The Cheesemongers Kitchen
You know a dish is a hit when guests come back after the party to ask if there’s any left over.
That’s what happened when I made this goat cheese and roasted garlic beehive a few years ago, and I’ve been making it every year since. The recipe comes from Chester Hastings’ book The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen, and it combines all the world’s best flavors in one stunning dish. And the best part? Anyone can make it.
Goat cheese, roasted garlic and honey are a holy triumvirate in the food world ― you’ve got creamy, tangy, salty, sweet, sticky and gooey all together in harmony. Plus, this thing is an absolute showstopper. Just look at it.
Here’s how you make it: Line a quart-size bowl with cheesecloth, and then spoon in layers of goat cheese and roasted garlic paste (more on that below). Chill it in the refrigerator overnight, and then unmold it to reveal a magical beehive-shaped cheese dish that’s the perfect dip for crackers. Drizzle it with honey and you’re done.
So about that roasted garlic paste: You just pop 5 pounds of garlic (yes, 5 WHOLE POUNDS) ― the entire heads, skins and all ― into the oven to roast for about 40 minutes. After they’ve come out of the oven and cooled, you simply squeeze out the soft, caramelized insides and whisk them into a smooth paste. It sounds like a pain in the butt, but it doesn’t require any special skills or equipment. And it’s unbelievably delicious.
Make this for your party this year, and I promise it’ll be unforgettable.
Goat Cheese and Roasted Garlic Beehive
from The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen
Serves 15-20 people
5 pounds whole garlic heads, unpeeled (that’s not a mistake: you need a lot of garlic)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2.2 pounds fresh goat cheese
Honey, warmed, for drizzling
Crostini, crackers or crusty bread, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread out the garlic on a baking sheet/tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake on the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes, or until deep, golden brown with burn spots here and there. Being careful not to burn your fingers, give the garlic heads a pinch. They should be very soft.
2. Let cool to room temperature and then cut each head in half horizontally with a serrated bread knife. Squeeze the roasted garlic pulp into a bowl, removing any garlic peels that may fall into the bowl. Mix the garlic pulp with a whisk until smooth.
3. Line a 1-qt bowl with cheesecloth/muslin with plenty of overhang. Bring the goat cheese to room temperature.
4. Using clean and slightly damp hands, press a small amount of the cheese into the cloth-lined bowl. It should be a layer about 1-inch thick. This will be the top of the beehive. Add enough garlic puree to make a layer about 1-inch thick; repeat with the goat cheese, forming it into a disc 1-inch thick and of the same circumference of the mold. Continue with the alternating layers of goat cheese and garlic, ending with the cheese. Cover with the overhanging cheesecloth/muslin and refrigerate overnight.
5. An hour or so before serving, peel back the cheesecloth/muslin. Place a cake stand upside down on the bowl and then invert the two together. Remove the bowl and peel off the cheesecloth/muslin to reveal the beehive. Any cracks in the goat cheese can be smoothed with a wet finger or spatula. Drizzle the beehive with honey to complete the theme and balance the aromatic garlic. Serve with crostini, crackers or plenty of crusty bread.