Monday 14 February 2011

CC Cheese Hearts

This fortnight's theme for the Cookbook Challenge is love. When I first looked at it I was perplexed. How does a recipe express love? Does it mean:
  • Chocolate?
  • Food with aphrodisiac properties?
  • Tomato, which is also known as the love apple?
  • Red food such as rhubarb and berries?
  • Food shaped as a love heart?
  • Cooking the desires of your true love?
I brainstormed. I considered Chocolate Prune Brownies from Bourke Street Bakery, Tomato Rosemary Scones from Vegan Brunch or even Tomato Orange Soup from Entertaining with Cranks. I suggested the scones to E on the eve of Valentines Day and he said he wanted cheese. In searching for tomato cheese scones I found Nigella's cheese stars. These star shaped biscuits became pink hearts in my kitchen with a few adaptions.

I don't have any parmesan cheese so I added some extra flavours and some beetroot powder for colour. The uncooked dough reminded me of the thin mottled slices of German sausage (aka strausberg or fairy sausage) that my mum used to put in our sandwiches in my childhood. The cooked biscuits were paler and a little puffy but still pink.

E loved these. Sylvia had a taste but she was too snuffly to appreciate them fully. They were full of flavour, buttery light on the outside and a little chewy on the inside. I served them with some creamy potato soup for dinner (recipe to come) and they were perfect. I had thought they would be perfect for Valentines Day but they were mostly gone by then. They were too good to last long.

Go to my Cookbook Challenge page to see my other dishes and ideas or to the community page to see what others are cooking in the Challenge.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:

This time last year: Valentine Scones - raspberry and white chocolate
This time two years ago: CERES Café – a relaxing oasis
This time three years ago: WCC # 25 Velvet Soup from Nigellaland

Cheese hearts
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat
makes approx 16

50g (1/3 cup) plain wholemeal flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
shake of chilli powder
100g mild cheddar cheese
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp beetroot powder

Mix all ingredients together until they form a ball of pastry. I mixed mine in the food processor until it was crumbly and then pressed it together.

Roll out on lightly floured surface until about half a centimetre thick. Mine were a little crumbly but held together well once baked and cooled so don't worry if it seems a little crumbly when rolling out.

Bake at 200 C for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. They will continue baking as they cool.

On the Stereo:
Way to Blue: Nick Drake


  1. oh these are so wonderful! What a great idea!

  2. What a beautiful question to contemplate - the way a recipe expresses love... In our house, I think it's cooking each other's favorite "request recipes," so I especially love the story of how these recipes grew out of a request for something with cheese... :-) The color from the beetroot powder is absolutely gorgeous! Where do you find beetroot powder? I'm still holding out hope that I can find it here in the states, and that perhaps I'm just looking in the wrong places or the wrong section of the grocery! :-)

  3. They're very cute Johanna! I've found beetroot pasta doesn't really keep the colour which is a shame as it's a nice alternative to using colourings.

  4. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!! What a beautiful bowl of soup, and I can't help admitting that you've made me wish I had a Valentine! Could I, perhaps, be so rude as to put in a request for the Chocolate Prune Cake at some point? I know my mother would LOVE that ;)

  5. How cute and delicious at the same time. Very nice Johanna!

  6. Fab idea. They look great ;0)

  7. Love the addition of beetroot powder. Such a charming recipe.

  8. I love this recipe - and particularly like how you made and served the biscuits, wonderful.

  9. Wow!! This is an awesome idea!! I would never have thought of making heart shaped cheese. Yet another cookspiration:)

  10. Cheese would do it for me, too! Great idea - and inspired to add the beetroot powder for the colour. Cute, and very tasty-looking! Lucky E!

  11. Thanks everyone

    @Astra, the beetroot powder I use is herbies spices - I am not sure if you can find them outside Australia

    @Lorraine, I think that the beetroot powder is probably better used in food that doesn't need to be cooked as it loses its colour

    @Hannah, I have put a link to the brownie for you but hope to make it some day

  12. Such a great question: How does a recipe express love? As you've highlighted, there are many ways and food is one of them. The soup and the beetroot hearts certainly so appeal.

    PS You've reminded me that i have some beetroot powder to use up.

  13. As strange as it might sound, I would definitely choose cheese over chocolate... These little hearts are very cute and I am looking forward to discovering the potato soup, which looks very good, too!

  14. Such a fabulous photo with the heart on the soup. Just love it. These sound great and I must investigate finding beetroot powder somewhere. Does it have much flavour? Could it be used to colour sweet dishes or cakes?

  15. Lovely! Hope you had an enjoyable Valentine's Day :)

  16. The bowl of soup with the gorgeous heart on top looks delicious. Just what I feel like today!

  17. I love that you used beetroot powder, which I've still yet to try. The hearts are very cute too.

  18. I've never seen beetroot powder here! Such cute biscuits you've made with it though. And I love how you put it on top of the soup with some greens underneath. All soup should be eaten with biscuits!


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