Platter up


CW food writer Libby Kimber this week helps you to impress your guests with recipes that are bound to take your cheese platter to the next level.

Camembosh hedgehog

This is an extract from Bish Bash Bosh by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, HQ Non Fiction, $39.99.

Serves: 6

  • 75g cashews
  • 1 400g fresh tiger loaf
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 and a half tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 3 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 150ml warm water
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Black pepper

For the herb oil

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 8 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet. Line a 12cm ovenproof dish with parchment paper, and place a small saucepan of water on a medium heat to boil.

First, make the cheese. Add the cashews to the pan of hot water and boil for 20 minutes to soften. Remove from the heat, drain and leave to cool.

Prepare the loaf. Use a bread knife to cut even slices across the top of the loaf, 3cm apart, making sure you don’t cut all the way through as the base needs to remain intact. Turn the loaf 90 degrees and cut across the first slices to make a criss-cross pattern.

To make the herb oil, peel and roughly chop the garlic. Remove the leaves from the rosemary by running your thumb and forefinger from the top to the base of the stem (the leaves should easily come away) and finely chop. Put the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper into a mortar and bash them with the pestle to make a paste (or put the ingredients in a small bowl and use the end of a rolling pin). Pour the olive oil into the mortar and mix with a fork.

Put the loaf on the baking sheet. Use a pastry brush or teaspoon to drizzle the herb oil deep inside the cuts. Put the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until golden and toasted.

Meanwhile, finish the cheese. Peel 1 of the garlic cloves and put it in a liquidiser (blender). Add the drained cashews, tapioca flour, salt, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and warm water. Blend to a smooth cream.

Pour the cashew cream into a saucepan, taste and season with salt and pepper. Put the saucepan on a medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour into the parchment-lined dish.

Peel the remaining garlic clove and cut it into sticks. Remove the rosemary needles. Gently push the garlic sticks and rosemary needles into the top of the cashew cheese so that they stick out the top. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle over a little black pepper.

When ready to serve, put the cashew cheese in the oven alongside the bread and bake for the final 12-15 minutes, until the cheese has formed a skin and the colour has darkened. Remove and serve immediately.

Baked blackberry brie

Recipes and image courtesy of Megann Evans for Fresh Aussie Berries |

Serves: 6

Prep: 5 mins

Cook: 10-15 mins

  • 1 wheel of double brie
  • 1/4 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 Tbsp blackberry compote
  • 1 Tbsp pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • Herbs, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare the brie by shaving off the top of the white rind on one side. Position onto a tray lined with baking paper, then arrange blackberries and scatter small dollops of blackberry compote in between the berries.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the brie is soft and gooey. Sprinkle with pistachio nuts and desired herbs. Serve immediately.

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