Daniele has lived in Cape Town for four years now- but as he has been a student on a limited budget, Wine Tasting had never been within his financial reach. His alcoholic bevvie of choice was certainly not wine. With the option of staying at home with all the banging and crashing last week – I managed to get him to agree to a day of wine tasting and seeing as I had enjoyed the cheese platter on 1time sooooo much – and was keen for him to taste the cream cheese (a favourite of his) with onion chives at Fairview. We bundled up and off we went.
What a day we had – we never got any further than Fairview! Together we tasted the amazing cheeses and wines on offer and shopped our guts out . Johan, in the wine tasting room has converted Daniele into a red wine drinker. He was in heaven!! My luck – he fell in love with the Jakkelsfontein Shiraz at R170 a bottle – but what a bottle. I am not much of a wine connoisseur but Oh my madumbis – that is ruby red nectar that bursts with fruity flavours yet still maintains an essence of mystery! To my delight I now have a Chardonnay in my arsenal of preferred wines – Fairview’s has a wonderful vanilla flavour lurking inside somewhere and their Viognier with a hint of apricot was the PERFECT find to accompany my Camembert zuccotto! My recipe for you today.
Our appetites well and truly whetted – we moved to Fairview’s most charming restaurant to lunch on succulent Springbok Shanks with some more wine and the best baked cheese cake I have ever tasted! Zuccotto is a much loved dessert in Italy – it is usually made from slices of Panetone, filled with a sweet ricotta cheese mixture … the combinations are actually endless. This is my take on a savoury/ sweet version of this dish. Staying in a time share spot, with VERY limited resources meant that I had to ‘make a plan’ in terms of cooking anything. But, I managed and it goes to prove my point – food is not fussy – food is forgiving – the most expensive knife in the world is not going to improve the flavour of your food ……… that is entirely up to you!
For 2 portions
1 loaf of bread – I used the honey and nut loaf from the Fairview shop
2 tsp soft butter – 1 for buttering your mold and 1 for the camembert mash
salt & freshly ground black pepper
sundried turkish apricots
Apricot Jam – i used “Brenda’s” apricot jam purchased at Fairview (deeeeeeeeee-vine)
These quantities make 2 Camembert Zuccotto.
Butter the inside of your mold – I used a tumbler
Line the inside with some cling film – to make it easier to get out. Iknow that this probably sounds impossible – all you do I cut the cling film 20 cm larger than needed – and with the aid of a cloth you jam it into the glass and Walla!! Done!
Cut slices of bread – cut off the crusts (all of your offcuts can be used to make bread crumbs so don’t throw them away) and line the inside of your mold. Use the glass to cut discs to close the camembert zuccotto up!
Using a fork – mash the camembert with a little soft butter . Add 1/2tsp salt,
freshly ground black pepper and 1tsp of fresh thyme.
Roughly chop 5 of your Turkish apricots and combine with 4 tsp of apricot jam
and 1/4tsp of chopped thyme.
Toast some slivered almonds in a frying pan.
Now – all of your ingredients are ready and it’s just a matter of layering it in your mold.
First layer – a good generous table spoon of the apricot jam –
Second layer – the creamed camembert
Third – a good thick base
of toasted almonds.
Four – spread just 1 tsp on to one of your disks and place on top to form the base of the zuccotto.
To un-mold the zuccotto simply pull it out of glass with the cling wrap!
Weight them to compact the filling for
about 1 hour and pop them into a hot oven –
around 200d for four minutes and flash grill the top just before you remove them.
I used this method to weight them – a glass in a glass, with a chopping board on top weighed down with a bowl of oranges – one must do what one must do!!!
Garnish with a dollop of the apricot jam and sprinkle with some toasted almonds.
The beauty of this recipe is that it requires only a moment in the oven to turn the camembert and apricot into a gooey creamy lava flow of cheese that oozes onto your plate when cut open and to crisp and brown the bread up. So you could have this ready to go into the oven for a nice warm winter starter for your dinner parties by preparing it either the day before or earlier on dinner party night.
The variations of this are endless and this zucotto could be served either as a savoury starter or as a sweet dessert. Think walnuts – apple- chili jam – honey – crystallized ginger – parma ham etc etc ….
Pair this Camembert Zuccotto with a glass of Fairviews Viognier – and you have pure cheesy apricot heaven!
This was to have been my recipe prepared in the bedroom at the flat (due to having NO kitchen at the moment) but I bring this to you from our little tiny weeny timeshare kitchen instead. The renovations are moving along – the bathroom is nearly finished and the kitchen is still just a sad and vacant hole! Not long now though!