Monday, 23 April 2012

Meat-Free Monday: We should cocoa

I've been watching the We should cocoa event for a while with interest. Sue and Caroline always make tempting-looking treats for it, but I didn't really think it was for me. I love blogger events but no one can do all of them and we don't eat that much chocolate, so I had been happy to admire this one from afar until I saw on twitter the other day that this month's challenge was chocolate and cheese. Well. That pretty much sold me on it straight away. I may not be the biggest chocolate fan in the world but I am certainly in the top 10 for cheese consumption! The thought of combining salty, creamy cheese with sweet, creamy chocolate was quite fascinating and I decided to give it a go.
I remembered the wonderful chocolate balsamic reduction from Chantal Coady's book Real Chocolate. I don't have the book any more (can't remember if I gave it to someone or misplaced it in a move), but I do remember a happy period before we left Australia when I was chucking the reduction all over the place. Well - onto kangaroo steaks mostly. The rich chocolate flavour is supported by the balsamic to make a really superb condiment for game meats. I thought it would be lovely with cheese too. Fortunately, the recipe was available online.

Chocolate balsamic reduction - a very useful condiment!

For the cheese component I was planning to do goat's cheese croutons. I ran the idea past Paul who suggested deep-frying the cheese. Clearly, that was a much, much better idea!

I bought a log of a young British goat's cheese, cut neatly into 6 rounds, and floured, egged and crumbed them. I haven't had a huge amount of success with deep-fried cheese in the past, so I was very careful to coat them thoroughly. I double coated them and chilled them for half an hour for good measure.

I deep-fried the cheese at 180C for 3 minutes, then drained them and piled them onto a rocket salad, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and dressed with olive oil and a good slosh of the chocolate balsamic, then drizzled some more chocolate balsamic over the top.

It was a really lovely lunch! The cheese was mild and creamy, so it wasn't incongruous with the very chocolatey balsamic and the various textures of crisp leaf, crumb and pumpkin seed against smooth sauce and soft cheese was really exciting to eat. I was very happy with how my inaugural We Should Cocoa entry went!

Breaded, deep-fried goats cheese, mixed leaves and chocolate balsamic

16 comments:

The Cat's Mother said...

what a great idea!
What did the sommelier suggest?

miss south said...

Oh my goodness, I need that reduction in my life. I wish I'd seen your entry here before my latest post and then I could have stolen your idea shamelessly...

Suelle said...

What a great entry for We Should Cocoa - the chocolate dressing sounds amazing.

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Looks simply delicious!! Chocolate and cheese is a great combo, must be the salty sweet thing for me. Your deep fried goatcheese balls are a thing of beauty, well done!! When I was a kid we lived near an agriculture focused university and they had a working dairy. The dairy there made chocolate cheese, and it was amazing. I haven't seen that cheese in over 30 years. Might have to recreate it :)

Emma said...

There is nothing better than deep-fried cheese, truly! :)

Caroline said...

That looks gorgeous. I love the idea of a chocolate balsamic reduction, but then I just love balsamic more generally! I can quite see how this would be a spectacular pairing with breaded cheese.

Deb in Hawaii said...

It sounds like a fun event that I'll have to check into. I love this salad--the combination of the greens and cheese (and who can resist battered, deep-fried cheesy goodness?!) ;-) with the chocolate balsamic is wonderful.

Foodycat said...

Mother - we just had glasses of water with it! It was only lunchtime.

Miss South - it's fabulous. I recommend having a bottle around!

Suelle - thanks! A good starting point I think.

Andrea - we've started to be able to buy chocolate Philadelphia, but I haven't tried it.

Emma - I know! It really is gorgeous.

Caroline - I think it'd be good with those breaded camembert you can buy too.

Deb - it really is a nice one. They've had some really challenging challenges!

Joanne said...

I actually can't htink of anything I want more right now that chocolate-balsamic over goat cheese. Thank god I have some in the fridge!

Johanna GGG said...

lovely idea for a casual meal - can you please come around and make my lunch tomorrow :-)

Choclette said...

Well I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, I'm in love with your Meat Free Mondays. I have the book and it shows how well I've read it because I hadn't noticed the balsamic reduction! Great inaugural entry for WSC, I'm so glad you did something savoury, I was hoping a few people would. The verdict from the Savoury challenge seemed to be that goat's cheese and chocolate went surprisingly well together.

Yasmeen said...

Fantastic idea! I adore goats cheese in every incarnation - fried being the crowning glory. Beautiful idea for a dressing, too. Sounds like something my fiance would absolutely love!

Hotly Spiced said...

These look so yummy. I just saw your comment on my blog and yes, I'm a Killara High girl but then I went to Barker College. Perhaps we did see each other on the train in those days. It's a small world isn't it! xx

The Café Sucré Farine said...

You are so creative and I think your salad sounds fabulous even though I've never tried chocolate balsamic! Beautiful picture too!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh my heavens...just look what I've been missing!

Thanks for sharing Alicia

Foodycat said...

Jo - it's actually quite a good way to satisfy a chocolate craving.

Johanna - sure!

Choclette - I was a bit put off the book because of all the cocoa nib business, long before they were readily available.

Yasmeen - I hope he does like it!

Charlie - 6 degrees of separation!

Cafe Sucre - thank you!

Louise - it's really delicious.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...