Spreadable cheese is exactly what it says. It’s made by melting one or more cooked, pressed cheeses – not too mature – and blending with milk, cream or butter. Spices and other flavourings can also be added. The result is a soft, creamy, spreadable cheese with aromas of fresh cream and hazelnuts and a relatively mild flavour. Spreadable cheeses are pasteurised, and available in a variety of formats including triangles, rectangles, cubes and tubs. Everyone has come across them at some time! They’re perfect for sandwiches, verrines, rolls, cheese pastries, wraps and samosas. They keep well and are easily transportable, making them especially good for travel. They’ve made it all the way to Africa, where they are particularly popular – as Chef Anto reminds us in her recipe.
Petits carrés d'enfance
A little slice of childhoodrecipe from chef Anto
- For the peanut and caramel sauce
- 50 g of sugar
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 100 ml double cream
- 20 g butter
- For the ice-cream
- 120 g spreadable cheese
- 120 ml evaporated milk
- 30 ml double cream
- 1 cuillère à soupe de poudre de baobab
- 1 tbsp baobab powder
- 30 g icing sugar
- 1 Madagascan vanilla pod
- For the Pain Perdu
- For the Mbouraké
- 100 g Panko breadcrumbs
- 40 g peanut butter
- 10 g brown sugar
- 20 ml evaporated milk
- For the Pain Perdu
- 2 slices stale bread (2cm thick)
- 1 egg
- 60 ml evaporated milk
- 20 g butter
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 10 g toasted peanuts
Make the caramel sauce
- Dissolve the sugar in a frying pan to make a dark caramel.
- Heat the peanut butter and cream in the microwave for 30 seconds, add the caramel and reduce.
- Remove from the heat and add chilled butter to halt further cooking.
Make the ice cream
- Split the vanilla pod into two lengthwise.
- Scrape out the seeds with a knife.
- In a bowl, whisk the cheese with the sugar and vanilla seeds until soft.
- Continue to whisk, adding the evaporated milk, cream and baobab powder.
- Churn in an ice cream maker.
- When solid, spoon into a freezerproof container.
- Add half the caramel and peanut sauce and stir in gently.
- Freeze for 2 hours.
Make the Pain Perdu
- In a food processor, whizz the Mbouraké ingredients – Panko breadcrumbs, brown sugar, peanut butter and evaporated milk – until smooth.
- Beat the egg and evaporated milk together in a shallow bowl and dunk the slices of bread in the egg-and-milk mixture one by one, making sure both sides are soaked.
- Coat the bread on both sides with the Mbouraké.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the butter; fry the slices until golden on both sides.
- Keep warm.
- Arrange the slices of Pain Perdu on 2 plates.
- Just before serving, top each slice with a quenelle of cheese and baobab ice-cream.
- Sprinkle with crushed toasted peanuts and drizzle with the rest of the peanut and caramel sauce.
Officially, her name is Antompindi Cocagne; but to everyone who knows her, this thirty-year-old mother of a 4-year old son is simply Chef Anto. Anto was born in France and brought up in Gabon, the eldest daughter of an engineer and a nutritionist. After passing her Baccalaureate (in Economics and Social Services), she persuaded her parents to let her return to France to study cookery. She graduated from the Ferrandi school in Paris and found work as a private chef, cooking for individuals, organisations and businesses; she also hosts cookery programmes for Canal+ Afrique.