Appetites: The beginner's guide to making a dessert cheese plate

Alemar Bent River cheese
Alemar Cheese Company's Bent River, a Camembert-style cheese from Mankato, Minn., is one of food writer Beth Dooley's choices to include on a dessert cheese plate.
Jennifer Simonson / MPR News

Everybody has seen the cheese and cracker plate, but increasingly local chefs are holding the cheese for dessert.

Beth Dooley, author of "Minnesota's Bounty: The Farmers' Market Cookbook," shares some tips on how to create a dessert cheese plate yourself.

Make sure you have cheeses with different flavor profiles. For rich and creamy try Brie and Camembert. Blue and Roquefort fill the salty, strongly flavored niche. For something creamy, mild and tangy, try chèvre.

Think about contrast. Potential contrapuntal notes: fresh and dried fruit, toasted nuts, jellies, chutneys and honey.

Trust yourself. It's easier than you think. The main thing is to remember that you want to balance savory and sweet. And if you pair something that doesn't quite work, it's not the end of the world. It's more about preference, not right and wrong.

Video: The stop motion guide to dessert cheese plates

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