Briar Rose Creamery Goat Cheese Truffles

photo courtesy Angelina Williamson

Fresh goat's milk cheese (also known as fresh chevre) is a natural in combination with other things...its mild lemony tartness makes a great base for any number of flavors both sweet and savory: herbs, flowers, honey and chilies are just a few of the possibilities. So why not chocolate?

Why not indeed! Briar Rose Creamery's Goat Cheese Truffles are here for you. Newly minted Oregon cheesemaker Sarah Marcus says she got the idea for goat cheese truffles while doing an internship with another cheesemaker a few years ago; she's since worked hard on tweaking the recipe. She experimented with a number of different chocolates before coming up with the precise formula for these you might imagine, different chocolates delivered very different flavor profiles. "Some of the experimental truffles ended up fruitier than others and some had a flat, waxy texture. Some had hints of flowers. I had fun hosting focus groups, letting people try the truffles made with each different chocolate," says Marcus. She also tested seven different cocoa powders before finding one that was just right for dusting the outside of the truffles. "Wouldn't you know that a high fat cocoa powder tastes better than a regular cocoa powder!"

Marcus' dedication shows: all of that hard work has resulted in a great tasting product as well as an example of creativity in artisan cheesemaking. Both delicate and decadent at the same time, these goat cheese/chocolate truffles are bite sized and totally addictive. They're creamy and slightly tangy, warmly chocolate-y with a comforting underlying note of sweetness. In other words, sensational. In fact, so good are these truffles that they can be called 'award-winning,' as they took second place overall in the confections category at the American Dairy Goat Association competition earlier this year.

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Briar Rose Creamery Goat Cheese Truffles are available in Portland at Cheese Bar, in Eugene at Sundance Natural Foods, in McMinnville at Abbie and Oliver's and in Seattle at Calf and Kid. You can also find them at the upcoming Season's Eatings event in Portland on Saturday December 11th, which will be held at New Deal Distillery in Portland.

For a complete list of retail outlets for all of Briar Rose Creamery's products, see the website here.