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NOW CLOSED: Add your own French Goat's Cheese related tip or recipe - you could win a cheesy hamper worth £100

(64 Posts)
NewGirlHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-Nov-11 14:23:22

On 24 November 16 MNers, 2 MN Blogging Network bloggers, GeraldineMumsnet and NewGirlHelenMumsnet all went along to a cookery school in Central London to learn about, cook with and sample lots of French goat's cheeses.

This thread is for their feedback but we'd like to open this up to all of MN - so if you didn't attend please do add your own tip, comment or recipe featuring French goat's cheese to this thread. Everyone who does so will be entered into a prize draw where one person will win a hamper of French goat's cheeses, French wine and cheese labels worth £100. Feel free to upload your own recipes to the MN recipe pages or share any you learnt about on this thread.

If you attended the event, please let us know all about it - we'd like to know...

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher
- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)

Plus any other information you'd like to share with MN.

Many thanks
MNHQ

Punkatheart Fri 25-Nov-11 15:21:13

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?



For me, I loved it when Charlie, our Dorset Cheesemonger, called us Brothers in Cheese! But it would be hard to pick one highlight…the cheese tasting itself was pretty special.

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!



I was interested in the hard goat’s cheese and the revelation that although we worry about use/sell by dates – the French ‘don’t give a monkey’s.’

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?



I did not know that Crottin means poo and is called such because it is a goat’s poo shape!

I was pleased by the variety of goat’s cheese and that it can be cooked so easily, with great effect.

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite?

Crottin de Chavignol. The hard one I am stlll thinking about – the aftertaste was a little strange in the mouth.

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses?

I was surprised how much one of the soft ones tasted like Philadephia…so much so that I would not have been able to tell the difference. If so, how?

It was soft creamy but perhaps a little milder than the taste I expected. Some were too chalky for me, but crumbled over a salad, they would work.

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?



The fact that my daughter, who hates goat cheese, scoffed the cheesecake without realizing… makes this really attractive.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?



Of course. I am a woman! Low fat, less calories, eat more!

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?



Waitrose is pretty good.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?



Muffins – not so sure but the fishcakes were fab.

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?



I do recommend goat’s cheese but so many people wrinkle their noses and say ‘smelly’…they are living in the past!

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine?

Very smooth wine…brilliant with the fishcakes.

It was a grand day – good-humoured, informative and wine-filled. Thank you.

Fillybuster Fri 25-Nov-11 16:10:19

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?

Probably the moment when we realised that each enormous tray of cheese was designed to be shared between 4-5 people at most. Joy!

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!

The advice on storage was helpful (particularly the suggestion we use an upside-down tupperware in place of a cheese box). I was reassured by the lack of concern around use-by dates, although cheese never lasts long enough in our house for that to be a massive issue.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?

Like punkatheart (who I think was sharing a cheese tray with me), I hadn't known that crottin referred to the shape of goat poo. I will not be sharing that bit of info with the dcs in the near future...

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher
- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre

There were a few I really love, especially
1. The pyramid ash-covered cheese we tried first
2. The round, flat, slightly gooey ash covered cheese we had next
3. The 'cooking' quality chevre
4. The 'hard' cheese - was that Rocamadour?

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?

They were all very un-goaty: even the slightly smellier/runnier ones were much less offensive smelly or sharp than I might have hoped expected. I was particularly surprised at how much I liked the only hard cheese, as I have never been that keen on hard goats cheese when I have tried it previously.

The spreadable cheese tasted exactly like Philadelphia...I cant work out if this is a 'good' or a 'bad' thing, as Philly is probably cheaper....

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

Yes - the fishcake recipe was a revelation! I took a box of leftovers home, thinking I would use it over the next few weeks, and was shock that my 3 dcs came close to polishing off the lot after their dinner last night, when I offered them a taste. I'm much more confident that there would be an enthusiastic reception if I brought home goats cheese in future if I can bring myself to share it

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?

It wasn't something I had considered previously, but I am now sold smile

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?

I knew there was a lot of choice, but had never had the opportunity to sample so many before, which was a great education.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?

I will definitely make the fishcakes, and probably the cheesecake. I might make the salad (which was delicious, but which strikes me as a lot of work), and will be avoiding the muffin recipe until a braver MNetter tries again and convinces me that it does actually work (the ones we took home were beyond inedible)

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?

Yes, I already do, frequently smile

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)

It was a pleasant addition to a lovely afternoon, but on the whole I prefer NZ Sauvignon for this price.

Thank you again for an absolutely brilliant cheese-tastic event - the cheese tasting, the cookery masterclass and the food were all so much more fun (actually, they were just so much 'more' everything: fun, interesting, filling, fatterning, time-consuming, alcoholic.....!!) than I was expecting! gringrin

HattiFattner Fri 25-Nov-11 16:37:08

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?

Having a complete day out - with an afternoon hall pass from DH and a trip into London without kids....and being fed! Whats not to like! I really enjoyed the cooking sessions with Sophie...not overly "styled" - really accesible meals that you could plan to do at home. Our Cheesemonger was very passionate and knowledgable about the cheese, so made the whole experince more enjoyable.

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share! I must confess that my experience with goats cheese was limited to "whats on the supermarket shelf" - finding all those new textures and flavour strengths was actually surprisingly exciting! I loved the idea that the goats' diet heavily influences the taste of the cheese, and so the animals were really well looked after and spoiled to ensure consistency in the milk and therefore a consistent flavour in the cheese.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before? The variety of strengths and flavours - from wonderfully light and creamy to chalky and pungent - plus the super runny and pleasantly strong. My experiences to date have been more one dimensional!

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher - Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre.

I love the spreadable as it was so fresh and light. And the Tomme...smooth and strong without being overwhelmingly goaty....two on opposite ends of the spectrum! The Crottin and the Selles-sur-Cher were also lovely and smooth. The Crottin especially tasted like a summer meadow. Swoon! Yummy!

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?

As above - my experiences were limited to quite strong, pungent and chalky cheeses, so the freshness and mildness of the spreadable cheese was really surprising. ANd that Crottin....

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass? The resounding vote from the fattner household was a yes to the cheesecake! ANd the fishcakes were lovely. Ive already spotted a recipe elsewhere that I will now try....

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese? Yes...My son was dairy allergic, but could tolerate Goats milk. We used more English goats cheese in his diet, simply out of product availability.

