Servings: 16 Prep: 40 min Cook: 40 min Total: 1 day
This is a crazy recipe. It may be one of my best recipes. It’s certainly one I’m most proud of, which is funny in that it comes from a place relatively outside my personal culinary sphere.
For whatever reason, I see the traditional cheese log as being something… well… cheesy! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the flavor and have parked myself next to one many a time in the past. I just can’t help but picture them as something one would place a frantic last-minute order for, from the local grocery store deli… for the company party… in 1983. They just seem a bit like a relic from the past.
So, in knowing the recipe is created a bit tongue-in-cheek and knowing full well that it’s already kind of a silly thing, I opted to really challenge myself and have some fun with it. Oh, did I ever!
This thing ended up outrageous. The color, texture and flavor were absolutely perfect. The log also nailed the complementary salty-sweet parmesan crackers. If you’re going to bring a cheese log to a gathering, THIS is the one to bring. Seriously!
So, what is it? Glad you asked!
This starts by simmering fresh blackberries with sweetener and some xylitol honey. This is cooked until the mixture is soft. I pureed it, then strained out the seeds. I then whipped the blackberry puree into fresh butter and formed a cylinder with plastic wrap. I chilled this. Then, I created a separate mixture of mascarpone cheese and cream cheese, with a bit of sweetener and salt. I spread this on another sheet of plastic wrap, like a big rectangle, just a bit wider than the blackberry butter log. I spread fresh rosemary all over the cheese layer, then placed the blackberry butter in the center, rolling in up again. The stunning purple color is completely enveloped by the white cheesy duo. Once chilled, this is rolled in toasted almonds. This is served with homemade sweet parmesan-almond crackers.
As to the crackers, I actually just modified my hazelnut cracker recipe. I substituted almond flour for the hazelnut flour and added some sweetener. The interesting part is, normally, this cracker is SUPER crispity and crunchity, but somehow the sweetener blocked the cheese from forming long crunchy strands of crispy cheese. The end result was still delicious and a perfect match for the cheesy butter log, but the texture is more like a thin biscuit, than a cracker.
At the end of the photo shoot, I had people over. I gave away 2/3rds of the log (largely ‘cause how much butter can one man really eat?!), but I handed over none of the crackers. Oh, I’m so greedy!
Note: To form the initial butter log, follow the steps in this video:
Blackberry and Mascarpone Butter Log with Sweet Parmesan-Almond CrackersPrint Rate
Blackberry Mascarpone Butter Log
- 3 cups fresh blackberries washed
- 3/4 cup 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement divided
- 1/2 cup xylitol honey
- 2 lbs whole butter (one stick) cut into about 12 cubes
- 1 lb mascarpone cheese
- 1 lb full fat cream cheese softened
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 cup sliced almonds toasted
- Before starting, place your butter, cream cheese and mascarpone cheese on the counter to soften.
- Place the blackberries in a small pot over low heat. Add the 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the sweetener, optional honey and a dash of salt. Squish some of the berries with the back of a spoon, just to get some liquid into the pot. Periodically squish and stir the berries, while bringing to a low simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Once the berries are smooshed, cooked and soft, puree them in a food processor or blender.
- Optional Step: Strain the berries through a fine mesh strainer, to remove the seeds. This isn’t required, but does make for a smoother butter.
- Chill the blackberry sauce in the refrigerator. Ultimately, you want the butter to be about room temperature. If it’s too cold, it’ll cause the butter to seize. If it’s too hot, it’ll melt the butter. Stir in the fridge until the sauce is about room temperature. Remove and set on the kitchen counter.
- With an electric mixer, whip the soften butter until it starts to lighten and become a bit aerated and creamy (as if you’re about to make cookies). Slowly pour in the blackberry sauce while the butter whips, until the blackberry sauce is incorporated. Turn off the mixer and set the butter aside.
