Gorgonzola Two Ways

>> Saturday, April 9, 2011


March came and went. It was an unusual month.

Apart from the devastating events around the world, for me, there may have been a lot of dreaming as well as dealing with the fear of decision making, changes and a case of unclear signs.


April signals that we are quarter way through the year (yikes!) and it's time to get serious about the goals set otherwise there will be nothing to show for in the passage of time....


April is also going to be filled with fun things like celebrating birthdays (thankfully not mine), walks in the park to greet my favourite four-legged friend (with a gorgeous nose), snapping more photos with my memory-keeper, wine sipping to accompany dinners (to work my way through the collection from those winery tours), and catching up with friends and books.


So I set a goal few months ago about getting to know different types of cheese (and thought I'd document part of that journey here!)

Even though I'm not a fan of the blue cheese (the smell is sometimes associated with something unpleasant which I shouldn't name here...stinky feet. Oops.), I've chosen the Italian gorgonzola to be the star of my first experiment. I wanted to see if I could grow in my love for it, if my mind could change and my taste buds have matured.


I opened the package to the cheese and took one look at the blue veins, one smell up close, and one taste of the crumb.

Why on earth did I choose this cheese to start with? There is a reason why this stinky dinosaur is named Gorgonzola.

Anyways, some facts I've learnt:

{one} Gorgonzola is a veined blue cheese, made from unskimmed cow's (or goat's) milk. Veined meaning that it has mold running through it giving it a unique and pungent taste.

{two} Two popular varieties include:
  • Gorgonzola Dolce (pictured above) is mild and aged for a shorter time, giving it a sweet taste. It is creamier and spreadable and doesn't smell as 'bad' as it's older version. (Dolcelatte is an even milder version of the gorgonzola)
  • Gorgonzola Piccante is aged for at least 6 months, creating a sharp, strong and pungent flavor. It's flaky and crumbly and darker in colour than the dolce version.

{three} You can assume that all gorgonzola are made are from Italy, since most of the blue cheeses in the EU carry a protected designation of origin (PDO), meaning the name is protected and can only be made in certain areas. Kind of like how champagne can only be made in the city of Champagne in France! 

Hmmm so what to cook with it?

I've seen a variety of ways people cook with this cheese...melted into a risotto, served as a sauce with short pasta and offered as pizza topping or in salads.

But since I had a box of potato at home, I decided to make me some Gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce!


It was fun boiling 1kg of potato and mashing it by hand, and getting flour all over the place (including my poor camera). A mess. But a fun mess.

Rolling those pieces with a fork to create the groove marks was fun too but I looked at the clock and realised I was running out of time so I stopped making the indents. Or maybe I was just lazy. I can't remember.


After I cooked the gnocchi, the gorgonzola sauce only took less than 5 minutes to make.

The verdict? The gnocchi was soft and delicate, and the sauce is smooth and definitely has a bite to it  but it doesn't drown out the taste of the gnocchi. I enjoyed this dish - it looks mild and mellow but it is only when you taste it that the pungency of the cheese stands out (in a pleasant-ish way I promise). 

But I now found myself in a different situation...

a. I have A LOT of left over gorgonzola (I suggest you buy in small quantities!)
b. I love cheesecakes and was curious to see how gorgonzola could work in the sweets department.

So this Gorgonzola Cheesecake came out as a result.



This cheesecake is not for the faint hearted - it packs a punch and while it is smooth, the sharp aroma of the cheese is stays in your mouth (probably not a good thing if you're not crazy about the smell). For a blue cheese lover, this would be an indulgence, and while I have grown to enjoy the taste of gorgonzola from the gnocchi dish, I'm not sure if I could call this my type of cheesecake (yet). I'm just not ready so for now, a slice or two is enough. 

Gnocchi in Gorgonzola sauce
Adapted from Guy Grossi - My Italian Heart.
Serves 8 (I halved the recipe)
  • 2.5 kg waxy potatoes, washed but unpeeled
  • 5 egg yoks
  • 440g flour
Gorgonzola sauce
  • 200g dolce gorgonzola (or dolcelatte), broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
1. To make the sauce: combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and reduce until creamy (around 5 minutes). Keep warm until ready to serve.

