Georges Gotrand’s Cheese Sablés

Thanks to top-class private chefs like former Bordeaux restaurateur Georges Gotrand, lucky Girondins can focus completely on their guests and still have a beautifully presented meal on the table.

Georges Gotrand’s Cheese Sablés

Made with Roquefort, or a mixture of Roquefort and Cheddar, these crisp, tasty little biscuits are delicious with a glass of chilled Sauternes. Use nutty Gruyère or Comté and you’ll find them especially moreish with Champagne. By all means add some chopped thyme leaves, a twist of black pepper or a whisper of Cayenne to the mix at the processing stage if, like me, you like a bit of spice in a cheese nibble. The wine can handle it.

The dough freezes well if you want to make it in advance. Defrost thoroughly before use, but keep the dough chilled until you are ready to cut it.

Makes 18-20 sablés

  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 100g grated cheese (see above)
  • 1 egg yolk

In a processor, blend together the flour, butter, cheese and egg yolk until a smooth dough forms. Gather it up with lightly floured hands and wrap in clingfilm. Form into the shape of a thick sausage, about 5cm in diameter and pat the ends flat. Chill overnight, or at least for two hours (this is very important), or freeze the dough for later use.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Remove the dough from the fridge and use your sharpest knife to slice into discs 0.5cm thick. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. With a spatula or a fish-slice, carefully lift onto a wire tray. The biscuits will feel a little squidgy, but will quickly develop a crisp, melt-in-themouth crumbliness as they cool. Serve, or store in an airtight container for a couple of days, no longer.

To reheat, place the biscuits in a protective foil envelope and give them no more than 10 minutes in a hot oven.

> Serve with a glass of Sauternes or Barsac.

Janet Wynne Evans