During a recent trip to Amsterdam we were delighted to discover that the wonderful Dutch have a great love for three things; cake, waffles and cheese! Obviously this sent them heading straight to the top of our list of favourite nations, especially when in one gorgeous cheese shop we discovered a Gouda style cheese that had been flavoured with lavender! Several kilos later we decided that this was a very good idea indeed!
So we decided to investigate further and have found a number of really delicious lavender flavoured cheeses and some really really yummy ways to use them (other than just gobbling them down at speed of course!). There are some really beautiful hard goats and sheep cheeses that are flavoured with lavender that will make any cheeseboard sing, but out real favourite so far has been soft lavender goats cheese.
The salty tang of goats cheese, especially the soft variety, pairs beautifully with the floral sweetness of lavender. You can either buy goats cheese that has been mixed with dried culinary lavender or soft goats cheese logs that have been rolled in a beautiful coating of the little purple buds, or it’s really quick and simple to make your own using either of those methods. However you choose to create your lavender goats cheese them you have a number of options with what to do with it:
Lavender goats cheese and honey bruschetta – this really is simplicity itself, but oh my goodness does it taste good! Simply brush some slices of bread with a little olive oil and then toast in the oven until crisp, then top with a smear of your lavender infused goats cheese and a drizzle of honey. Trust us, it’s absolutely divine!
Lavender goats cheese tarts – again this is a wonderfully simple recipe and can be easily adapted to suit your own preferences. Roll out a sheet of puff pastry, score a border around the edge and then prick the centre with a fork. Then top the pastry with a good spreading of lavender goats cheese (beat in a little milk or cream if your cheese is a bit reluctant to spread) and whatever toppings you fancy – figs, peaches and caramelised red onions are all extra good!
Lavender goats cheesecakes – here you make a classic sweet baked cheesecake but substitute some, or all, or the usual cream cheese with lavender goats cheese. The tang from the goats cheese gives them a gorgeously grown up edge but the floral sweetness also pops them firmly onto the dessert trolley – especially if you top them with a good drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and recipes for lavender cheese – leave us a comment or contact us today.