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK? No, but I did have a look around today at the supermarket and was pleased to see more variety than before.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home? Yes to fishcakes and cheesecake. Not sure about the muffins - they had a great flavour, but were too heavy for my liking. Liked the salad, and could see myself indulging in that....dont know that the family would like it though!

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member? The family have had a taster session of the samples I brought home...and then my neighbour and her son had a sample thismorning before the school run. The pressure is now on to recreate some of the recipes...

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50) Yes, very pleasant and drinkable.

I'd also like to say a big thank you all! for a really great experience - fun and educational, really good to meet some other MN's , and a nice way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

wahwahwah Fri 25-Nov-11 16:50:52

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?
- Trying the ash covered cheeses - not something I would have tried normally as it looks horrible (it was all lovely)

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!
- Goats cheese is good for the lactose intollerant
- storing in cling-film rather than tin foil.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?
- above, plus the fact that certain ones types were 'controlled' (like champagne)
-The 'goat poo' one, which I shared at the breakfast table (DH knew already, but his French is pretty good although DS knew several other French words for poo)

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher
- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre
- The Crottin de Chavignol (the poo one)

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?
- I think it was the Tomme de chevre (the one wrapped in fig leaves) whose flavour intensified with grapes (and not in a good way)
- The ash covering some didn't taste unpleasant (and that it wasn't manky mould!)

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?
- Probably will cook with them beyond warming for a beetroot salad
- will definately try a whole cheeseboard of goats cheese at my next dinner party.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?
- I was aware that it was easier to digest than cows cheese, and had been told that it has less cholestoral than cows (not sure if that's true...)

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?
- Kinda (worked in a deli as a student many moons ago), and was fed the stuff by the truck-load when a child on long, French holidays (the Loire was a popular destination with my parents)

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?
- Fishcakes seemed nice (I make them but don't eat fish myself). Still suspicious of savory muffins and will definately try the cheesecake (in the goody bag)

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?
- do and will continue to do so

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)
- I am not a great white wine drinker, but I did enjoy this and was suprised at the cost of it (thought it was more around the £18-20 mark)

It was all great fun and the staff there were very friendly and knowledgable. Nice to meet other mums too.

orangina Fri 25-Nov-11 17:51:45

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?

I was another one of those people thrilled with the sheer quantity of cheese in front of us all. No need to fight anyone to hit cheese saturation point.....!

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!

Really interesting information. I had no idea there were so many types of goats cheese. Always gratifying to hear that the french poopoo sell by dates, avoiding unpasturised cheese whilst pregnant, and all the rest of it!

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?

I had no idea it was supposedly low fat. I am convinced that my midriff padding is made up entirely of cheese, so perhaps a switch to goats cheese will help?!

*After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher
- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre*

I LOVED the Rocamadour. Just delicious and nutty. Have a feeling I have spotted them before in the local Good Cheese Shop and it is quite expensive, but well worth it for a treat. Also loved the spreadable fresh goats cheese. Not so keen on the camembert (a new invention apparently, they haven't quite cracked it in my opinion.....) or the slightly bouncy mountain cheese (can't remember what that was called I'm afraid....).

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?

I was surprised that none of them were very "goaty", that distinctive way that they can be. Charlie our friendly cheese man explained that this was because the billy goats are now kept away from the nannies, and hence no cross-flavouring with eau de billy (definitely a good thing). Mind you, nearly all the cheese that we tasted were fairly mild, so something slightly more flavoursome might have been interesting.....

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

Yes, definitely. Not that it took too much to make me try a new cheese previously.....

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?

Not really, no. See my comments above re: the low fat quality of goats cheese...

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?

To a certain extent, but it was still useful to see them all together and taste them comparatively.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?

Yes, I did enjoy them. The cheesecake went down a storm so I shall try that one quite soon, and I loved the miffins (even though they stuck to the muffin cases rather.....). Not quite so keen on the fishcakes. To be honest, I'm not sure the cheese added much to those....

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?

Yes.

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)

Yes, loved it. Have got my free take home bottle in the fridge and will enjoying drinking it with a few friends tomorrow night. Would buy it again, yes.

Thank you so much for organising this event MN. I really enjoyed it (who doesn't love eating their body weight in cheese?!) and loved meeting some other MNers.

AtYourCervix Fri 25-Nov-11 17:52:22

cheese? wine? why the chuff did i not know about this?

wahwahwah Fri 25-Nov-11 17:53:58

Because we didn't want to share...

sugarandspite Fri 25-Nov-11 18:25:24

Am so so jealous - I luffs goats cheese.

My most favourite lunch in the world is a toasted bagel slathered in cranberry jelly and pine nuts with tons of goats cheese ontop and grilled.

Mmmmmmmmmm

AtYourCervix Fri 25-Nov-11 18:38:27

mmmmmm goat cheese with black pepper on water biscuits.
so unfair.

could MNHQ maybe do it for non-bloggers?

QuintessentialMercury Fri 25-Nov-11 20:08:13

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?

- Tasting all the cheeses. I had not been aware of how many there are, and how different they are.

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!
-That it is lactose free, so a good alternative for people who are lactose intolerant. This relates to quite a few people in my family, so good to know I can still put on a good cheeseboard with options they can indulge in too.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?
-That they grey cover is ash, not mould, and I found them very tasty! Especially the first with the pyramid shape.

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher
- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre

- I especially liked the mini log, and the cheese wrapped in leaves, that was a pleasant surprise.

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?
-How mild some of them were. Especially the spreadable cheese.

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?
-No.

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?
-No, I had seen some in Waitrose, but not had the courage to experiment.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?
I loved the fishcakes, they were really tasty. Not sure about the muffins though. They were quite heavy, and were sticking to the paper. I might try them again, but in oiled latex cupcake cookware rather than muffin cases. And less cheese..... and olives. Maybe with 50/50 wholemeal flour, to be honest.

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?
-oh yes. I already do.

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)
Yes yes yes. I would buy it again.

Plus any other information you'd like to share with MN.

I would just say thank you for such a great event, and for such a nice goody bag. The cheesecake was out of this world yummy, even the kids loved it. Is there a recipe?

missorinoco Fri 25-Nov-11 20:25:38

Grill one side of thick slab of white bread. Slather with goats cheese, drizzle over honey and scatter a few walnuts. Grill til runny. Savour over.

Fail to use all the goats cheese and secretly scoff the rest whilst DH isn't lloking.

