It's not been possible for me to make any Easter treats to share with you, so instead I'm going to share some quirky recipes created by gastronaut Stefan Gates for Castello cheese which you can make to impress your guests this Easter.
Chocolate eggs are so last Easter!! This year, speciality cheese brand Castello has paired up with gastronaut and foodie adventurer Stefan Gates to creatively craft innovative Easter egg recipes with a cheese twist. Stefan has turned tradition on its head with a cheeky take on the classic egg and soldiers, and a chocolate cream egg that is bound to make your guests do a double take.
Proving the versatility of cheese, Stefan has used the Castello range to devise playful recipes that are sure to inject some fun into your Easter weekend. And to ensure the holiday wows, top wine expert Matt Day has co-ordinated delicious and surprising drinks pairings to get the best flavours from your meal.
Stefan Gates said, “Castello cheeses are so versatile, from the tangy taste of Tickler extra mature cheddar to the lusciously soft Pineapple Halo - you can really have fun with them even turning some into a sweet treat. If you’re not constricted by cheese convention, you will be surprised by the flavour combinations out there. I wanted to rethink the Easter cream egg and traditional egg and soldiers turning them into crowd pleasers yet still easy to make at home.”
Ticker and Cider Fondue
Truffled Tickler and cider fondue served in an egg shell with Tickler soldiers fried in beurre noisette.
Ingredients (serves 4)
350g Castello Tickler Extra-Mature Cheddar (grated)
200ml fine strong cider
1 tablespoon of cornflour, mixed to a paste with 2tbsp cold water
½ tsp Worcester sauce
1tbsp truffle oil
8 slices sourdough
200g Castello Tickler Extra-Mature Cheddar thinly sliced
100g butter for frying
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Put a thick-bottomed saucepan on a medium heat, add the cider and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, mix in the grated cheese, cornflour paste and Worcester sauce. Stir gently until all the cheese has melted. It should be as thick as Greek yoghurt, so if you need to thicken or loosen it add more cheese or cider. Keep it warm until you’re ready to serve
2. Lightly toast the sourdough slices, then make four unbuttered sandwiches with cheddar slices inside
3. Heat a large knob of butter in a frying pan until sizzling, then just as the butter turns brown, add 1 tbsp of lemon juice and turn one of the sandwiches in it to coat and continue frying until slightly crispy. Repeat with the rest of the sandwiches, then slice them into soldiers and put them on plates
4. Stir ½ tbsp. truffle oil into the fondue, taste and add another ½ tbsp. if you need to (truffle oils can vary in strength). Put each egg-shell in an egg cup and fill with the fondue (there’ll be more leftover for seconds!) and serve
Why not complement the savoury eggs with a chilled glass of champagne or an icy beer. Choose one of Matt Day’s suggestions to bring out the tangy taste of the Tickler:
Leffe Blonde Beer (£2.99 widely available)
Tesco finest* 1531 Blanquette de Limoux (£8.49)
Le Mesnil Blac de Blancs Champagne 2004 (Waitrose £33.99)
Who would have thought cheese tastes great with chocolate? True to form, Stefan surprises with a delectable dessert that is both quick and fun to conjure up. This recipe is the perfect way to enhance both the pineapple, papaya and almond aromas found in the soft cheese, Pineapple Halo.
Pineapple Halo mixed with crème fraiche in a chocolate egg with orange zest
Ingredients (for 2 eggs)
2 hollow chocolate eggs
½ wheel of Castello Pineapple Halo
4tbsp crème fraiche
Zest of one orange
1. Carefully slice the top off the chocolate eggs using a hot knife dipped in water from a boiled kettle. Put them into egg cups
2. Put the cheese, crème fraiche and ¾ of the orange zest into a bowl and mix it together with the back of a fork. Fill each eggshell with the mixture, and then put the remaining orange zest on top to look like the yolk
This naughty but nice chocolate treat works perfectly with one of the following:
Mimosa (Champagne, Grand Marnier, Fresh Orange Juice)
Brown Brothers Orange Muscat & Flora (Ocado £7.49)
Fontana fredda Moscato D'Asti Moncucco (Asda £12.47)
For more information about the Castello range visit: www.castellocheese.co.uk
I was not paid for this post, but received some packs of Castello Cheeses to try.