Friday, 8 December 2017

Chutneys and Cheese? Yes please!

Post in collaboration with Baxters


Take your cheeseboard to the next level with Baxters delicious chutney pairings. Discover the ettiquete of cheese along with top tips for serving up the perfect cheese and chutney partners this Christmas.


I am a self confessed lover of Cheese. I'm currently counting down the days until Christmas with the aid of a Cheese Advent Calendar, I went to France in the summer to find out how ComtΓ© is made, I had a cake made of cheese for my 40th birthday and I've even had a go at making my own cheese. My eyes light up when there's a cheeseboard on the menu - give me cheese over chocolate any day of the week. Yup, my name is Claire and I am a Cheeseaholic. As such you can imagine my delight on being asked by Baxters to join their Development Chef Darren Sivewright at their Edinburgh HQ to taste some Cheese and Chutney pairings and be filmed for a social media campaign. Even the hashtags for the event got my mouth watering. #chutneysandcheeseyesplease, #itsallgood, #allthecheese. My fingers couldn't RSVP quickly enough! 





I have a great fondness for Baxters products and have visited their factory and Visitor Centre in Fochabers on many occasions. One of which was a field trip with my O Grade Economics class back in the 80's! It's located midway between my home in Aberdeenshire and my parents home on The Black Isle so is often a halfway meeting or stop off point. The cafe does amazing enormous pancakes which you absolutely must try if you ever visit. My Dad always opts for their Cullen Skink and their Royal Game Soup is the stuff of legends. But there is much more to Baxters than soup and beetroot. Bring on the Chutney! Baxters first started making chutney over 40 years ago when an abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers in the garden encouraged Gordon and Ena Baxter’s culinary flair. Today, they are the leading premium chutney brand. The traditional range offers delicious chutneys based on classic family recipes for everyday use whilst their range of speciality chutneys blend the familiar with unexpected twists for the more adventurous.




For our adventure into cheese and chutney I was joined by fellow bloggers Hilary of My Monkfish and Erica of Foodinburgh. The film crew had commandeered the staff room at Baxters HQ in Edinburgh's Charlotte Square and Development Chef Darren Siveright had already spent a busy morning filming. A quick touch up of makeup - for Darren - before the cameras started rolling and our masterclass began. First up knife and spoon etiquette and the do's and dont's of cheeseboards. The rules seem to be that there are no rules! Darren suggested that things should be kept informal and there's really no need to start with the mild cheeses and progress to the stronger and stinkier ones. Chutney can help with this as it acts as a palate cleanser. The chutney cuts through the fattiness of the cheese also meaning that you can eat more. Game changer!

Unless I've forgotten anything vital, there really were only three 'rules'. 
  1. Use a separate knife for each cheese and a separate spoon for each chutney. Absolutely no double dipping allowed.
  2. Remove the cheese from the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature before serving. This allows time for the fats to soften up and release the flavours and will also give the cheese a softer texture. 
  3. When cutting a piece of cheese from a wedge, leave it in the same shape as you found it. This means slicing neatly from rind to tip and getting an even quantity of both outside and middle. 

With etiquette and do's and don'ts covered it was time to dig in! In addition to the abundance of cheese laid out on the table there was also almonds, hazelnuts, parma ham, fresh figs, sun dried tomatoes, honey, artichokes, dates, fruit cake, whipped butter, olives and an equally large collection of homemade crackers, biscuits and breads. Thankfully no celery to be seen - it's definitely one of my Room 101 foods and often seems to sneak in an appearance on a cheeseboard. 
If Baxters chef Darren looks a wee bit familiar, you possibly recognise him from his appearance of Masterchef The Professionals in 2015 where he was a semi finalist. As a 'Broch Loon' (gentleman from Fraserburgh) he was able to explain and pronounce my Foodie Quine blog name to the assembled film crew (Quine rhymes with wine and is doric for girl/female).


Pairing Number One 
Whipped Goats Cheese, Caramelised Onion Chutney, Parma Ham and Fresh Figs served on homemade seeded crackers.
To make this Darren had whipped up goats cheese with an electric mixer adding a splash of olive oil before serving in quenelles. This makes it easier to spread and less cloying on the palate. The sweet caramelised onions compliment the rich balsamic vinegar in this classic family chutney. 