Goats cheese and red pepper soup is also divine and very easy, although not cheap due to the cos of peppers rather than the goats cheese. It's a Covent Garden recipe, can't pretend I'm that much of a chef to come up with it.

Heleninahandcart Fri 25-Nov-11 21:47:45

The highlight of the Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?

The relelation that we were going to work our way through all that lovely cheese laid in front of us. We came, we saw, we gorged.

Tips and advice on French goat's cheese?

An unsexy, sealed plastic box or some cling film is best for storage as it prevents the cheese from drying out, and keeps in the texture and flavour.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?

Yes, I hadn't realised that the rustic goats cheeses have traditionally been made and stored locally for eating almost right away so they are usually young cheeses.

A particular favourite?

My absolute favourite has to be the strong flavoured rind cheese wrapped up in leaves. Smelly and oozy in just the right amount.

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses?

After having a taste of the young rustic cheeses, I was surprised at how mild the more commercially available cheeses tasted. The stronger tasting speciality cheeses were also amazing.

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

I think I'll be using some more unusual varieties, and enjoying them more often.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?

No, but its good to have another reason to eat more.

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?

No, I had usually sourced mine from the supermarket, it's off to the deli for me in the future.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?

Great recepies, I particularly liked the salad snack of warm Crottin de chavignol with caramelised walnuts. Wonderful combination.

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?

Absolutely. Right after I've had mine.

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this?

I think I just might grin

Heleninahandcart Fri 25-Nov-11 21:51:40

A big thank you to NewGirlHelen and all the others who organised this lovely event. It was great to meet other MNetters, an real treat.

I love cheese, French cheese, goats cheese, and French goat's cheese. (I love cheese full stop!). But I rarely buy it in the UK as I don't think it travels well. When I've had it in France, perfectly ripe - whether aged or young - the flavours and textures are so gorgeous that I have no desire to be disappointed by what I would have in the UK.

Biggest cheese tip: eat it at room temperature.

Favourite cheese recipe: cut slice, eat slowly.

Wine, beer, tart fruit, room temperature tomatoes, preserves, toast, salad, olive oil - all lovely accompaniments, but not strictly necessary.

SalVadorDavi Sat 26-Nov-11 02:24:37

The highlight of the Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?

The general experience, really. Everything from the welcome, the passion of Charlie (?), the cheesemonger, having fun cooking with Sophie, the lovely ladies who welcomed us, offered coffee and wine throughout. Ah, and the cheese, always the cheese. <drools> Ok, I realise this sounds over the top, but honestly a fabulous experience.

A bonus was meeting other MN'ers - had a great time.

Tips and advice on French goat's cheese?

Advice on how to choose a cheese, and how, especially for a Banon, you can ask to feel it. I would never have had the confidence to do this otherwise. Confirmation that supermarkets do have good quality for reasonable prices, albeit not always the wide selection and more specialised ones. Nice to know decent cheeses can be enjoyed relatively often without breaking the bank.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goats cheese that you didn't know before?

I didn't know that lactose intolerant people can often eat goats cheese without problems. I knew it had slightly less lactose, but had no idea that the milk structure itself would make such a difference.

It was also reassuring to know that the goats are treated really well and that many small producers are family businesses.

A particular favourite?

Despite thinking I'd prefer a softer one (I'm a big fan of Brie and Camembert), the firmer but creamy Tomme de chevre easily wins. Rich, smooth and melts on the tongue, without a strong "goaty" flavour. I think it would be an excellent addition to the cheese board even if people don't (think they) like goats cheese.

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses?

Yes. I was surprised at the variety of tastes and textures.

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

Yes. Having previously only grilled or eaten it with crackers / in salad, it's perhaps not surprising, but it has given me the confidence to experiment more.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?

No.

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?

I've seen a couple, but haven't tried many. I tend not to buy expensive cheeses unless I know I like it, so having had the opportunity to taste a variety is appreciated.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?

Very much so. The salad was amazing, and something I'll try for a special occasion. The fish cakes, however, were delicious and so easy to make that it will become a regular lunchtime dish. The muffins were not my thing really. The cheesecake was lovely.

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?

Definitely. My husband, who isn't a fan, said he enjoyed the samples I brought home, and my 3-year old ate everything I put on his plate and asked for more!

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this?

I liked it a lot and yes, will be buying in future.

Thank you very much to French Goats Cheese and MNHQ.

LoonyRationalist Sat 26-Nov-11 02:34:14

Can't quite believe I missed this given that my love of cheese especially goats cheese, knows no bounds..

You know whilst there are some great recipes out there none of them have ever topped my own personal favourite, oatcakes, or super fresh baguette, room temperature chevre blanc and tomato chutney. Heaven on a plate.

I am interested in the cheesecake though, anyone care to share the recipe?

HoneyandHaycorns Sat 26-Nov-11 07:18:13

Yum, I love goats cheese - am so jealous!

One of my favourite things to eat is a courgette, split down the middle (lengthways), stuffed with goats cheese, then drizzled with olive oil an seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. Pop it in the oven for around 20 minutes and it is divine! smile

HattiFattner Sat 26-Nov-11 08:13:12

combining my two new obsessions....pinterest - search for goats cheese. Lots of recipes on there for tarts (goats cheese plus combination of red onions/leeks/asparagus/spinach) - plus a really interesting looking one for aubergine in breadcrumbs, with goats cheese sandwiched between 2. Then served with a tomato and tarragon sauce. Im going to try this for lunch!

kandinskysgirl Sat 26-Nov-11 09:18:39

Can't even read this thread without feeling the need to buy copious amounts of cheeses. My DP made peppers stuffed with goats cheese for our first anniversary. Turns out he doesn't like goats cheese so made himself toast whilst I scoffed the lot grin.

The fishcake recipe sounds interesting would you be able to share?

HattiFattner Sat 26-Nov-11 10:47:16

lots of recipes here

fishcakes:

100g spreadable goats cheese
300g haddock, skinned and pin boned
200g smoked salmon (this was the hot smoked, rather than thin slithers - but I dont suppose it would matter to taste)
2tsp chopped parsley
2tsp chopped chives
1 lemon zest
300g maris piper potatoes, cooked & mashed
2tsp drained capers in vinegar
4 tbs plain flur
2 eggs
100g dried breadcrumbs
50ml veg oil for frying

Blitz haddock and salmon in food processor , - not to mush, just to chunks.
Mix herbs, lemon, capers. Lightly blitz.

Add mash -

Take tennis ball sized lump, mold into ball shape.

