I could live a happy, satiated and decadent life on cheese. All kinds, any kind, preferably with some kind of fruit chutney, crackers, and a glass of wine. Cheese gluttony drove me to invest in a wondrous bookbased exclusively and dedicatedly to cheese. It uses every kind of cheese imaginable in the recipes, which range from appetisers, mains and deserts to and special varieties for when you are entertaining, such as this incredible and original beehive. So fantastic is the book that I even found an incredible potato gratin recipe using black truffle cheese (which I picked up in Croatia and had just been sitting around in want of good use). For now however, I suggest a few days prior to making this beehive, give Cheese Collective a call for superb quality fresh homemade goats’ cheese. You won’t regret it! I definitely didn’t!
I made this with great scepticism and procrastination, a kind of challenge to myself. Most of the people loved it, with a few who couldn’t take the intensity of the garlic, despite being almost sweet and caramelised. I personally loved it. WISH WISH WISH I had made my own personal mini hive to take to bed with me post-party. (Yes- gluttony)
1. 1.8 kg whole garlic heads, unpeeled
2. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3. 1 kg fresh goat cheese
4. Honey, warmed for drizzling (about 1/4thto 1/3rd up)
5. Crostini, crackers, or crusty bread, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Spread out the garlic on a baking sheet lined with foil and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake on the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes, or until deep golden brown with burn spots. At this point the garlic should be very soft and squishy to the touch. Let cool to room temperature and then cut each head in half horizontally with a serrated bread knife.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic pulp into a bowl, removing any garlic peel that may fall into the bowl. Enlist some help for this one, because you have to be extremely meticulous, and it does take a decent amount of time to accomplish. Mix the garlic pulp with a whisk until smooth.
- Now be prepared to get your hands dirty! Line a 1 litre bowl with muslin with plenty of overhang. Using clean and slightly damp hands, press a small amount of the cheese into the cloth-lined bowl. It should be a layer about 1 inch thick. This will be the top of the beehive. Add enough garlic puree to make a layer about 1 inch thick; repeat with the goat cheese. Continue with the alternating layers of goat cheese and garlic, ending with the cheese. Cover with the overhanging cheesecloth/muslin and refrigerate overnight.
- An hour or so before serving, peel back the muslin. Place a cake stand upside down on the bowl and then invert the two together (this is the tricky part, where for some god forsaken reason my muslin got entangled with the cheese). Remove the bowl and peel off the muslin to reveal the beehive. Any cracks in the goat cheese can be smoothed with a wet finger or spatula. Drizzle the beehive with honey to complete the beehive theme and balance the aromatic garlic. Serve with crostini, crackers, or plenty of crusty bread.
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1. Since the main ingredient of this is cheese, don’t skimp on the quality.
2. You can reduce the garlic by a few hundred grams if you find that the garlic available is too intense and well, garlicky.
3. Instead of one large complicated beehive, try smaller ones, say 3 of them. This way you don’t end up with all your eggs in one basket. And, they’re easier to circulate or place around while entertaining.