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Holiday Cheese Ball

Holiday Cheese Ball 10.000

Domenica Marchetti

Say Cheese Dec 22, 2009

If you can stop rolling your eyes long enough to try this colorful version of a holiday buffet table staple, you will discover that it is pretty and delicious. Not surprisingly, the key is to use good cheeses. In this case, that includes mascarpone and a richly flavored Stilton blue.

Serve with plain water crackers.

Make Ahead: The cheese mixture needs 2 hours' refrigeration before it can be shaped into a ball. The cheese ball can be made and refrigerated 1 day in advance.


Servings: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups mixed dried fruit, such as dried cherries, cranberries, sultanas and blueberries, plus more for garnish
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces mascarpone
  • 4 ounces crumbled stilton cheese (rind removed)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cognac
  • A few slivered or sliced blanched almonds, a couple of rosemary sprigs or other winter greens, for garnish

Directions

Place the dried fruit in the bowl of a food processor; pulse just until chopped coarsely. Scrape the chopped fruit into a mixing bowl.

Combine the cream cheese, mascarpone, Stilton and 1 tablespoon of the honey in the bowl of the food processor; process until creamy and well blended. Taste and add the remaining tablespoon of honey as needed; process to incorporate. The mixture should be on the sweet side, but not too much so.

Add the cognac to the mixture (to taste), along with the chopped dried fruit; process just until combined. Return the mixture to the mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until fairly firm.

Use a spatula to shape the mixture (while it's in the bowl) to about the size of a softball, rotating the bowl as you shape. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time.

When ready to serve, use a large spatula to transfer to the center of a serving platter. Arrange a few berries or a large dried cherry on top of the cheese ball, then arrange the almonds around the cherry. Garnish the platter with the sprigs of rosemary or other winter greens.


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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Domenica Marchetti.

Tested by Domenica Marchetti.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 189


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 12g 18%

Saturated Fat: 7g 35%

Cholesterol: 35mg 12%

Sodium: 216mg 9%

Total Carbohydrates: 16g 5%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 12g

Protein: 5g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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