Press thumb into ball to make a deep hole. Fill with big spoon of cheese. mold around to seal.

Continue, makes about 5/6 fishcakes. Flatten fishcake into patty shape

Dust in flour, shake off excess. dip in egg and then into breadcrumbs. Shallow fry until just golden on outside - 3/4 mins a side, then bake in
200 degree oven for 10 mins.

When you cut open, the goats cheese is all runny .

cheesecake

Base:

85g butter
150g digestive biscuits
1tbs caster sugar

melt butter, blitz all in food processor, squish base into lined springform base.

Filling
275g caster sugar
900g spreadable goats cheese
3tbs plain flour
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
2tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds of 1 pod
2 orange zests
1 lemon juice
200ml sour cream

Hand beat or use a paddle to beat the cheese until light and fluffy- do not overwork. now use a whisk to add sugar, flour, vanilla, eggs, egg yolks - until smooth - finally add zest, juice and sour cream.

brush edges of cake tin with extra butter. Bake at 160 for 10 mins, then turn oven down to 120 and cook for further 40 mins. cake is set with a wobble when cooked. Leave to cool in the oven with door open for 2 hours.

Topping:
200ml sour cream
1 lemon juice
2tsp caster or icing sugar

Mix together and pour over. Cover in cling film and set in fridge overnight. Serve with fresh berries.

Enjoy!

TheRhubarb Sat 26-Nov-11 10:55:07

I love goat's cheese! Can't believe I missed this!

Ok, simple but delicious starter:

1 endive
Smooth goat's cheese.
Parsley

Break off the leaves of your endive carefully.
Spread goats cheese in the middle of the individual leaves.
Garnish with a sprig of parsley.
Arrange in a decreasing circle on a plate.
Enjoy!

We were served this as a starter in France and it was delicious! Dead simple to make and a brilliant starter or snack.

mamado Sat 26-Nov-11 10:57:03

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?&#8232;&#8232;

I loved the whole experience. Having a whole table of cheeses to taste and savour. A fantastic, fun and interesting presentation about cheese. A whole group of lovely people to meet and chat to. What can be better than a day filled with cheese!

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!&#8232;&#8232;

That white wine is better to serve with cheese, especially goat’s cheese. That geographically the Loire (the mecca of french goat's cheese) is closer to the south of England than Stilton!

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?&#8232;

Even the scary looking cheeses were milder, tastier and less ‘goaty’ than I expected. In fact goat’s cheese often served in UK eating establishments is far, far inferior to ANY we tasted!

&#8232;After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:&#8232;French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher&#8232;- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre&#8232;&#8232;

I loved the tomme de chèvre (but then again tomme of any kind is one of my favourite cheeses). The rocamadour was surprisingly nice – strong and pungent but far more accessible than the chestnut leaf wrapping implies. I really liked all the ash covered cheeses and will seek them out.

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?&#8232;&#8232;Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

I was very surprised by the spreadable fresh goat’s cheese. Having watched dp’s French granny eating it straight from the tub, I always imagined it was an acquired taste – however, it was fresh, light and less cloying than Philly. I was so impressed I even bought some yesterday! I will definitely always place a goat’s cheese on a cheeseboard from now on, and not just rely on it toasted in a goat’s cheese salad

*Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?*&#8232;&#8232;

No and I didn’t know it was less calorific.

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?&#8232;

I will certainly check out Waitrose for a good selection, but looking in Sainsbury’s yesterday, the varieties available were minimal with only one or two types of French goat’s cheese on sale (including the deli counter).

&#8232;*Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes?*

I thought they were ok but not my favourite part of the day. Definitely aimed towards the basic homecook rather than an aspirational cook. It was still fun though and Sophie was lovely!

Do you plan to recreate them at home?&#8232;&#8232;

I was interested that you could add the fish raw to the fish cake mix, and will certainly try that at home for the dds.

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?&#8232;&#8232;

Certainly! In fact I’ll probably force them to eat goat’s cheese whenever I get to cook for them!

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)&#8232;&#8232;

The wine was lovely – light and refreshing and went perfectly with the caramelised garlic and left-over goat’s cheese tart that we had last night. If I knew where to buy it I would certainly consider purchasing it if we were eating a goat’s cheesy meal.

Plus any other information you'd like to share with MN. &#8232;

Thank you for a fantastic day – it felt like a real treat (and with a goody bag to take home). Everyone involved in the day was welcoming, interesting and thoughtful. A truly great experience! &#8232;Many thanks

I was supposed to go but had to cancel sad.
You all had sooo much fun sad.

Goats cheese and roasted vegetables is the meal I'm asking for if I ever get sent to death row as my final supper!

Didn't go but ds1 will only eat goat's cheese :ponce: He sniffs all cheese and rejects anything that comes from a cow.

CroissantNeuf Sat 26-Nov-11 18:51:20

I didn't go to the event but I can recommend warm quinoa, butternut squash and goats cheese salad topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.

CroissantNeuf Sat 26-Nov-11 18:56:02

Didn't attend sad as I LOVE French goats cheese.

Love a hard goat cheese in sandwiches or grated on top of rice lentils and salad (fav store cupboard meal).

The smooth stuff is lovely in a sarnie too!

painterly Sat 26-Nov-11 20:57:08

Favourite goats' cheesse recipe:

mix cooked fresh egg pasta with pesto;
top each serving with a large round slice of goats' cheese;
grill for a minute or two.

A marvellous lunch or quick dinner.

you can use goat's cheese to make cheese cake. It is very rich, so best with a very acidic fruit to cut through it, like pineapple.

Asnowflakeisforlife Sun 27-Nov-11 15:22:00

Firstly I must say a MASSIVE thanks to all those involved in the day. The attention to detail with the cheese, wine, recipes and venue were lovely. The day was great fun and I got to meet some lovely MNetters. It was nice to be away from DS doing something grownup and relaxing.

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?

I enjoyed learning about goat's cheese and how it is made, stored and cooked etc. The tasting session was great. There was plenty of cheese and the choice was fab.

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!

I hadn't really considered it before, but our Cheesemonger pointed out that goat's cheese was traditionally a peasent food and this is why it is normally young and fresh when eaten. However, he was keen to point out that you could be quite flexible about when it is eaten! smile

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?

I did not know that there were so many varieites. I did not know how healthy it is.

*After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher
- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre*

I loved them all. My favourite was the leaf wrapped soft gooey cheese we tried last, the Banon.

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?

