This one’s for those of us that like a bit of soft cheese action now and again. Not just ordinary soft cheese lumped onto a platter – although I’d never say no to that – but a round of double brie that harbours creamy mascarpone flecked with gorgeous porcini mushrooms and black garlic.
Actually, this would be ideal to bring out after a festive lunch or dinner. Why? Because I’ve toasted up some thinly sliced fruit cake that takes the place of regular crackers, or bread.
Have you tried toasting fruit cake until it’s crispy? It’s so good, even on its own.
The decadence doesn’t stop there.
I’ve mulled some Cienna with cinnamon, muscatels, brown sugar and a splash of balsamic – simmering until it reduced to a sweet syrup that’s perfect with the stuffed cheese.
What’s Cienna? It’s a grape variety that was developed here in Australia in the 1970’s – a cross between French sauvignon blanc and Spanish sumoll. I reckon a sweetish rosé would have been good enough if I didn’t grab the Cienna first.
The best way to eat this cheese is when it’s been left out of the fridge for a few hours. It relaxes, softens and becomes oh-so creamy. Neither the porcini or black garlic is overpowering; it all just works so well together!
The colourful garnishes aren’t all that necessary, but you know me, I like to add a bit of pomp here and there. Fresh figs, chervil flowers from the garden and some dainty pink society garlic flowers I swiped from a little park down the road.