- First, watch the video linked above. Then, gently spread a large sheet of plastic wrap over your countertop. Evenly drop dollops of the butter into the center of the sheet, into a rough log, about 12 inches (30 cm) long. The log should be about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Now, roll the butter tube into the plastic wrap, like you’re making a large tootsie roll. Now, grab and hold tight both ends of the plastic wrap. Twirl the butter into circles, in the air, in front of you. This will cause the ends of the plastic wrap to tighten and will apply pressure to the log in the center. This will squeeze out much of the air pockets and create a very nice, clear and tight log, with rounded edges. At this point, it’ll likely be closer to 9-inches with a 2 1/2-inch diameter (23 x 6cm). Set this log in the fridge to chill and solidify.
- With an electric mixer, whip together the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese. Add a further 1/2 cup (120 mL) of sweetener and a dash of salt. I also added some fresh cracked black pepper, but some of you might find the subtle spicy hit a bit too much. I’ll leave this to you.
- Once the cheese mixture is soft, smooth and sweet, spread another sheet of plastic wrap on the countertop. With a plastic spatula form a perfect rectangle which is about 12-inches by 9-inches (30 x 23 cm) on the top-center of the plastic wrap.
- Sprinkle a light layer of chopped fresh rosemary over the top of the cheese rectangle.
- Make sure your butter log has hardened enough to handle without falling apart. It doesn’t need to be solid all the way through, but the surface needs to be firm enough to handle. Unwrap the butter and place the log in the center of the cheese rectangle. Grab the edges of the plastic wrap edges and lift them up. Form the cheese around the outside of the butter, so that the butter is in the center. Roll the plastic wrap around it, like a big tootsie roll. Again, grab and hold tight both ends of the plastic wrap. Twirl the butter into circles, in the air, in front of you, to tighten it. Place the log in the fridge to chill overnight.
- Preheat oven to 275 F (135 C).
- Combine the almond flour, parmesan cheese, sweetener, egg whites and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until a ball of dough has formed.
- Crumble half the dough evenly around a greased sheet of parchment paper or foil. Place another sheet above it, and roll out the dough so that the crumbles form a single thin sheet of dough. Remove the top sheet and play with the dough. It's pretty malleable, so if there are any cracks, you can just push the cracks together. I also pushed the edges in and together and broke off "dangleys" and pushed them into the main body of the dough. In the end, I had a nice rectangular sheet of dough.
- Using a cutting/dividing device (pizza cutter, bench scraper, butter knife, etc.) cut through the dough to form 48 little rectangles. This isn't an exact science and you can adjust the shapes and sizes in any way you see fit. However, if you want precision, you can always measure the rectangle and do a little math. You can also use a ruler or some other straight guide, place it on the dough and run your cutting device along the guide. With math and a good guide, you can create a perfect batch of squares. You can also use a cookie cutter and gently press a shape into the top of each cracker, being careful not to cut through. This will make a nice little pattern on the top.
- Place the parchment or foil on a cookie/thin baking tray.
- Repeat the previous three steps and set up a second cookie tray of cut crackers.
- Bake the two trays for roughly 45 minutes, but start checking at 30 minutes. They will crisp on the edges first. You are essentially looking to melt the cheese within the cracker, then remove the moisture. The cracker will darken and firm up.
- When the sheets are the same even slightly darker color, across the enter sheet (the edges and the center are all the same color), remove the sheet from the oven.
- Let the sheet cool, then pick up the crackers and snap where the perforations were cut. Crackers!
- The next day, or about four hours before the spread toasted almonds around a cookie tray, with a lip. Unwrap the cheese log and place it in the center of the almonds. Roll the log around in the almonds, also using your hands to sprinkle almonds over the top. Press almonds onto any bald patches.
- Cover the log, but let it sit out for about 3 or 4 hours before serving. If it’s too cold, it’ll be too difficult to scoop up, but as it softens, it becomes perfect.
- Serve with crackers and enjoy!
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