Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar - a review plus a recipe for Mini Cheese Soufflés

 Barber's 1833
You may have noticed my penchant for good cheese in some of my other posts, so when Barber's (the people who make the award winning 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar) invited me to come along and taste their products at the BBC Good Food Show Live (Winter), I jumped at the chance.

The Barber family have been farming and making cheese at Maryland Farm in Ditcheat, Somerset (near Cheddar) for six generations, since 1833, hence the name of the cheese! Of course, all their cheeses are suitable for vegetarians, but what makes Barber's 1833 different from other Cheddars, is that it's still made from traditional liquid starter cultures rather than dried cultures which most other cheese makers now use. This allows the cheese to develop its unique taste as it matures over a two year period. Apart from Cheddar, Barber's also produce a range of British regional cheeses and butter under the Maryland Farm brand.

Miss Ony came along with me to the show and we were both
very excited to be shown into the press area and be given press passes (even if they did spell her name wrong!). Once in the arena, we headed down to the Barber's stall and met the very welcoming and enthusiastic Giles and Charlie Barber who told us lots about their company, their cheeses and cheese making in general. We then got to taste the cheese. I must admit that I'm already a fan of extra mature/vintage Cheddar, so I didn't take much convincing...but the Barber's 1833 did have that wonderful sweetness combined with creaminess and a strong, full-bodied Cheddar flavour that I love.

We were also shown around the World Cheese Awards area and have never seen so many weird and wonderful cheeses before! Barber's 1833 won a gold award in the Farmhouse Cheddar category this year, which is impressive once you've seen number of cheeses in competition with it.
images from the BBC Good Food ShowAfter having a wander through the show arena, trying out a number of food and drink samples, and purchasing a few Christmas gifts, we headed back to the Barber's stall to pick up our goody bag full of ingredients to make twice baked mini Cheddar soufflés*


  • 225ml/8fl oz milk
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 40g/1½oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 40g/1½oz plain flour
  • 125g/4½oz Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar,
  • grated plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150ml/5fl oz double cream
  • Salad leaves, to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Butter 6 individual pudding basins or ramekins.
  2. Place the milk, shallot, bay leaf and peppercorns in a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Strain into a jug. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the egg yolks, chives, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until holding soft peaks then fold into the cheese mixture. Divide between the prepared ramekins. Stand the dishes in a roasting tin and pour in boiling water to come two thirds up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen and firm. Leave to cool.
  4. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Run a knife round the sides of the ramekins and turn the soufflés out into an ovenproof dish. Pour over the cream, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Serve with salad leaves.

a mini twice baked cheese souffle served with salad and chutney
I've never made a soufflé before, so I followed the recipe to the letter. They worked perfectly and tasted delicious. As they can be make the day before eating and reheated, they would make an ideal starter for Christmas dinner or for a dinner party. 

Barber's 1833 is available online, from the deli counters in good farm shops, and selected Sainsbury's, Waitrose & Morrison's stores.

*Recipe and pack image reproduced with kind permission from Barber's 1833.
Integrity Statement
I received complimentary tickets to the Good Food Show and the ingredients to make the souffles. I did not receive payment, and the views expressed are genuinely those of myself and my family.

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  1. These mini Cheddar soufflés look so good. They are great for parties.

  2. Thanks Dan, yes they would be great for parties, especially if you made bite-sized ones!

  3. Great suggestion, look forward to trying this!


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