2. To make the gnocchi: Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook the potatoes until tender, then refresh immediately in cold water and peel. Bring a fresh pot of lightly salted water to the boil.

3. Meanwhile, pass the potatoes through a potato ricer onto your work surface until well mashed. Madd the eggs and flour and knead until well blended.

4. Using your hands, roll the mixture into thin 'sausages' about 2 cm thick, then cut the sausages into small pieces. Roll each piece over the tines of a fork to create the traditional groove marks.


5. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water in small batches.

6 Remove them when they rise to the surface (2 minutes) and transfer to a large dish to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.

7. Pour the gorgonzola sauce onto the cooked gnocchi and toss until well coated. Serve immediately.

Gorgonzola Cheesecake
1 small 12-15cm cake
  • 75g cream cheese
  • 40g gorgonzola cheese
  • 50ml fresh cream 
  • 45g sugar 
  • 1/2 whole egg
  • 1/2 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp cornflour
  • 6 kernels almond
  • 4 cashew nuts (or walnut)
  • 50g digestive biscuits (around 7 pieces)
  • 20g unsalted butter, melted
1. Coat the baking pan with butter then sprinkle with some flour to prevent sticking.

Preheat oven to 190C.

2. To make the base, place the digestive biscuits into a sealed plastic bag and using something similar to a rolling pin, bash the bag until the biscuits are evenly and finely cracked.

3. Mix the melted butter with the cracked biscuits and layer/press down evenly on a small baking pan. Leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.

4. Put the cream cheese in a bowl, and using a rubber scraper to mix until smooth. Slowly add in the crumbled gorgonzola cheese in 3 additions until evenly mixed.

5. Add sugar into the mixture, then using a mixer (I used a hand mixer) beat the mix then add in honey, yolk, whole egg and slowly pour in the cream, ensuring to mix evenly before each addition. Finally add in the cornflour and mix again.

6. Add this mixture into the prepared baking pan. Place the almond and cashew nuts on the mixture and place this baking pan on a shallow baking dish filled with hot water (which will come up to half way of the pan).

7. Bake the cake at 190C for 10 minutes, then turn it down to 170C to bake for another 25 minutes.

8. Once remove from the oven, let it cool for a while before putting it into the fridge for 1-2 hours (overnight is even better).


I'm looking forward to experimenting with another cheese soon. Maybe the Swiss Gruyere or the Spanish Manchego?

Any ideas? What are some of the cheeses that you've always wanted to try...or love to cook with?

27 comments:

That's Ron April 9, 2011 at 8:33 PM  

yums! n that dog is awesome!

OohLookBel April 9, 2011 at 8:49 PM  

Wow, these are amazing recipes, especially the cheesecake - you'd have to love gorgonzola to try it (I LOVE blue cheese). And how cute is that dog... awwww!

grub April 9, 2011 at 10:07 PM  

bahahaha the dog is so cute!! my sister even naw-ed haha!! what you've done with the cheese looks amazing (especially the cheesecake)! i like cheese too but not as adventurous with you so i stick to the regular cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan.

can't wait to see what you come up with next :)

LDH April 10, 2011 at 6:53 AM  

I am intrigued by the Gnocchi! I thought they would be difficult to make but you make them sound easy. The Gorgonzola sauce sounds great. I think I would prefer the milder cheese as it is very strong.

Not sure about the cheesecake. Interesting though!

Jean April 10, 2011 at 12:44 PM  

what a coincidence! I just saw gnocchi for the first time in my life in a supermarket and thought they look like grubs in the plastic packaging. yes, i'm that ignorant... but urs looks totally different! looks tasty and delicious :)

Aleida April 10, 2011 at 12:59 PM  

What a cute puppy!

I've never had blue cheese and I'm not super sure how I'd handle it but these dishes look interesting. I also had no idea that gnocchi was made from potatoes! The only time I've had it has been here at my college cafeteria and they're not exactly known for having the best food...

