DISCOVER THE INFINITE GALAXY of cheese with experts Ellie and Sam Studd, as they share their wealth of knowledge and all the practical info you need to up your cheese game. Ellie and Sam guide you through the key categories of cheese – from blues and washed rinds to fresh cheeses such as mozzarella – telling the story of each, explaining how they are made and sharing tasting notes for their favourite cheeses in each category. Then, celebrate cheese in all its oozy glory with 70 delicious recipes for a casual brunch, midnight snack, date night or picnic with mates. Try summery halloumi and watermelon salad, the best-ever cheese toasties, three genius ways with mac’ n’ cheese or baked camembert with caramelised apple and roasted hazelnuts.
TRIPLE X STUDD SIBLING TOASTIE
This toastie always turns heads when it comes out on a plate. We originally saw the cheese crown party trick performed by Jamie Oliver, and after we tried it, we just couldn’t go back to a normal toastie. Don’t worry too much about how your crown looks; the flip action can take a little while to master, but you will get better the more you make it.
- 40g unsalted butter, softened
- 4 slices of dense sourdough or rye bread
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 120g cheddar, grated
- 2 Polish dill pickles, finely sliced lengthways
- pinch of ground white pepper
- 40g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
Butter both sides of the bread and then only one side with the mustard.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Place two slices of bread, butter-side down, in the pan. Divide the cheddar between the bread slices, then top with the sliced pickles and a pinch of white pepper. Sandwich with the remaining bread slices, butter-side up.
Fry the sandwiches, with a weight on top (a plate weighted down with two cans will do), for 3-5 minutes each side or until golden, rotating the sandwiches in the pan as you cook them to ensure they are evenly toasted. Using a spatula, carefully remove the toasties from the pan and set aside.
Add half the Parmigiano Reggiano to the centre of the pan and cook until melted. Place one of the sandwiches on top of the melted cheese and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the Parmigiano Reggiano is golden.
Use the spatula to firmly scoop under the cheese and toastie. Hold it in air for around 30 seconds so the cheese has a chance to firm up in long spikes, creating a cheese crown (see image). Repeat with the remaining sandwich. Eat immediately.
PASTEL DE TRES LECHES (THREE MILKS CAKE)
Sponge cake soaked in three types of milk is an OG classic that rose to fame in the 1930s in Mexico and never really left. This is one of our favourite guilty pleasures. Sweet and syrupy, with a light flavour and texture that will make you reminisce about that one hot Mexican summer. We really enjoy this cake served cooled.
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 230g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 125g unsalted butter, melted
- 150g (1 cup) plain flour
- 75g (½ cup) self-raising flour
- 395g can sweetened condensed milk
- 150ml evaporated milk
- 250ml (1 cup) full-cream milk
Preheat the oven to 180°C conventional. Grease and line a 30cm x 20cm slice tin with baking paper.
Place the eggs and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until pale and thick. Slowly add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk on high speed for a further 4 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the melted butter in a steady stream until incorporated. Sift together the flours, then add to the egg mixture and mix until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and gently tap it on a work surface to remove any excess air bubbles.
Transfer the tin to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Pour the condensed milk, evaporated milk and milk into a large jug and whisk until well combined. Use a skewer to prick deep holes all over the cake, then evenly pour the milk mixture over the warm cake, allowing it to soak into the holes. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 3 hours.
Cut the cake into pieces and serve. Any leftover cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Optional topping: Whisk 375ml (1½ cups) of pure cream to soft peaks with 2 tablespoons of sifted icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and add to the top of the cake when serving.
Extracted from The Best Things In Life Are Cheese by Ellie and Sam Studd, Macmillan Publishers, RRP $49.99