Fig, Walnut and Honey Cheese Spread

May 6, 2011

Honey, Walnut and Fig Cheese Spread

When I was in Paris a few months ago, I was lucky to be living in the cutest little apartment with a well stocked pantry and the most gracious host. That’s where I first got a taste of this delicious cheese spread – light fluffy, sweetened with honey, and crunchy with walnuts and figs. I ate it spread on a baguette, slice after slice.

I’d never imagined I’d like my cheese sweet or I’d enjoy pieces of nuts in it. I’m usually the kind that carefully picks out cashews and almond from my food. But with this cheese spread it didn’t feel one bit odd. It was perfect. The subtle sweetness from the honey, the mild bite of the softened walnuts and the crunchy seeds of figs all worked in unison.

I brought back tubs of the cheese back home, but that didn’t last too long. With the yearning to replicate that flavour, I set out to make the cheese spread of my rêves. I started with whipping up equal quantities of cream cheese and cottage cheese together. The cream cheese brings in the tanginess, whereas the crumbled cottage cheese is perfect for a fluffy volume and a pleasantly inconsistent texture. To that I added a handful of roasted walnuts that dried figs that I chopped up. This is a chunkier version of the cheese spread with extra walnuts and figs. If you’d like a smoother version, you can cut the dry fruits by half.

Honey, Walnut and Fig Cheese Spread

Fig, Walnut and Honey Cheese Spread

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. / 125g. cream cheese (Philadelphia)
  • 4 oz. / 125g. cottage cheese, crumbled
  • 1.5 oz/ 50g. dried figs and roasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey

Method

  1. In a bowl, add the cream cheese and cottage cheese and gently whip together until evenly incorporated and slightly fluffy. It’s best to do this when both the cheeses are at room temperature.
  2. Next, add in the dry fruits and stir till they’re evenly distributed.
  3. Finally, stir in a tablespoon of honey for sweetness.
  4. Transfer to a container and store it in the refrigerator for a little while for the flavours to meld. Spread on bread or eat by the spoonfuls.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nimish May 6, 2011 at 3:26 AM

This is interesting, honey and cheese. Somehow I just cannot get myself to associate cheese with a sweet taste. By the way, is cottage cheese a necessity (just asking because, I’m not big on paneer:P)?
will try this concoction soon.

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2 The Purple Foodie May 6, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Nimish – try using the cottage cheese from Parsi Dairy (NOT paneer – costs Rs. 80 for 200g). And if you don’t like that either, then just skip the paneer and maybe add the same quantity of hung yoghurt.

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3 Priya May 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Wat a fantastic spread, cant imagine like this..wonderful..

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4 kimberlycun May 6, 2011 at 3:21 PM

i am seriously salivating at this. i love cheese but they are so expensive this side of the world :(

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5 Debjani May 6, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Philly+cottage cheese – that´s Indian Ingenuity! Love it, I can taste on the tip of my tongue that kind of breakfast dish you´re aiming for. Albin arrived from Paris last week with a stinky suitcase full of Fromage Francaise, which I´ve frozen. Soft cheeses freeze beautifully, the hard cheeses are OK, but a little “sweaty” when defrosted.

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6 The Purple Foodie May 6, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Feeling utterly proud of myself with that comment! I can’t wait to having my fridge full of cheese soon. ;)

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7 Pudding Pie Lane May 6, 2011 at 5:34 PM

I love figs! I always like eating them with some dark chocolate inside, or some kind of cheese, or some kind of nuts… this recipe sounds wonderful, great textures and lovely taste! Thanks for the recipe, I think figs are underused these days :)

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8 Archana May 6, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Do you really need cream cheese Philadelphia? Is it different from Amul cream cheese?

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9 The Purple Foodie May 6, 2011 at 11:30 PM

That’s the cream cheese that I use. It’s different from Amul in that it’s not salty and has a pleasant tang to it.

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10 Anita Menon May 7, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Haven’t tasted anything like this before and its difficult to imagine how it must be. Book marked for future reference.

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11 usha May 8, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Hi Shaheen
I love anything cheese… even the smelly ones!
Made this today and added a largish pinch of ground black pepper.
Thank you thank you thank you for the recipe.

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12 The Purple Foodie May 9, 2011 at 12:58 AM

:) Nice twist!

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13 cinnamonNchillies May 8, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Hii
First time here. Amazing blog u have!!! Nice bakes. Gonna try something soon!!

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14 Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and Herd May 12, 2011 at 8:48 PM

a bowl of this and come crusty bread and im all set! looks incredible.

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15 Sue July 24, 2011 at 5:16 AM

Two of my favorite desserts involved figs: fresh figs, sliced in half, topped with crumbled goat cheese and then drizzled with honey. Served to guests and they disappear in a flash! Another fave dessert is fresh figs dipped in dark chocolate. Puts choco dipped strawberries to shame! (Of course, I’m waiting impatiently for fig season!!)

(Just found your blog and this recipe caught my eye. I’m not sure I can find paneer or anything similar so may substitute goat cheese or greek yoghurt.)

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16 Dee August 1, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Hey Shaheen! Was wondering if you recall what the cheese was called in France?

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17 The Purple Foodie September 6, 2011 at 3:02 PM

It was a cheese spread and I bought that again a few weeks ago. Can’t recall the name. Will report back once I buy it again this week.

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18 Beena December 17, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Hi Shaheen !

Would fresh figs do ? Also can I substitute Walnuts with Pine nuts ?

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19 The Purple Foodie December 17, 2011 at 11:34 PM

Of course!

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20 teri c September 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

sounds wonderful! will make this when I can get some good dried figs. think I’m making your fig pastry tho as I have a small fig tree that is producing well! Just found your post ! thanks for sharing!
Now, if someone can just help me find out what a package of Surshol rose seeds (looks like an herb) is supposed to be for, I’d be happY!

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