I am a proud and stubborn Brit, so I am loath to admit it when Americans have achieved a level of perfection that my countrymen have failed to reach. But, I must reluctantly set aside my patriotism when it comes to talking about my favourite American dish, the cheese ball.
For the uninitiated, cheese balls are the world's greatest culinary invention. Scoff not reader, I'm not overstating this: cheese balls are the most versatile and satisfying creation known to this land, or more accurately, to this writer's tongue. Try it once and I promise you will be converted.
This Cheddar & Cranberry Cheese Ball is an ideal festive treat. With its delicious mix of coarsely grated cheddar cheese and juicy cranberries, it is sure to be a show-stopping addition to your next dinner party.
300g cream cheese
Salt & pepper
Juice of half a lemon
3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
2 dashes Tabasco
3 spring onion finely chopped (white parts only)
200g dried cranberries
Crackers, bread or crudités
Chop the spring onions, discarding the very green parts and grate the cheese.
Put all the ingredients except the cranberries into a mixing bowl and blend using a hand mixer or a very strong arm.
Using a metal spoon, form the cheese mixture into a ball shape and lay on piece of plastic wrap.
Roll up into a large ball shape and leave to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Alternatively you could make the cheese ball the day before and leave at this stage to set overnight.
When you are ready to servce, roughly chop the cranberries and set on a plate or other clean flat surface. Unwrap the cheese ball and roll in the cranberries until completely covered.
Fill in any gaps with extra cranberries and then set on a serving board with crackers.
Cheese balls are extremely versatile so try customising your own by using different cheese combinations such as blue cheese and toasted nuts.
For more recipes and cheese ball inspiration, take a look at my cheese ball board on Pinterest.
Images by Alice Aylett Roberts for BitchBuzz.com