I was suprised at how mushroomy one of the cheeses tasted. I was also suprised at the hard goat's cheese. It was similar to Manchego and I would definitely use it as a substitute.

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

Yes. We have included a couple of the cheeses in our Xmas cheese board list. I have also made the fishcakes at home with my DD.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?

I knew it was a good alternative. I did not know how great an alternative it actually is.

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?

No. I recognised a couple of the cheeses but there were many more than I would have assumed.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?

We have already made the fishcakes. The muffins were incredibly stodgy so we will not make them again. I will however adapt my courgette and feta muffin recipe to be made with goat's Cheese instead.

I am going to make my own cheesecake recipe with the softer, philly cheese we tried.

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?

Yes. Without a doubt. The cheeses and wine are delicious.

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)

Yes. We have ordered a few bottles of the wine in a Rose variety and we are going to try and find the white in a local wine cellar.

debka Sun 27-Nov-11 16:59:54

Am so envy of you all. I love goats cheese, so does 2yo DD, it's her favourite.

A recipe I love is broccoli soup, finished with some goat's cheese. Makes it all seem a bit more healthy!

BornSicky Sun 27-Nov-11 18:09:57

baked goat's cheese and roasted beetroot salad is my favourite. Use spicy/peppery salad leave like rocket to go with the creamy cheese and sweet beetroot.

also love the spreadable goat's cheese just with crackers and grapes!

seenbutnotheard Sun 27-Nov-11 19:06:28

I can't believe that I missed this sad

I love, love, love goats cheese, but have to say that I have not tried that many varieties. My dh can't stand it and so it would have been great to get some new ideas of how I could 'hide' it and convert him.

My all time fav lunch is a fresh baked roll, with goats cheese and black grapes.
I also love goats cheese in my salads - I find that it goes particularly well with peppers and chicken (think I 'discovered' goats cheese many years ago at Pizza Express in their Pollo Salad blush)

I think it also makes a great addition to just about any soup.

zipzap Mon 28-Nov-11 00:45:49

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?
So many highlights it's difficult to choose - meeting lots of lovely MNetters, Charlie the cheese man's fascinating and delicious cheese tasting, doing the cook-alongs with Sophie, the lunch and lovely wine... And then even once it had finished it carried on as there was yet more cheese and wine to take home! Think that covers just about everything grin Nicest cheese of the day for me was the one with the straw in, nicest dish of the day was Charlie the starter with the melted crottin and caramelised walnuts.

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!
Lots! Everything from the origins of goat's cheese (local peasant food so tended to be local and young), the ease with which the flavour of the cheese can be affected by the presence of billy goats (that 'goaty' over-smell often found on goat's cheese but not on the ones we tried) or the food the nanny goat eats (eg the garlic - I never did find out if the garlic scented ones that came about when the goat ate wild garlic were sold as garlic delicacies or thrown away as polluted) and that there was such a wide variety of goat's cheeses just from the Loire region (the area the tasting concentrated on).

Storage of the cheese was useful - upside down tupperware box or clingfilm to keep it in the fridge and to keep the air out. I now find myself coveting my mother's ugly but perfect method of storing cheese in her fridge - her genuine 80s tupperware cheese board with cover . Or simply wrapped in greaseproof paper by an experienced cheese merchant on a slate shelf in a drafty French Chateau larder if you don't have a fridge.

And of course the fact that crottin is a french word for pooh. Predictably that's pretty much the only one that I can remember which cheese matches which name so as far as marketing goes - it's worked, genius! I also liked the fact that it aged from 11 days to 6 months old, developing its flavour and texture as it went (from spreadable to grate-able and everything inbetween) and that it was delicious throughout.

Plus rather than repeating them here, there are all the new facts below too...

I thought Charlie presented the session very well - despite packing loads into the time we were never overwhelmed by the cheese or the facts that both kept coming and coming. Its structure had been well thought out and was informative as well as entertaining.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?
- You can eat the ash 'rind' of the ash covered goat's cheeses.
- The health benefits - particularly the fact it is much lower in cholesterol and fat than cheddar type cow's milk cheeses (really useful to know for me as dh loves cheese but is very good about steering clear because of the fat and cholesterol content, which he monitors very carefully in his diet. I'm going to try to introduce him to goat's cheese to see if he can still get his cheese 'hit' without having to worry anywhere near so much about it being unhealthy.
- That it is easier to digest in general than cow's milk cheeses, and even if you are lactose intolerant you are likely to be able to tolerate it.
- That it is a good source of all sorts of vitamins and minerals.
- That it is perfectly possible to get goat's cheese without the hint of goat flavour in it.
- It's possible to do a whole varied cheeseboard containing just goat's cheese.
- Goat's cheese goes very well with a nice white wine.
- That so much of it goes so well with fruit or in cooking as opposed to sitting on a cheese board or being grilled and plonked on top of a salad.

*After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher
- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre*
I enjoyed nearly all the cheeses, although my absolute favourites were the ash-covered log with the straw going through it (sorry, can't remember which was which now!) and the leaf-covered one.

I also thought the spreadable goat's cheese would be very useful on a day to day basis when cooking and and I think the dc would enjoy it too (unfortunately the cheese box I took with me didn't make it home for them to try after an unexpected visit to a friend where it provided a very tasty supper!). Will definitely add it to my list of basics to keep in the fridge.

I also enjoyed the crottin (especially warmed up on our starter) - the fact it lasts for 6 months and is supposed to evolve in texture and flavour over that time is an added bonus as is the hairy blue fit that the H&S folks would probably have if they thought for a moment it was possible to have a cheese without a use by date on it of more than a day or two after being opened.

In fact, the only cheese I wasn't that keen on was the hard one - and the standard 'goat's cheese roll' when it was raw - much better when cooked. I also wasn't that keen on the Goat's Camembert - prefer the real thing sorry (think it was to do with the texture and thinner rind on the goat version).

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?
- Yes - how lovely and fresh it can be, and the wide variety of flavours and textures within cheeses that looked like they were pretty similar.

- That it can develop a much more complex flavour and texture as it ages (particularly the crottin and the one wrapped in leaves).

- That the ash rind that looks rather unpleasant was nice to eat.

- The lack of goaty overtones was also nice (sorry, I'm beginning to repeat myself here).

