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|