The Local Recipes

How to make this weird but delicious cheese snack

How to make this weird but delicious cheese snack
Who can say no to cheese? Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food
Cheese marinated in brandy with vanilla. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.


Makes: 20-30 bites sized pieces

Level: Very Easy

Time: 15 minutes (including 10 minutes cooking time) plus 50 minutes cooling and marinating time

Great for nibbles at a Swedish-themed party


1 vanilla pod

100ml (1/2 cup) water

100g (1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

100ml (6tbsp) Xanté (pear brandy)

100g (4 oz) Västerbottensost*, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cocktail sticks for serving

*If you can't get hold of Västerbottensost, use another good quality hard cheese, such as Cheddar.


1. Cut the vanilla pod in two length-ways and scrape the seeds out into a small saucepan. Add the water and caster (superfine) sugar to the pan and heat over a moderate heat, stirring carefully until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

2. Leave to cool and then add the Xanté. (If you are making the marinade a day or two in advance, pour it into a jar, making sure to add all the vanilla seeds too, and store in a fridge.)

3. About 30 minutes before required, add the cheese pieces and gently turn them in the marinade.

4. After 30 minutes, transfer the cheese pieces to a serving dish and garnish with some pieces of the vanilla pod.


–  Make the marinade in advance and keep it the fridge. Bring it out of the fridge a couple of hours before required and then add the cheese to the marinade about 30 minutes before required.

– If you haven't got any Xanté, add some slices of pear in step 1. In step 2 replace the Xanté with 6 tablespoons of brandy. (Eat the pear slices afterwards with some yoghurt: delicious!)

– Provide cocktail sticks as the cheese will be sticky.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, Editor and Founder of Swedish Food.