Yadi I. April 10, 2011 at 2:23 PM  

I love Gorgonzola! I've never made Gnocchi from scratch. This recipe looks simple enough, so I'm going to try it. There's Gorgonzola already in my fridge!

Indie.Tea April 10, 2011 at 4:47 PM  

Blue cheese is definitely an acquired taste. I usually like adding into a recipe or on a slice of baugette instead of eating it plain. Your gorgonzola recipes look delicious...

Dolly April 10, 2011 at 8:17 PM  

I LOVE BLUE CHEESE.. esp. in sydney theres this place called outback steakhouse, their blue cheese sauce is divine!!

God that looks lovely gorgonzola. so much hard work :)

CUTE DOGGY~

44lalley April 11, 2011 at 12:52 AM  

wow! gorgonzola cheesecake -- very impressed with your creativity and photography.

Helen (Grab Your Fork) April 11, 2011 at 2:27 AM  

I love gorgonzola and your gnocchi look fantastic. Great to hear you are starting to enjoy blue cheese. You'll be craving Roqueforte and Stilton before you know it! I find blue cheese goes really well with pears and walnuts, either as a salad or on pizza.

Lori April 11, 2011 at 6:56 AM  

Your gnocchi looks so great and I am a huge fan of Gorgonzola. I love to have it on crackers topped with a walnut half and a drzzile of honey. I have no doubt I would love this cheesecake! Some of my other favorite cheeses are Smoked Gouda and Brie.

Dana April 11, 2011 at 11:12 AM  

I have been looking everywhere for a Gorgonzola Gnocchi recipe! This looks perfect!! Thank you! :)

Min {Honest Vanilla} April 11, 2011 at 1:47 PM  

The cake looks gorgeous! One gorgonzola and 2 dishes, nice ;) I'm no fan of blue cheese either, mmm I'm still quite skeptical about trying it though :P

Maris (In Good Taste) April 12, 2011 at 12:53 AM  

Gnocchi is my favorite pasta! Both of these recipes look amazing.

Zoe April 12, 2011 at 11:55 AM  

I love my cheese very much but definitely not a fan of blue cheese! After reading your post, I started to changed my opinion about blue cheese. My husband loves blue cheese and will ask to buy some gorgonzola home so that I can just try a little for a start.

Yi @ Yi Reservation April 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM  

I don't know why but your pictures are just so pretty!

sugarpuffi April 12, 2011 at 1:14 PM  

u really did stick with ur resolution to learn more about cheese! good job! but blue cheese feels like something has died and moulded in my mouth ahaha! too pro in making it into something awesome :P

btw the dog is so cute! u should steal it hehe

Joanne April 12, 2011 at 9:56 PM  

What a fun goal! I love gorgonzola and this sauce seems like something I could practically swim in. While indulging in that cheesecake. Delicious!

Mary April 12, 2011 at 11:12 PM  

This was a great post. The gnocchi look really delicious and your sauce for them is really wonderful. I am especially intrigued by your cheesecake and will have to give it a try. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour April 13, 2011 at 10:29 AM  

Gorgonzola sauce on gnocchi.... be still my heart! This looks delectable! Beautiful photos as always.... you are so inspiring.

Maria April 13, 2011 at 5:31 PM  

Looks great! I love cheese, but cutting down on dairy and gluten atm!

tinytearoom April 16, 2011 at 6:41 PM  

The gnocci looks delicious. Your inspiring me to make gnocci for dinner sometime this week. I love gorgonzola melted into risotto. It is so rich and earthy.

Forager @ The Gourmet Forager May 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM  

Augh! That doggie is so cute! Gorgeous photos - love the intensity of that green shade behind the park bench. Looks like it's about to reclaim the wood in the bench!

Sasa May 19, 2011 at 6:41 AM  

I just went to Gorgonzola last month! The whole town smells...;P
I too have food goals and I'm tickled to find other people do it too - my current one is getting faster at peeling artichokes (I lead a thrilling life!)

Pippy April 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM  

I made a test cake this morning, and my husband, who normally is not a large fan of blue cheese really liked it. Because of that, I just finished a larger one for Sunday dinner for six people.

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