A Quick, Easy, and Cheesy Fix for Dessert
Who doesn’t love dessert, especially with all of its varieties and flavors? However, there comes a time when you just don’t want to spend the time and energy making a triple chocolate cake or your grandmother’s apple pie for your dinner party. If this is the case, we suggest that you try a dessert cheese platter instead. It’s fast, easy, and absolutely delicious.
When deciding what cheeses to select, remember to serve a variety of milk types, styles, and ages. However, don’t go cheese-crazy. Serve a maximum of three cheeses and two to three accompaniments for the cheeses because you don’t want too many flavors or choices to overwhelm your guests.
There are cheeses that can stand alone, such as nicely aged Gouda. Gouda that is 2 to 5 years old will have a sweet butterscotch flavor and a rich, hard texture. When Gouda is 5 years or older, it becomes caramelized to the point that it is like eating candy.
Other cheeses should be paired. These parings can create a texture and juiciness contrast with the dessert cheeses. Here are some guidelines to remember:
- Serve aged, harder cheeses with intensely flavored dried fruit like figs, cherries, or apricots.
- Serve fresh fruit with fresh cheeses but stay away from any citrus flavors.
- Nuts are great to highlight sweet and nutty characteristics of the cheese. Some of our favorite nuts to serve along cheeses are toasted pecans, hazelnuts, caramelized walnuts, and Spanish marcona almonds.
- Honey can be drizzled on cheeses to make them sweeter and more compelling. Even better, honey can be paired with any cheese, even the stickiest French cheese.
Pairing cheeses with nuts and fruits also allows you to pick a type that you might otherwise think wouldn’t qualify as a dessert cheese. For example, manchego cheese is tangy, full-flavored, slightly grain,y and has a savory aspect to it. However, when manchego is served with figs and pine nuts, it qualifies for your dessert platter.
Some great pairs to consider are brie with fruit chutney, ricotta with raspberries, and Parmigiano-Reggiano with chocolate and sea salt.
Drinks also affect how the cheese combinations so pick wisely. Dessert wines, barley wine, or sweet beers are highly recommended to accompany your cheese platter.
Remember that most cheeses should be served at room temperature, since only at room temperature do the full flavors truly shine. And shine they will, especially when placed on an adorable platter. A unique cutting board and fun cheese knives are always great go-tos!