Warm La Tur, Chocolate-Olive Oil Sauce w/ Black-Pepper-Torn Bread

La Grand Tur. | Cucina Italiana, November 2012, orignal photograph by Kelly Campbell

La Tur, the Italian cheese from the Piemonte region, it is one of those cheeses to try when you are out to learn about fermented milk.  A perfectly balanced blend of pasteurized sheep’s, cow’s and goat’s milk. During the cheese making process the curds are drained in to small molds with the finished rounds at about 3 inches in diameter and 11/2 inches tall.  The final product is then matured for only 10 days at the dairy. You don’t want to have these cheese go beyond 35 days.  To begin with it has a bold personality for a young cheese yet it is very approachable.  It has a bit of a funky smell on the nose but really if you love cheese this is but a hallmark of what’s ahead. One of the better profile notes comes from Murray’s Cheese:

Tasting this cheese “… is like ice cream served from a warm scoop: decadent and melting from the outside in.”

The center is light and airy, and gradually becomes creamier towards the edges. La Tur carries a  lemon note and with a tang much like a goat cheese, a mild nutty note as in a sheep’s cheese, and finishes rich and buttery as you commonly find in a cow’s cheese. Do also be warned that once the cheese is removed from it’s casing from the market notice that the cheese itself is wrapped in a thin paper wrapper. It is precious cargo to be sure.

Pictured above is a recipe to serve as dessert or for a Sunday afternoon post-long walk with the dogs and friends.  Serve it up with sparking waters with lime or if you are feeling decadent a sparkler such as prosseco.

Warm La Tur, Chocolate-Olive Oil Sauce w/ Black-Pepper-Torn Bread

Adapted from a Del Posto recipe appearing in La Cucina Italiana.

  • 1 wheel La Tur cheese
  • 1 ounce  (about 32 pieces) very good quality semisweet or dark chocolate chips (62% to 66%) chips
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality fruity extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small baguette, torn roughly
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Special equipment: parchment paper

Instructions

Remove wrapping and label from cheese. Using parchment paper, wrap cheese like a present, folding paper to fully enclose cheese. Set packet seam-side down in a  cast iron skillet or small rimmed baking sheet, let stand at room temperature until softened, at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.

When cheese is softened, fill a small teacup or with the chips and salt.  Place in microwave until nearly melted about 40 seconds. Remove and stir with fork.  Set aside.

Heat oven to broil with rack about 5 inches from heat. Place torn  bread into 9″ square pan lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cracked black pepper.  Broil until both parchment and bread are charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Be careful, don’t walk away or start doing anything else–eyes on the prize here!

Transfer baking pan to a wire rack; let stand 3 minutes, then transfer warm cheese packet to a large serving platter or wooden board. Arrange toasted bread around packet. Tear open top of packet, then drizzle chocolate sauce over warm cheese and onto platter. Serve immediately. Swoon.

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