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?
Yes - next steps planned are to try it in lasagne as a layer replacing the cheese sauce, on a pizza to replace the tomato sauce (probably with something along the lines of parma ham, chives, spring onions, roasted plum cherry tomatoes and red peppers or melon - based on something very yummy I tried in France this summer), in a lentil and roasted veg salad and replacing/in addition to Stilton in my annual Boxing Day soup.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?
I knew that goat's milk was more easily digested than cow's milk for people that were gluten intolerant - not sure I'd ever extrapolated that to goats cheeses, but that could just be because I don't know many gluten intolerant people, let alone cook for them.

I wasn't really aware that it was more easily digestible by everybody when compared to cow's milk cheeses but it's now something I'll bear in mind, especially if having cheese off a cheese board after a big meal or if eating cheese before going to bed!

I didn't know that it always had lower fat and lower cholesterol levels that cow's milk cheeses or that it provided lots of minerals and vitamins.

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?
Not really - I've subsequently looked in the supermarkets I've been into - Sainsburys had a few - but more English goat's cheeses which surprised me. There was very little in Morrisons other than the very basic standard goat's cheese with no mention of country of origin that I remember. Waitrose was the best of the lot - probably no surprise!

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?
I did enjoy them - absolute favourite was the crottin and caramelised walnut salad - I adore cheese like this much more than with crackers on a cheese board so will definitely be trying this.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fishcakes as I'm not really a fish lover - I tend to stick to salmon (under sufferance to try to be healthy) and would never usually eat any other fish. If I were to make them again, I'd probably just stick to salmon. I'd also make them a bit smaller and thinner - I think the portions we had were pretty generous so we made huge fishcakes which meant the goats cheese didn't really do much melting or oozing when cut in to. The salad went very well with it - and I forgot to find out what she dressed it with as the whole combination really worked well.

The cheesecake was very nice - I have several good cheesecake recipes so this will join my standard set I think.

The muffins were quite nice but were welded to their paper cases which spoilt the experience somewhat. However I think it was the muffin recipe that let it down rather than the addition of the cheese and olives - I'd definitely try adding goats cheese and olives to my standard savoury muffin recipe, albeit with thyme rather than rosemary but that's a personal preference.

I thought Sophie did a great job of showing us how to cook the recipes (and dealing with all the boring bits like weighing ingredients out, cooking and washing up!) and it was useful to have the recipe booklets to try her recipes at home and get some more ideas.

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?
Absolutely. Particularly would mention the health benefits as that is becoming more and more important these days!

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)
Very much so. Thought it went exceptionally well with the food we had and the cheeses - a very nice drinking wine. I'm just trying to decide whether to share it with dh and polish the lot off between the two of us or to be nice and keep it for Christmas evening when I'll have my mum and aunt staying and we would typically have an informal supper of cheese, smoked salmon and assorted pick bits that this would complement beautifully...

I remember that they said it was available through Nicolas wine shops but there aren't any of those locally - where else would I be likely to find it?

Plus any other information you'd like to share with MN.
Just wanted to say a massive thank you to MN for inviting me to such a great event - I thought the whole thing went brilliantly and was very well organised - such a lot was packed into a relatively short amount of time and a huge amount of goats cheese was eaten in that short time! Sometimes going to events where nobody knows each other can be a bit intimidating but it was all very friendly and we were soon put at ease - by everybody involved, both from the organisational and presentation teams and by all the other participants. And thank you too for a great goody bag - the wine, cheeses, muffins, cheesecake and bits were all much appreciated!

Only bits that stuck out as slightly out of kilter with the rest of the day - Charlie the cheeseman had obviously been told that everybody was a blogger and didn't really know what MNet was about or that most of us were regular users of the site rather than active bloggers - I don't think it would have changed much if he had known but it made it a bit strange at the start when he kept talking about blogging and I started wondering if I was in the right place. Also I hadn't realised until they got up to go that Helen and Geraldine were actually MNHelen and MNGeraldine so missed an opportunity to find out more about what MN Towers is like!

Overall, it was lots of fun; the most information packed, hugely entertaining, deliciously-cheese-filled day out ever!

zipzap Mon 28-Nov-11 00:55:22

(whispers very quietly as I don't want to spoil very happy memories of a great day but... please can you convince them to spell 'Cheesey' correctly - every time I look at it I just want to cross that last e out so it matches the 'Cheesy' in the dictionary. sorry. I'll just slink back over to pedants' corner now. blush)

My fav easy recipe is a plain risotto with sun dried tomatoes and goats cheese cut into chunks and added mmmmmmm. I'm going to have to get some goats cheese from town now!!

wahwahwah Mon 28-Nov-11 09:44:44

So at a dinner party on Saturday, aft we had eaten all the cheese doggy-bag at home, when the cheese board came out, DH dives at the goats cheese log 'ooh goats cheese' and we had a long discussion about the delights of goats cheese. I have become a goats cheese bore!

NewGirlHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 28-Nov-11 14:12:28

Wow - what a cheese bonanza!

Highlight for me was discovering the really creamy goat's cheese equivalent of cream cheese - delicious! Now I'll have to try and work out what it was and buy it!

Loads of interesting tips and advice - how to store it was really helpful - upside-down cheese tuppaware is now on my Xmas list (tragic though that seems!)

I was surprised by how many different textures and tastes you can get - so often you only see the log style one in restaurants and shops - I really enjoyed the hard one as well as the cream cheese one. I also didn't know that it was lactose-free - v interesting to know.

My 'everyday' fave was the spreadable fresh French goat's cheese and my 'special occasion' fave is the crottin de Chavignol

I'll definitely be cooking with Goat's cheese more often - at the moment I only ever eat it on its own or on pizza - am going to see what else I can come up with that includes the melt in the middle feature of the fishcake.

Wasn't aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese before but as I said above, interesting to know it's lactose-free.

The fishcake was delicious, as was the pear and walnut salad. I didn't get to try the muffins but I love rosemary so might give these a go at home soon.

I have been banging on about goat's cheese all weekend so yes, I would and have recommended French goat's cheese!

The wine was lovely - really light and fresh - it might pull me away from whatever's on special offer for a special occasion.

wahwahwah Mon 28-Nov-11 14:42:31

No Helen, your highlight was meeting all the lovely mumsnetters
!

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 28-Nov-11 14:42:48

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?

Lovely communal eating, drinking and cooking with fellow goat's cheese enthusiasts.

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!

Nice to have it confirmed that it is lower cholesterol etc than cow's milk cheeses. Like many other replies, it was really useful to find out how to store goat's cheese. And that you don't have to fuss about storing blue cheeses with non-blue cheese. (And useful French vocab; crottin = poo.)

