Champagne & Cheese; Yes Please!

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Good Morning Cheesy1’s,

This past weekend I held a Cheese & Champagne evening to help celebrate my Birthday with a small group of friends & family. With the help of Emma & Mike to get the table laid & decorated on the day the result was an Autumnal themed table. I was beginning to organise the cheese from about a week before and in some cases two weeks as I wanted to ensure that everything I was using was at it’s optimum; that was certainly the case with the Epoisses! I gave the guests all an item of food to bring so that no one person was wholly responsible and to make things a little more interesting.

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In the picture above you can see I used different cheese packaging for decorative touches and I found that a Beppino Occelli box makes a perfect cheese biscuit holder (Top Right). A vase of lilies was placed in the middle with a cheese cake in front and on the right hand side of the table I displayed a 1.8kg truckle of Wookey Hole cheddar. The two large white plates have adorn a fruit selection on the left and sweet cherry peppers with an Italian cured meats platter on the right. With the table explained I will now list the cheeses I used on the three cheeseboards & to make the cheese cake:

  • Cropwell Bishop Nottinghamshire Blue – A smooth buttery texture with the tang of a stilton it has a subtle nuttiness.
  • Cropwell Bishop White Stilton – A mild & light crumbly cheese with a fresh & milky taste.
  • Caramelised Onion Cheddar – A sweet & strong flavoured cheddar that with the onion enhances it’s savoury edge.
  • Godminster Vintage Cheddar – A strong & smooth cheddar that has a creaminess in it’s flavour.
  • Cashel Blue – A rich, creamy & strong Irish blue cheese that is suitable alternative to a Continental blue like Saint Agur.
  • Ermitage Brie – A mild brie with a light mushroom flavour that is perfectly ripe and is delicate.
  • Lyburn Garlic & Nettle – A cheese that exudes flavour with it’s medium/mature strength cheese and the mild garlic flavour it works together perfectly.
  • Cricketer Farm Nether Stowey Reserve – A mature & nutty West Country cheddar that has a creaminess and a mild earthiness which gives it a good body & character.
  • Wensleydale With Cranberries – A smooth & milky cheese that with the sweetness of cranberries gives it a sweet & savoury flavour.
  • Wookey Hole Cheddar – A mature & nutty cheddar that is well rounded. It is cave aged so has an intrinsically deeper flavour than most cheddars.
  • Fattorie Garofolo Bufala Mozzarella –  A creamy & milky Mozzarella that has the perfect fibrous build when torn apart and will work perfectly with Italian meats.
  • Taleggio – A strong washed rind Italian cheese that develops a pungency once ripe and is naturally soft throughout with no chalkiness. It’s smoothness and sweet milk flavours makes for an interesting and easy eating cheese.
  • Berthaut Epoisses – An intensely pungent but ever so rich & creamy French washed rind cheese. This was perfectly ripe and when cut should ooze & run that you may even have to resort to using a spoon. It is coated in Marc D’Bourgogne brandy and with an alcoholic edge & the creaminess works like a symphony in the mouth.

The stand out cheese for me on the evening certainly had to be the Epoisses it was perfectly ripe and it’s flavour fully developed as an exemplary example of that particular cheese, although with a wide selection it was very difficult! I finally got to use my cheese iron as well which has been a long time coming as I invested in the tool of the trade and I’m pleased to say that I got to iron a Wookey Hole truckle to break it in. Let’s hope that if I return to Judge at the Bath & West Cheese Awards in 2016 I can use it there.

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After the cheese I had a selection of desserts to arrange for everyone I used a Petit Fours selection which consisted of dark chocolate covered cream puffs, chocolate eclairs raspberry macaroons, strawberry millefeuille, profiteroles, a Baileys chocolate cheesecake (Which my Aunt made) and a selection of chocolate & orange cupcakes that had mini cheese fondant decorations on top (Which my Sister made). So if we weren’t already full we were going to be at the end of this. The winner though were certainly the cupcakes that with the fun tops made for an interesting gift for people to leave with, and below is a close up of the cupcakes with a Mozzarella, a piece of Stilton, Emmental & Edam.

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I had a brilliant evening and the feedback from the evening has been nice to hear as well. I love to be able to entertain guests, particularly if it involves cheese! I must thank all my guests for attending and a special thank you to Luke Rosewell for being my Photographer for the evening. I hope to organise more events at home & I’m building up to holding a big event somewhere locally for everyone to attend. If you anyone out there would like me to organise a cheese evening in their own home I would willingly oblige, so please contact me through my email address to discuss.

The Cheesy1

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