wrap the mixture in cheesecloth, leave in the fridge, then bake it, so I gave that a go with my recipe. It worked out much better than with the bag, and it’s easy to wash and reuse the cloth, so I would definitely recommend it.
If you want an even simpler version though, you could store the cheese in a container in the fridge and enjoy it raw – but I highly recommend baking it, it really enhances the flavour.
This is a great cheese for every occasion. We’ve enjoyed it with:
- chilli (yep);
- bowls full of delicious ingredients like these aubergines; and
- a wonderful summer salad – keep an eye out for a delicious holiday-inspired recipe coming your way soon.
Have a wonderful weekend, all!
- 150g ground almonds
- 200ml pre-boiled or filtered water
- 2 tbsp olive oil + 2 tsp for baking
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 4 tbsp)
- Generous pinch of good salt
- 6 green olives, chopped small
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- Put all the ingredients except the extra 2tsp of olive oil, olives and rosemary into a food processor and blend until completely soft and creamy. Stir in the chopped olives by hand.
- Line a small colander or sieve with cheesecloth* (or a piece of thin cloth or netting) and pour in the cheese, spreading it out evenly with a spatula. Fold the edges of the cloth over the top, weigh down with a small jar and place the whole thing in a bowl to catch any liquid.
- Refrigerate over night.
- Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- Line a tray or small tin with parchment paper. Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil onto the paper and add 1 tsp of rosemary. Carefully turn the cheese out onto the paper, flattest side down. Top the cheese with the remaining oil and rosemary and bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden.
- Leave to cool before serving. Cheese can be stored in the fridge for at least a week in an airtight container.
Technique adapted from Vegetarian Times.
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