Baking for a Cheese Platter

orange vines and blue dishes (1 of 1)

fig paste (1 of 1)

Spelt and Oat Biscuits and Fig and Walnut Paste

These two recipes are a prefect home made accompaniment to a cheese platter – super simple to make and really tasty …  the Oatcakes have the addition of a little brown sugar to balance the lemon juice delivering a perfect neutral balance for any savoury topping. Not at all like store bought oatcakes. The Fig and Walnut Paste, wrapped in vine leaves, is not only beautiful to look but the inclusion of toasted sesame seeds, warming spices, quince vino cotto and a little ouzo creates a sweet fragrant ‘friend’ for cheese. I like them both with French Comté Cheese  and a soft goats curd. Great as home made gifts for a hamper or to bring to a summer picnic.

oat cakes (1 of 4)

Oatcakes

Ingredients

Makes 24 oatcakes

Preheat oven to 200C Degrees

  • 100 gms flour (I used organic spelt flour)
  • 100 gms organic rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 75 gms butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons full cream milk

Instructions

kithcen wiz copyMix the flour oats sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a food processor.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the processor and  pulsing toll the mixture resembles a sandy consistency. Add lemon juice and milk  (if the mixture is too dry then add a little more milk).

Roll the dough onto a floured work surface until it is about 3m thick. Cut circles out with a 5 cm cutter of the bottom of a glass and place the biscuits on a lined baking tray. Prick the center of each one with a fork.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are slightly risen.

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fig paste (3 of 7)

Greek Fig Paste Wrapped in Vine Leaves

Adapted from a recipe from SBS

Makes 8 small rounds as pictured or 1 large one

Ingredients

  • 72 g (1/2 cup) sesame seeds
  • 150 g walnuts
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cloves, ground
  • 1 tbsp Quince Vino Cotto (or a grape molasses)
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) good quality honey
  • 50 ml Ouzo
  • 750 gm good quality dried figs
  • Fresh fig leaves, washed well and pat dried (or plastic wrap), for wrapping

fig paste (5 of 7)

Instructions

Toast the sesame seeds, walnuts and aniseed one by one in a dry frying pan over low-medium heat. Pound the fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Add to the sesame seeds and walnuts, along with black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add the Quince Vino Cotto, honey and ouzo and mix well.

Pulse the dried figs in a food processor until finely chopped. Add to the seed and spice mixture and mix well by hand to incorporate everything evenly. It’s pretty sticky so you may like to wear gloves.

Take a handful of the mixtures and mould the fig paste into balls, flatten them, then wrap them in fresh fig leaves that have been washed and carefully dried, then tie in baking paper using butcher’s string. Or you may like to make one large one by pressing the mixture into a cake tin lines with the vine leaves, topped with baking paper and and weighted on top till the shape sets.

fig paste (1 of 7)

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