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?

Didn't know that some of them were "AOC". Or that the goat's diet affects the flavour of the cheese so much. And hadn't known that you could get older goat's cheeses, so good trying the Rocamadour.

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher
- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre*

Particularly liked the pyramid-shaped ash-covered cheese and the Rocamadour. Was least keen on the final small medallion-y shaped one.

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?

Some of them were much stronger flavours than I associate with goat's cheese (mainly in a good way).

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

Definitely, particularly for desserts.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?

Yes, because lactose-intolerance children makes you look at non-cow's milk alternatives in forensic detail!

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?

Ditto the answer above (and because I love goat's cheese anyway).

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?

Yes. Liked the fishcake better than the the muffin recipe, but LOVED the cheesecake recipe in the booklet we were given (and the sample I got to take back to MNHQ). Haven't made cheesecake with goat's cheese (don't know why it hadn't occurred to me before, but it hadn't) but definitely will now.

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?

I think they should give me a job as an Ambassador! Happy to extol its virtues till the goats come home.

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)

I think I might just force myself to. And partic now that c£8 seems increasingly standard price for a bottle of wine. <weeps>

Plus any other information you'd like to share with MN.
Thanks to Ann and Helen for letting me go smile Lovely to meet the MNetters I met <am chowing on British Kidderton Ash as I type>.

VeronicaSpeedwell Mon 28-Nov-11 15:12:07

With this thread you are taunting the pregnant cheesophiles amongst us angry.(I know I can cook it, or eat the hard ones, but, but, but!) <Writes plans for enormous cheese fest in diary for May 2012.>

wahwahwah Mon 28-Nov-11 15:22:22

Err I think you can eat it - it was all pasteurised...

VeronicaSpeedwell Mon 28-Nov-11 15:26:58

Mould-ripened soft cheeses like chèvre are considered a listeria risk, even if pasteurised. Believe me, I have studied the detail!

gazzalw Mon 28-Nov-11 16:15:06

What was the highlight of your Easy Cheesey Chèvre masterclass experience?
The anecdotes plus eating the fishcakes with a nice glass or 3 of white wine.

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!
Yes indeed. There is certainly more to Goats cheese than the types to be found in the supermarket. There is a French farmers market locally but it appears quite irregularly so I’ll certainly look out for cheeses the next time it appears.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?
The black one rolled in cinders was a surprise.

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite?
The Rocamadour definitely, The runnier,the smellier,the better for me.

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?
The variety of subtle tastes and textures was a surprise. Far better than the white pasty stuff I sometimes get from Sainsburys.

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?
Certainly, we’ll eat nothing else ever again. Cheese Bolognaise may be a bit tricky but I’ll give it a try.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?
Some yes but didn't realise that it contains Omega 3.

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?
Not at all. It’s a secret almost as well kept as what happens in a Masonic lodge unless of course you shop in Waitrose on a regular basis.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?
Loved the fishcake, never got so much as a sniff of the muffins as my DD and DW snaffled both of them. Wife said she didn't think the muffins tasted enough of goat's cheese and thinks that black olives would have worked better than the green ones! The cheesecake was a revelation - delicious and a lot less rich than a traditionally cream cheese based one! Yes, As my immediate family I don’t need to. They troughed the lot as soon as my back was turned.

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)
Not sure, could 12 bottles be delivered to my house so I can have a real try at making my mind up?

Plus any other information you'd like to share with MN.
The Loire region is also the birthplace of Feudalism. The Dukes of Anjou consolidated their gains by castle building whenever they acquired more territory. Fulk III Le Noir (972 – 21 June 1040) built over 100 castles (Donjons) in the region. He also had his wife burnt at the stake for committing adultery with a goatherd so perhaps there are two more explanations for the cinder rolled cheeses. One after Fulk the Black ( an evil and terrifying man) and secondly to commemorate the Countess.

bluebirdsunshine Tue 29-Nov-11 16:10:58

I had such a great time wolfing down goats cheese last week. Thanks MN for organising and thanks to the peeps at Easy Cheesey Chevre for making it such a great event.

I've reviewed it on my blog so if anyone wants to look at that mega cheeseboard one more time take a look here.

Lovely to meet you all and here's to much more chevre munching to come! smile

wahwahwah Wed 30-Nov-11 11:21:53

Extra cheese in the shoppong basket today - soft stuff for spreading on digestive biscuits, and goat feta! Yum yum yum.

mamado Wed 30-Nov-11 11:37:14

Since attending the masterclass I can't seem to stop eating goat's cheese! Caramalised garlic and left-over goat's cheese tart (Ottolengi recipe) was lovely... have ordered goat's cheese twice in restaurants since last thursday (don't normally eat out that often but its been birthday season!smile) and have made a veggie version of the fish cakes with herbs, hard goats cheese, spring onions and the melting middle for tonight!

I think you've kick-started an obsession MN! grin

mamado Wed 30-Nov-11 11:38:19

oh, and I seem to have started lurking in the cheese aisle more often than usual!

lambethlil Wed 30-Nov-11 14:24:23

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese?

Yes- greatly enjoyed it- the cheese and the experience.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?

Didn't know it was lower cholestetol, hadn't thought, but of course ++ from small suppliers.

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite? Here's the list of cheeses you would have seen:
French goat's cheese log - French goat's cheese mini log - Spreadable fresh French goat's cheese - French goat's cheese camembert - Selles-sur-Cher
- Crottin de Chavignol - Sainte-Maure de Touraine - Valençay - Banon - Rocamadour - Tomme de chèvre*

Tomme de chèvre- delicious.

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?

Very mild- loved the hard cheese-Tomme de chèvre, quite nutty.

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

Not yet, but will try cooking with the philly type.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?

Not before- am now! smile

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?

I don't tend to buy from delicatessens, but supermarkets- the event spurred me on to be more adventurous.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?

I loved the cooking part- the process was great fun and the recipes v. tasty- muffins not a success.

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?
Definitely.

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)

I don't drink and definitely missed the mouth feel of wine with so much cheese! DH says it was v. good.

Fillybuster Wed 30-Nov-11 17:52:28

Bluebirdsunshine....great blog smile

moonbells Thu 01-Dec-11 08:48:43

I wish I'd noticed the trial - would have entered for it in a shot!

