Just before covid-19 shut down the entire world, I hosted a cheese tasting in my home together with a Norwegian lady who brought a selection of Norwegian cheeses with her. Including of course the legendary brown cheese.
Also, she gave me a cook book with 98 recipes with brunost (literally translated as brown cheese). I think you have to be Norwegian to really understand this type of cheese – but I was challenged and decided to give it a go (again). I started in the sweet kitchen and made an ice cream. My family approved it immediately. (You can find the recipe below).
This book is only available in Norwegian and in Norway. The authors are two sisters. They have come up with 98 recipes with brown cheese. Sweet and savoury recipes. Traditional and new creations. The book is such a joy to go through.
What is brown cheese?
It is made with whey, which is a residual product from cheese production. Boil the whey, add cream and / or milk, and slowly it gets caramelized. Cooled down it forms a cheese. Brown cheese.
The sweetness comes from the lactose in the whey.
Outside Norway, the most known type has the lightest color and is made with goat’s milk, cow’s milk and cream. The flavor is sweet and caramel, and this type of brown cheese is ideal for desserts and other sweet stuff.
Another type is Ekte Geitost (genuine goat cheese). The taste is more salty and it has a sharpness which is perfect for defining the taste of salty dishes.
Soft caramel fudge ice cream
My first (and not last) experiment is ice cream mixed gently with a soft fudge filling and sprinkled with caramelized brown cheese.
Below you’ll find the recipe.
Begin with the caramel filling.
3.5 oz brown cheese
3.5 oz butter
3.5 oz brown sugar
- Melt all ingredients on a pan at medium heat.
- Simmer for approx. five minutes while stirring it together.
- Pour into a glass and let cool. Stir now and then.
Then you make the topping.
Caramelized Brown Cheeese
3 oz brown cheese, grated
- Put the cheese in a thin layer on a pan over medium heat. Let it melt for a few minutes.
- Stir gently until the cheese has a slightly darker color (and released some fat).
- Put it on absorbing paper and let it cool.
- Keep in a glass with lid and use as a topping on for instance ice cream and cakes.
And then we are ready for the ice cream itself.
Ricotta ice cream with soft caramel fudge (8 persons)
1 pound (500 g) ricotta
4 oz sugar
2 cups whipping cream
1 portion of caramel filling (see above)
Caramelized brown cheese (see above)
- Stir in ricotta with sugar.
- Whip the cream into whipped cream in another bowl.
- Carefully turn the whipped cream into the ricotta mixture and then pour the ice cream into a mold.
- Pour the caramel filling on top and use a knife to gently mix the caramel filling into the ice cream (until it’s marbled).
- Freeze for 3-4 hours and serve with caramelized brown cheese on top. Decorate with edible flowers if you have some at hand.
- You can also freeze the ice cream for longer time – but be aware it needs time to defrost.