Good Question: Building a Better Cheese Ball

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Well, it's the holiday season which means the reappearance of one of my guilty pleasures, the cheese ball. I've tried several recipes but most use cream cheese as a base, and even after I try adding in extra cheese just don't seem to capture that sharp cheesey flavor I've grown to crave. I believe there has to be a better base to build these around.  Do you or any of your readers have a good recipe/idea to try? 

Thanks, 
Sparky

Well, the holiday season is over, but there's plenty of winter parties left. There are still lots of opportunities to indulge that cheese ball craving!

Cream cheese is often used as a base for cheese spreads because it's cheap, smooth, and easy to blend, and it has a relatively mild taste that will allow other flavors to shine out. If, however, you're looking for a more distinct cheese flavor, you should look for cheeses with a similar consistency to cream cheese. They need to be soft and able to be blended easily.

I would suggest trying goat cheese or a very soft blue cheese. You can browse through the the Cheesemonger's posts to find other suggestions for good soft cheeses.

When you've found a soft cheese with a good flavor, blend it with herbs, nuts, roasted garlic, or other ingredients until you get the taste you want. Depending on the pungency of the cheese you may also want to still cut in a little cream cheese.

I'll post a recipe a little later today for one of my favorite cheese spreads! In the meantime, does anyone else have favorite recipes for Sparky?

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.