Belle Chevre: Soft-Ripened Cheese (Plus Win a Cheese Plate!)

June 23, 2015 | By | Comments (17)

camembert2a2 Belle Chevre: Soft Ripened Cheese (Plus Win a Cheese Plate!)

Continuing on my deeper explanation of cheese types from my previous blog post, Mapping the Perfect Cheese Plate, I am going to give you further insight into Soft-Ripened Cheese.

The phrase “beauty is more than skin deep” is certainly true about this cheese type as the cheese ripens from the outside in. A soft-ripened cheese develops a firm outer skin or rind and becomes soft and yummy and creamy on the inside. I like these cheeses best at room temperature when the inside is runny and has to be spooned up onto the perfect piece of bread for the most incredible cheesy experience.

Soft-ripened cheeses come into being by having a special mold, called penicillium candidum, applied to the surface of the cheese. This produces the “bloomy” (white and snowy) rind and causes the cheeses to ripen inside to produce the lush gooey center. They aren’t aged for very long – typically 6 to 10 weeks – and the longer the amount of time the more intense the flavor.

So just what is going on in there? An enzymatic process breaks down proteins and creates the creamy ridge just under the rind. The layer between the rind and the center of the cheese, called the proteolysis,  thickens as the cheese ages, creating an amazingly rich flavor and texture of the cheese through various stages of maturity. Young cheeses feel a bit firm when gently pressing the center. The bloom (the fluffy white surface that surrounds the rind) and the rind will be very white. Ripe cheeses will give a little when gently pressing the center. There will be a slight darkening of the rind. Mature cheeses will be softer to the touch, with a rind that is starting to marble.

The most famous soft-ripened cheeses are Brie and Camembert. One of my all time favorites is an American made cheese called Humboldt Fog from Cypress Grove. Combine one or more of these with carrier, sweet, and crunch components (see my previous blog) for the perfect plate!

Tell us your favorite way to serve Brie for a chance to win 5 cheese plates! Official Rules. 

COMMENTS

  1. Mary Z

    Brie for brunch, Brie for lunch, Brie for snack, Brie for a bedtime treat. Brunch Brie is warm with pastry to cuddle, lunch Brie is sandwiched with turkey and cranberries on a croissant, a touch of mayo and some greens for color. Brie for snack is with crackers or apples and Brie for bedtime is snuck from the fridge. Naked or adorned, Brie is the best. Give me the cheese and you’ll have no regrets.

    June 26, 2015 at 9:47 pm
  2. Maty Young

    I LOVE warm Brie topped with apricot jelly and wrapped in philo pastry…. Yumminess every bite!

    June 26, 2015 at 10:28 am
  3. Georgeanne

    Baked brie is the best! With a crusty loaf of bread? Yes!

    June 25, 2015 at 8:45 am
  4. Sharon LeBarts

    Baked with crostini and tomato jam.

    June 24, 2015 at 5:33 pm
  5. Abbey

    My favorite way to serve Brie cheese is on a grilled ham and “Blazing Blueberry” Brie sandwich. I use hot, shaved ham, Brie cheese, fresh arugula on a bolillo roll. Before toasting, I spread a local pepper jelly, Wisham Jellies Blazing Blueberry Pepper Jelly, in between the Brie cheese and the roll. Serve with assorted pickles and veggie chips. It’s the perfect by-the-pool sandwich!

    June 24, 2015 at 2:19 pm
  6. Kristin G

    Love chicken burgers with brie and dijon mustard on top!

    June 24, 2015 at 2:15 pm
  7. Jules McNubbin

    i love it on some toasted, crusty french bread along with fruit

    June 24, 2015 at 1:31 pm
  8. Erica (@ericajohnson27)

    Baked brie with Jezebel Peaches from SL May issue last year has always been a huge hit at my parties – and it’ so easy! I make it in my toaster oven to keep my full oven available for other items.

    June 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm
  9. Lacey

    Brie is fabulous baked and topped with cranberry relish.

    June 24, 2015 at 11:47 am
  10. Kat Bills

    Right now it’s on a juicy grilled burger!!

    June 24, 2015 at 11:02 am
  11. Natalie

    Brie is my favorite and i serve it several different ways, but my favorite will always be warm with a sweet fig jam on crispy crostinis. so savory~

    June 24, 2015 at 9:42 am
  12. Anna Robertson

    Crusty french bread brie sandwiches with sliced salami and granny smith apples is a little taste of gourmet on a long hike or back country trek. You can make them and wrap them at home and they stay yummy all day until you pull them out.

    June 24, 2015 at 9:13 am
  13. jnjblogger

    I love a simple baked brie – brie round, topped with fig preserves, baked in puffed pastry. Serve with sliced apples, pears, and almonds. So delicious.

    June 24, 2015 at 8:32 am
  14. Kim G

    With nuts and fresh/dried fruits. Crusty good bread is always a winner with cheese!

    June 24, 2015 at 5:31 am
  15. rocketcitysaver

    I’m boring but like it with crackers, sweet pickles and apples

    June 24, 2015 at 1:48 am
  16. joan

    Crispy french bread with butter. Sooo easy and delish. You can always add radishes or any fresh veggies sliced very thin.

    June 23, 2015 at 9:29 pm
  17. floridagld

    My fave way is to serve is Brie en Croute with toasted walnuts and a fruit like pears, apples, or cranberries. Often I serve on a cheese appetizer platter with quality deli meats, pickles, pickled okra, various nuts and cheeses, artisan bread and crudites. And, something sweet.

    June 23, 2015 at 8:50 pm

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