A while back, I came across a bunch of recipe cards that I’d written out many years ago. It’s an eclectic collection, with recipes for things like Cod in Milk (which I might try this week as I picked up some cod at Costco today; if it’s any good, I’ll post the recipe), Flan Pastry (paté brisée), Satay Sauce (which I dislike), and Six Week Bran Muffins, among others. There was also a recipe for Brandied Cheddar spread. I have vague memories of making, and enjoying it, a few times but I haven’t made it in a very long time.
I love cheese, so I decided it was time to try this recipe again. Before I did, though, I went hunting online. I found many sites with Brandied Cheddar spread but none of them were the same as this recipe. Many of the online versions were the same recipe or similar, with the addition of butter and/or heavy cream. Some even had added water. Not this one.
The most important ingredient in the recipe is, of course, the cheddar. Make sure you use a good aged cheddar; it will result in the best flavour of the finished spread. The recipe also calls for, wait for it… brandy but you could easily substitute a nice sherry or port. I was tempted as I’m not a big fan of brandy; I much prefer sherry for sipping but I figured that it’s not a bad thing to have a small bottle of brandy in the house for cooking or baking so I stayed with the brandy.
Serve your Brandied Cheddar spread with a nice selection of crackers and fruit… and don’t forget the wine!
Incidentally, the recipe calls for cream cheese. I used the Philly soft cream cheese that comes in a small tub. Either version will work. The soft cream cheese will give the spread a slightly softer consistency but the flavour won’t be any different.
Brandied Cheddar Spread
- 8 oz. aged cheddar, at room temperature, cut into small pieces or grated
- 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3-4 teaspoons brandy
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- Dash of cayenne
Put all the ingredients, except the salt, into the bowl of a food processor and process until well blended and spreadable. Taste and add salt if needed. Pack into a crock or jar and store, covered in the refrigerator.
Note: Sherry or port may be substituted for the brandy, if desired.