Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Night of Cheese - Fifth Course

The fifth Night of Cheese course was a slam-dunk favorite. Everyone loved it! And how could one not? Cheese, chocolate, and delicious booze all in one course? Sign me up.

This course consisted of Rupert from Consider Bardwell Farm (West Pawlett, VT), Cornelius Applejack from Harvest Spirits (Valatie, NY), and homemade chocolate Chantilly cream (which might be the easiest chocolate dessert ever, besides eating a straight-up chocolate bar). The cheese has subtle notes of butterscotch and custard. It is aged a minimum of six months and has a thin rind, indicative of even turning and rotating of the wheels of cheese on a frequent, regular basis. It certainly has a sweetness with the characteristics of an Alpine-style cheese.

Applejack and chocolate Chantilly were natural choices to feature with the Rupert. Both have a similar depth and roundness of flavor, but were perhaps surprising at the same time: Chocolate is typically paired with a blue cheese at dessert, and hard alcohol with cheese is not a common accompaniment. Altogether, though, it was a fantastic combination. One warning about the chocolate Chantilly: It's addictive. You'll be making it often and eating it all. By yourself. Just be sure to use a very good quality chocolate since it's really the only ingredient in this recipe.

Chocolate Chantilly
Adapted from this recipe via Cafe Fernando
Makes approximately two cups

9 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup water
4 tablespoons sugar, optional

1. In a double boiler (or, just a small pot with 1 inch of water with a larger bowl on top of it), heat together the water, sugar and chocolate. Whisk together until melted.

2. Place bowl with chocolate mixture in a second larger bowl filled 1/3 to 1/2-way full of ice water. With a whisk or electric mixer, whip the chocolate mixture until it thickens (about five minutes). Do not over whip or it will become grainy. Serve immediately, or let set up (covered) in the refrigerator - it's great straight-up or as a filling to cakes and cookie sandwiches.

A very special thank you to Eric Paul, The Cheese Traveler, for his expertise. Without him, this night would not have happened! Be sure to follow him on Facebook. Consider Bardwell cheese can be purchased through The Cheese Traveler or online.

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