If there is one food I could never, ever, ever give up, it would be cheese. That would be a hell on earth just not worth contemplating. There are so many incredible cheeses out there waiting to be discovered and my idea of food heaven is being presented with a heavily laden cheeseboard, groaning under the weight of a carefully selected assortment of fine, artisan cheeses, partnered with tasty biscuits, fruity chutney and a good full-bodied red wine or port. Sheer bliss.
So when Davidstow invited me to take part in their Christmas Cheeseboard Challenge, I really didn’t need to be asked twice.
Two-star Michelin chef and champion of all things Cornish, Nathan Outlaw has teamed up with Davidstow to share his tips and serving recommendations for a perfect cheeseboard:
- Pairing cheese with the right accompaniments will bring out its unique flavours. Partner Davidstow Cheddar with a fruit-based homemade chutney and a crunchy oatcake to provide a sweet balance to its sharp bite.
- Be sure to serve cheese at room temperature to bring out its full flavour. Allow a minimum standing period of 20 minutes.
- Never pre-slice cheese as it will cause it to dry out.
- Vary the cheese you include on a cheeseboard, including different textures as well as varieties.
- Present cheese on either a large flat slate, marble tile or wooden board. (See below for details of how to win one of three special Davidstow slate cheeseboard.)
So taking Nathan’s comments on board (ahem), I made up a batch of deliciously sweet and sticky prune, port and red onion chutney to serve with my Davidstow 3 Year Special Reserve Vintage Cheddar, along with some super crunchy, super seedy crackers.
Davidstow 3 Year Special Reserve Vintage Cheddar is the perfect Cheddar for a Christmas cheeseboard. With a deep mature flavour, its wonderful tang is mellowed by its rich, crumbly creaminess. It is made from the richest Cornish milk and matured for a minimum of three years. This Vintage Cheddar is only available from Sainsbury’s and Ocado.
As well as the Cheddar, my festive cheeseboard also featured a sharp, creamy British goat’s cheese, an intense Stilton and a lovely, ripe Camembert. Along with the prune and port chutney and seed crackers, I also added a bunch of grapes, that classic cheeseboard fruit. A glass or two of port on the side and, yes, I was most definitely in cheese heaven.
If you’d like to win one of three Davidstow slate cheeseboards in time for the Christmas celebrations, simply click on the link below to enter via Rafflecopter and leave a comment below say what cheeses you’d include on your own festive cheeseboard. This giveaway is open to people with a UK postal address only and runs until Wednesday 16 December 2015.
And if you fancied having a go at my chutney or seed crackers, here are the recipes…
Prune, port and red onion chutney
Makes 1 jar
100g pitted prunes, roughly chopped
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
3 red onions, peeled, halved and finely sliced
50g demerara sugar
60ml Balsamic vinegar
Put the prunes and port in a pan, bring to the boil and then remove from the heat and leave to soak.
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the red onions and cook slowly over a low heat for around half an hour, stirring now and again, until soft and beginning to caramelise.
Add the sugar and cook gently for another half an hour.
Then add the prunes in port and Balsamic vinegar, and cook again for half an hour.
Pour into a hot, sterilised jar and seal with a lid.
Super seedy crackers
100g sunflower seeds
100g pumpkin seeds
100g milled flaxseeds
100g sesame seeds
100g pine nuts
1 tsp Nigella seeds
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 150ºC / gas mark 2.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and leave to stand for 15 minutes, until the mixture is thick and absorbed all the liquid.
Line a couple of baking trays with silicone sheets or baking parchment, and spread out the mixture as thinly as possible, making sure there are no gaps.
Bake the mixture for about an hour and a half, but do check regularly, say every 15 minutes or so. The crackers are ready when lightly browned and crisp and completely dried out.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
When the crackers have cooled, break into large pieces and store in an airtight container.
Disclosure: I was supplied with complimentary samples of Davidstow’s 3 Year Special Vintage Cheddar and a supermarket voucher for additional ingredients in order to create my own cheeseboard for this challenge. As always all views expressed are my own.
54 thoughts on “Christmas cheeseboard challenge and giveaway”
I’d include a mature cheddar, Stichelton Blue, Vacherin and goats cheese along with a warm walnut toast and homemade chutney!
