Festive cheese log
Cheese log – not the most flattering of names, but my take on this beloved classic (from the Christmas section in Scrumptious) wont put you wrong. People go nuts over this recipe, and it’s a really economical way to serve crackers and cheese for a crowd – which can otherwise be a costly exercise!
Prep time – 25 minutes plus 3 hours setting time
500g cream cheese
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup hazelnuts
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp horseradish
Zest of 1 lemon plus 1 tbsp juice
Big pinch chilli flakes
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp black pepper
½ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
½ cup dried apricots, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 180c regular bake.
Bring the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
Add the pistachios, pecans and hazelnuts to a small roasting dish and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and turning golden. Chop to a coarse crumb (or use a food processor). Set aside.
Add the cream cheese, feta, mustard, horseradish, garlic, lemon zest and juice, chilli flakes and pepper to a mixing bowl (or a food processor) and beat with a wooden spoon to combine evenly. Stir through the cranberries, apricots, chives and parsley.
Lay a large piece of greaseproof paper on the bench and spoon the mixture out into a rough log. Fold the paper over and roll out into one or two logs – or to your desired shape and size. It might take a bit of re-rolling and shaping. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
Scatter the chopped nuts on a clean tray. Roll and press the cheese log in the mixture to coat evenly. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate until needed – up to a few days as long as it’s tightly sealed. (You can also freeze it for a couple of weeks, just make sure it’s well wrapped in glad wrap and tin foil).
To serve, arrange on a platter or board with crackers and let people tuck in.