Pairing Number Two 
Manchego, Tomato Chutney, Gordal Olives and Serrano Ham
I fell hook line and sinker for the giant Gordal Olives. They will most definitely be making an appearance on my Cheeseboard this Christmas. The Tomato Chutney is based on Ena Baxters own delicious recipe with added juicy red peppers to create a contemporary accompaniment. Perfect for barbeque's, salads and sandwiches it worked amazingly well with the distinctive flavours of Spain's iconic sheep cheese.

Pairing Number Three 
Strong Cheddar, Bramley Apple, Date and Stout Chutney, Toasted Hazelnuts 
A traditional cheddar cheese requires a traditional chutney. This chutney is a wonderful combination of apple with warm spices and dark caramel from the stout and dates. It also works really well with cold meats and pork pies and would be perfect for a ploughman's lunch.


Pairing Number Four 
Brie, Pineapple, Coconut and Zesty Lime Chutney, Ginger Biscuits 
This was definitely the wild card of all the pairings. Homemade ginger biscuits (go easy on the sugar) with a ripe Scottish Brie tasted absolutely amazing. Add in the vibrant yellow speciality chutney for a true taste explosion. This fruity chutney is the perfect balance of pineapple and lime with a hint of chilli and a coconut finish. Alternative festive serving suggestions include using it as a glaze on sausages or gammon.

Pairing Number Five 
Stilton and Pickled Beetroot Tapenade 
Christmas and Stilton go hand in hand, but Stilton and Pickled Beetroot?! In a bit of an off piste creation Darren had made a tapenade using drained pickled beetroot combined with olives. Such a vibrant colour but whatever would Ena think?

Pairing Number Six 

Baked Camembert, Albert's Victorian and Parmesan Straws  
Which cheese would you use to coax a bear down from a tree? Camembert! #sorrynotsorry
We saved the best until last. I'm a total sucker for a baked Camembert (with or without cheesy jokes) This one had been baked with slivers of garlic and sprigs of rosemary. Into it's gooey interior we dipped Parmesan straws and crusty bread. Absolute heaven - particularly when paired with the richly spiced fruits and zesty orange and lemon peel in Albert's Victorian. 



By this point we were all practically in a cheese coma! But being true professionals we continued to eat more and more cheese as the camera continued to roll. It did actually get to the point where the crew said that if we wanted we could just pretend to be eating as they were now only filming our hands! At last the final shots were in the can - it's a wrap! (thankfully not a cheese and chutney wrap) Eating and talking cheese and chutney for 2 hours is seriously hard work. Much like the explosion in the French Cheese Factory, all that was left was debris....

Keep your eyes peeled for Baxters delicious chutney pairings on their social media channels in the run up to Christmas. Find them on 

Twitter @BaxtersFoodUK
Instagram @baxters_uk


Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Baxters. As always, all views expressed (and cheesy jokes) are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.

11 comments :

  1. Cheese and chutney is one of the things I look forward to most at Christmas. I do sometimes try to make my own chutneys but when I can't I ALWAYS opt for baxters. They are such good quality.

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  2. This looks like an amazing spread & it looks like you had too :)

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  3. What an awesome experience. And that spread looks AMAZING. Totally cheese-lover heaven! ;)

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  4. It looks like you had a great time, love these cheese pairings!

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  5. Chutney is an absolute essential for any cheese board, I believe. I am a fan of the Baxter's range too. Looks like you had a fab time at the event!

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  6. I so wanted the cheese advent calendar this year; I had to settle for Heroes instead though! I am a cheese lover too; the stronger the better for me and I adore anything smoked; add in chutney to the mix and it's my dream come true! Looks like you had a fantastic time and tried some delicious pairings!

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  7. What a beautiful spread.. looks like it was lot of fun shooting itπŸ‘†❤️πŸ§€πŸ§€πŸ½️🍴

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  8. I've never heard of Cheese Advent Calendar so this was quite a big discovery for me. And I really like the pairings! To sum up, this has been one of the best 'cheese' posts I've come across lately.

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  9. Such a beautiful spread, and it looks like you had a great time too!

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  10. A woman after my own heart! I love cheese too! This looked like a relly fun day and there are some good tips here!

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  11. Like you, I adore cheese waaaay too much, can't see that addiction fading anytime soon. Last year I created a recipe for leftover cheese and chutney in a quiche, and everyone laughed at the idea that *I* would ever have leftover cheese, but occasionally I do over-order and want to get rid of odds and ends. I'm starting to explore more variety of chutneys to match my cheese board these days too!

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