Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cooking Floyd: Dark Days Challenge: Feb. Week 11

There are many ways to my guy's heart; garden paths, little twisted alleys, smooth stretches of highway, but one of the most reliable and enduring paths is the one through his stomach.  It doesn't take a special feast on a special day although he loves that.  A simple meal cooked well on any given day can make him feel cared for.

This year because of the Dark Days Challenge, Michael will get his Valentine's Feast in two parts.  And since the challenge within the challenge is Sweets he's getting dessert first!

I made this cheese back in the spring of 1977 for my first dinner party in my very first all-mine-no-roommates apartment.  I served it with macerated strawberries I had picked the day before.  I was also bucking for a job in the kitchen of the newest hot restaurant in town and I'm pretty sure it was this dessert that got me there.  It's been in my repertoire ever since, trotted out on a regular basis to show off fresh fruits in season and sweet preserves through the winter.

Fontainbleu Cheese
2 cups yogurt
1 c sugar, less 2 tablespoons set aside
2 cups heavy cream
3 egg whites

Once you have all the ingredients in the cheese combined you're going to wrap it in cheesecloth and press it with some weight to squeeze out the whey in the yogurt.  I like to start out with already strained yogurt (like a Greek yogurt consistency) to make an even firmer dryer version of this cheese.  You can purchase Greek yogurt for this recipe or hang your own homemade yogurt (about 3 cups worth) in a cheesecloth bag to drain overnight and proceed from there.

In large bowl combine yogurt and all but 2 T sugar.

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the heavy cream and whip until stiff,  then fold into the yogurt mix.

Whip the egg whites until stiff, add1 tablespoon of sugar, and whip until glossy.

Fold into the yogurt.

Dampen some cheesecloth and line a 6 cup perforated mold or colander.  Cut the cheesecloth long enough that there is a generous amount of drape over the sides.

Transfer the yogurt mixture to the lined mold/colander.  Cover the mixture completely with the cheesecloth.  Place in a bowl to catch the liquid.

Place a plate and weight on top of the yogurt mixture and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, draining off the liquid occasionally.  I prefer to press it for 2 days and 3 days will make a really firm texture. The finished cheese should be firm and dry.

To serve, open up the cheesecloth and place a platter face down on top of the mold.  Grab the mold and platter together and quickly flip so the cheese unmolds on to the platter.
Choose your fruit and either garnish the whole cheese or individual servings for presentation.  I chose whole strawberry preserves in vanilla syrup and garnished individually for this post.  The recipe makes quite a bit of cheese so we'll be taking advantage of the rest of it to do some damage to our other fruit preserves.


  1. Beautiful! I love seeing how this was made. I already drain my homemade yogurt of a soft cheese and love it. This is just another things I can use it for - fantastic. Thanks Emily

  2. What a gorgeous dessert! I love making cheese, but I've never done a fontainbleu before--could definitely eat that up with your preserves!