Tag Archives: cheddar

Cheddar and Apple Scone Bread

cheddar and apple scone bread

It’s a funny old time of year. The leaves are falling, the squirrels are going nuts (arf!) but the sun is shining and the tomatoes continue to ripen, thwarting all of my plans for green tomato chutney. I have no idea what to dress in on any given day and so spend much of my time shivering foolishly or sweating attractively. But there’s definitely a whiff of autumn in the air and so I thought I’d pair up those perennial favourites, apples and cheddar. I was pondering scones when I came across this recipe and was so intrigued by the thought of cooking with Shreddies that I had to proceed. The result is quite a dense but tasty sort of soda-esque bread which goes well with soup. Next time I’d cut down on the mustard though; as my six year old patronisingly informed me: ‘Mummy, next time you cook for children, you should think about leaving out the mustard and chillies.’ Yeah, thanks for that, mini-Ottolenghi…
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I have to admit I’ve been feeling a bit stumped recently when it comes to finding a cheese I haven’t tried before. I know that there are some 700 different cheese in the British Isles and I’ve so far only scoffed a hundred or so of them, so I’ve got some way to go. But even so, having tracked down and raided all the local cheese emporiums on several occasions, I was starting to find it more difficult to track down an unforaged fromage. So it was with some relief that I spotted this week’s cheese, hiding coyly from the heat behind a plastic curtain:

Doddington Cheese
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Courgette and Chunky Cheddar Loaf

Courgette and Chunky Cheddar Loaf

The food blogosphere is currently at fever pitch over what to do with a courgette glut. So, not one to strike out independently, here is my own courgette glut:

courgette glut
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Old Winchester

I am easily confused this week. Off the back of last week’s lurgy, we launched straight into the festivities for my Other Half’s ‘big birthday with a zero on the end’. Six days later my liver is a pulsating rugby ball and my head is filled with cotton wool. The only milk product I really need is milk thistle. So exactly the sort of day that some cheese could sneak up and get me all geographically confused again. First of all there was Shropshire Blue, which I discovered wasn’t made in Shropshire and then there was Appleby’s and their gold-standard Cheshire cheese, which is made in Shropshire, not Cheshire. Stilton, of course, can’t be made in Stilton. And now, here is Old Winchester – which isn’t made in Winchester (although it is sort of nearby, I’ll give them that…)

old winchester cheese
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Cheese Toastie Renaissance


You don’t hear about cheese toasties much these days, do you? They’ve all been rebranded as paninis and grilled cheese sandwiches. So recently, when I was invited to take part in a cheese toastie-making competition by the Barber’s Cheddar maestros, it triggered all manner of culinary flashbacks. I used to love a toastie growing up and my older sister and I concocted some interesting variations on the cheese classic, most notably banana toasties (very sweet, certainly likely to burn your upper lip) and baked beans (does very pleasant and interesting things to the bread inside, trust me on this one).
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Cheddar Cheese Pasties with Sorrel and Elephant Garlic

cheddar cheese pasties with sorrel and elephant garlic

Down in the West Country recently, I found myself with a large amount of Barber’s Cheddar cheese (there’s a story behind this but that’s for another time). I’ve written about their cheese before here: not only do they make a really good block Cheddar, they are also the oldest Cheddar-maker in the world and the guardians of Britain’s traditional starter cultures, which is a pretty big deal for many of our farmhouse cheese-makers.
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Home-Made Stilton

home-made stilton

It’s been a while since I bid a fond farewell to my home-made Cheddar, known as Tooting Gold or E-Colin for short. Anyone who has read this sorry tale before will recall that Colin, despite maturing apparently happily down in my cellar for six months was judged (quite literally, by a judge) to be distinctly below par. It was a disappointing result but hardly surprising, given my complete lack of knowledge about cheese-making when I set out to create him. Dr Frankenstein had nothing on me as I cobbled together moulds, picked off hairs and chased away mites to create my cheese monster. Poor Colin.
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British Cheese Fondue Night

british cheese fondue

I’d made fondue before but this was back in the days when I was under the illusion that all British cheese was good for was toast topping and jacket potatoes, so I’d used traditional Swiss cheeses such as Emmental and Gruyère. Having garnered a reputation as the local ‘mad cheese woman’, I’d been promising some neighbours a fondue knees-up for a while. Once the date was sealed, I decided to try and create a menu from British cheeses, now that I know what a great variety of styles there are available. So, I set off for Borough Market on a cheese-quest (ensuring that I had only a limited amount of cash and no card in my wallet so I didn’t get the Borough Market red mist and end up spending £120 on partridges, quinces and kangaroo salami).
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