I would have a selection of strong & mild cheeses & some goats cheese for people who are intolerant of cow’s milk 🙂
I would have a Vintage Cheddar, Goats Cheese, Emmental and a nice soft cheese
mostly cheddar cheeses for me
Mature Cheddar, Red Leicester and Danish Blue x
Brie, Wensleydale and Smoked Bavarian cheese
stilton , brie and a beyond vintage chedder
I would include a mature Cheddar & the 5 counties cheese
Jarlsberg, Brie and Cheddar
I love cheese. I would include a mild and mature cheddar
An extra mature cheddar, some brie, double Gloucester and white Stilton.
we always have a cranberry stilton
Brie, blue cheese, cheddar
None, I loathe cheese! But my mum LOVES blue cheese so I’d give this to her 🙂
id love applewood smoked cheddar mexicana camembert and bleu de auberge
brie, haloumi and feta
I would probably try Cheddar, I would give this to my dad am not big on cheese
edam and cheddars x
The crackers have to be as good as the cheese for the best all round deliciousness
Manchego, Brie, goats cheese, and maybe some smoked Bavarian
Brie, extra mature cheddar & some goats cheese
I would have a Vintage Cheddar, Blue Stilton, Brie and some White Stilton
I would have Cave aged Cheddar from Wooky Hole ( yummy) Somerset Brie and Cornish Yarg all local and tasty
The chutney you’ve made is the stuff of dreams. Both hubby and I enjoy a late evening nibble of cheese, chutney and crackers. You also given a fab recipe for seeded crackers, my favourite, I usually buy Dr Karggs. Thank you so much for the recipes and I wish you a wonderful Christmas. Sammie.
Ooh the chutney looks amazing. Hubby and I love an evening nibble of cheese, chutney and crackers and you shared a fab recipe for seeded crackers. They are my favourite type, I usually buy Dr Karggs. Thank you for this generous post and I wish you a very happy Christmas. Sammie
I love mature cheddar Brie Blue cheese and some crackers . what a treat after Christmas dinner this would be
I would include some Boursin, English mature cheddar, Wensleydale & cranberry and some smoked Bavarian cheese
Cheddar, Emmenthal and Caerphilly
I’d have lots of strong cheeses! Im not sure which, I’m no good with names (;
Cheddar, Gouda, Double Gloucester and Red Leicester! Yum 🙂
Red Leicester, Mature Cheddar, Edam, smoked Bavarian & Boursin
Applewood smoked cheddar and brie
Has to be Danish Blue its my fave
A mature cheddar. brie and wensleydale with cranberries
I have recently discovered and fallen in food love with Somerset Brie so there would be a huge slice of that. Plus, I have always loved the Dutch Komijnee Kaas (cumin seed cheese) and I also love a good quality red cheese such as a Leicester. Yum, getting hungry just thinking about them!
I would have Brie, San Ague, some garlic cheese and very strong cheddar and a smoked cheese – YUM
I would add Red Leicester, Mature Cheddar and Danish Blue x
Fantastic giveaway! Thank you for the chance 🙂
I like English cheddars and Halloumi
Brie cheese and cheddar. Always them two! *YUM*
Mature cheddar, smoked applewood, wensleydale with something in it (not sure what right now) and red leicester
Picos Blue, Yarg, Dolcelatte, Epoisses and finally mature Cheddar
I like a Shropshire blue
in order to offer a good variety to guests with different tastes I’d pick a blue cheese such as Stilton, a soft cheese such as Brie or Camembert, a mature cheddar, a cheese with something in it, either Wensleydale with cranberries or that Dutch cheese that has fennel seeds in it, and finally, for our non-dairy eating daughter some “sheese”.
Brie, Wensleydale with Cranberry, smoked cheese and some cheddar
All sorts of cheddar, Danish blue, Gorgonzola….cheese glorious cheese!!!
I would have wensleydale with apricots, stilton, french brie and cheddar with cranberries!
Mature Cheddar, Red Leicester and Danish Blue x
Mature Cheddar, Double Gloucester, and Brie
Colliers Welsh; Emmental, Camembert and Smoked xxx
I’d add comte
it varies from year to year but definitely some red windsor and some harlech 🙂
I would have Brie, cheddar & edam x
Cheddar, Brie & Stilton YUMMY x
as a basic one to start with would be red lecister, brie and Camembert