• Cheese is always a good idea.

    Recipe and styling by Nomvuselelo Mncube

    Photograph by Dylan Swart

    Creamy cheese stack with Port syrup, dried figs and pecan nut brittle

    Serves: Makes 1 stack
    Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins



    • 220g castor sugar
    • 60ml (¼ cup) water
    • 500ml (2 cups) Port wine
    • 1 tbsp vanilla paste

    • 200g castor sugar
    • 80ml (⅓ cup) water
    • 100g pecan nuts

    • sunflower oil, to fry
    • 1 small handful sage leaves
    • 1 x 1,25 – 1,4kg Brie, 2 x 250g and 1 x 125g Camembert wheels (find the large Brie at speciality cheese stores)
    • 250g sun-dried Adam’s figs (we used Weltevrede Fig Farm)
    • 160g fresh blackberries



    For the Port syrup, combine the 220g castor sugar, the 60ml (¼ cup) water and the Port, and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reduces to 125ml (½ cup), about 25 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla paste and set aside.


    For the pecan nut brittle, place a medium saucepan on medium heat and bring the 200g castor sugar and 80ml (⅓ cup) water to a simmer, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil until the mixture turns a dark amber colour, about 15 minutes.


    Remove from heat and stir in the nuts. Working quickly, scrape the brittle onto a non-stick baking sheet. Allow to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Break the brittle into large and small shards.


    For the crispy sage, heat a little sunflower oil in a small frying pan on medium-high heat. Flash-fry the sage leaves until crisp, about 10 seconds. Transfer to paper towel to absorb any excess oil.


    To assemble, stack the Brie and Camembert wheels, top with the dried figs, pecan nut brittle, crispy sage and blackberries. Drizzle with Port syrup and serve.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com