I do like French goat's cheese anyway, though most of the ones I've tried have been bought direct from farms over there. I have bought the log-shaped ones over here for cheeseboards. I have a couple of friends who are intolerant of cow's milk and can eat goat's. It's really nice to see the selection (nice website) now available. Thanks!

bluebirdsunshine Thu 01-Dec-11 09:56:33

Thanks Filly smile Blogging is so addictive, I love it.

DestinationUnknown Thu 01-Dec-11 12:14:11

Ok, here's my feedback from a great event.

Highlight: The talk by the cheese man (sorry can't remember his name) - really interesting, well delivered, entertaining and spontaneous.

Did you find the cheese tasting seminar provided you with some interesting facts, tips and advice on French goat's cheese? If so please share!

Yes very interesting to learn about the different types, the origin, what to do with them.

Was there anything that surprised you about French goat's cheese that you didn't know before?

I hadn't really thought about the lactose intolerance aspect, good to know in case this is an issue for any friends or their dc. I also didn't know about how much the goats' diet and their proximity to billy goats could affect the taste of the cheese!

After tasting the French goat's cheeses did you have a particular favourite?

I loved the Selles-sur-Cher, the Crottin de Chavignol and the Rocamadour

Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French goat's cheeses? If so, how?

I love ash-covered goats cheese but it was surprising how different they tasted when you could try three one after another. I hadn't appreciated before how they varied.

Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French goat's cheese as an ingredient following the masterclass?

Not yet but I will, some of the recipes looked great and I really enjoyed the fishcakes we made.

Were you previously aware of the nutritional benefits of French goat's cheese?

No!

Were you aware of the variety of French goat's cheese available here in the UK?

I live near a great cheese shop and also have a Waitrose nearby so do get quite a good selection on offer locally.

Did you enjoy Sophie's French goat's cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?

Enjoyed the fishcakes and will make. Muffins were fun to make, I couldn't stay to take mine home but judging by the comments I don't think I would make them!

Would you recommend French goat's cheese to a friend or family member?

Yes definitely.

Did you enjoy the Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)

I did enjoy it, it went surprisingly well with the cheese. Probably would buy - perhaps if there was a discount for 6 bottles.

Thanks again for a great event.

Lilyloo Thu 01-Dec-11 18:10:22

A very nice recipe passed on to me via a veggie friend

Ingredients
2 small butternut squash
garlic clove , crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
a pinch dried chilli flakes
1 tsp thyme , chopped
courgette , cut into 2cm chunks
red pepper , cut into 2cm chunks
2 small red onions , cut into thin wedges
200g cherry tomatoes
50g pine nuts
100g goat's cheese , crumbled
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tbsp parsley , chopped
1 tbsp parmesan

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds then cut criss-cross patterns over the cut-side of each one. Mix together the garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, chilli and thyme and brush this mixture over the flesh. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the flesh is tender.
To make the filling, put the courgette, pepper and onion in a roasting tin and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season and roast for about 20-25 minutes until tender and starting to brown at the edges. Add the cherry tomatoes and pine nuts and cook for another 10 minutes.
Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley and parmesan. Arrange the roasted vegetables and goat's cheese in the squash halves, scatter with the breadcrumb mix and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Is very yummy and really quick and easy to prepare.

CheeryCherry Fri 02-Dec-11 22:27:13

Mmmmmm envious of all you goats cheese tasters! Quick and very easy buffet recipe - bake small short crust pastry tarts, while still warm, fill with a spoonful of caramelised onion chutney(home made or bought) and add a nice slab of goats cheese on top. Grill for a few minutes to let it just colour/melt a little...and eat as many as you can before the guests arrive!

gazzalw Sat 03-Dec-11 08:49:35

Yes, I forgot my manners. A big thank you to Mumsnet for inviting me along! Enjoyed myself immensely and lovely to come up from the 'Burbs for a glam, foodie trip into London!

We haven't done it yet but I reckon there's a place for doing a French version of Moussaka using a goat's cheese rather than Feta...Watch this space!

Guadalupe Sat 03-Dec-11 09:06:32

I've hardly been able to make myself read this thread as I was so disappointed I couldn't make it in the end. I have, however, and I am extremely envious!

Is it really lower fat? My one and only recipe for goats cheese is certainly not low fat however it started out. grin

I fry up leftover potatoes with garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Then stir in a chopped up [rind] goats cheese and let it cook and melt and coat everything until it forms a delicious crust on the bottom. Break up and toss it all in a bowl with a green salad and a large glass of wine and eat in front of favourite tv programme.

There, fried cheese, potatoes and wine on the sofa, though of course you could remove the wine and the sofa and up it's health benefits.

I will definitely be trying some of these other recipes. Glad you all had a great time.

inzidoodle Sat 03-Dec-11 19:57:18

My favorite very easy family recipe

Part cook a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
add chopped sweet potato, butternut squash and red onion
cook for 20-30mins
just before end add cubes of french goats cheese

serve...yum!

MoTeaVate Sun 04-Dec-11 17:50:37

Chop up some sun dried tomatoes and mash them up with a nice soft goats cheese. Stuff it into a chicken breast and wrap it in streaky bacon (smoked if you like). Pin it together with cocktail sticks or the like and fry on all sides until browned. then bung it straight into the oven (an oven-proof griddle works great guns for this) and cook until the chicken is not pink, but still moist and the cheese is oozy. Mmmmm.

Alternative more detailed recipe

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-Dec-11 12:36:30

Hi
Thanks for all the feedback, tips, recipes etc. All wonderful!
I put you all into a hat and paulapantsdown is the winner of the hamper! Well done.

wahwahwah Tue 06-Dec-11 18:02:48

Hate to be a pooper... Bit didn't ppd say she wasn't there? I. Which CSS I do help she gets lots and lots of lovely goats cheese and wine and has her own tasting!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-Dec-11 15:52:54

Hi - the team at French Goat's cheese wanted me to pass on the following: "Thanks again everyone for your feedback - great to hear your comments and tips. In terms of some of your questions you can find an extensive range of French goat's cheeses in most good delicatessens and supermarkets, French markets and cheese shops. The delicious Caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvignon Blanc wine you drank is available from The Good Wine Shop in Kew and at Nicolas stores. Enjoy!

We've also noticed some comments on the muffins and would recommend that if you are re-creating them at home you leave them in the oven for a full 20 minutes until they are well risen and golden. As we only had a short time with you at the event we would have liked them to be in the oven for a bit longer but hopefully next time round they will be perfect and will make a great afternoon tea treat!"

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