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Making cheese balls for a platter

Simon Gault shares his clever ideas for making a great Christmas cheese ball.

I’d like to make a cheese ball for the platter I’m planning to serve with drinks on Christmas morning. Have you got any clever ideas with regards to ingredients? I know I need to start with cream cheese, but what else might be good?

Cheese balls are always popular, so here are a couple of ideas. They will work best with the full-fat version as the light or spreadable varieties can be too runny. Soften two 250g pottles of cream cheese, stir in a tablespoon of icing sugar and add the following to taste, all fairly finely chopped: dried apricot, freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries and honey-roasted peanuts. Chill then roll into a ball coated with toasted desiccated coconut. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. For a savoury variation, take your two pottles of cream cheese, soften, then add finely chopped gherkin, olives, two tablespoons of chutney or relish and 1/2 cup of grated hard cheese. Chill then roll in finely slivered almonds.

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