If some people are already getting excited about Christmas because they're going to get a lovely box of Ferrero Rocher or milk Pyrenees chocolate, for me it's a different story. Each Christmas, my dad gives me a box of 12 Rocamadour. For those that don't know - Rocamadour is a soft and creamy goat's cheese. It has a strong taste and a melt-in-the-mouth texture. It is by far my favourite cheese.

Recently I was contacted by the French Goat's Cheese team to participate in their challenge. I received a hamper which included three different goat's cheese : a Valençay, a crottin de Chavignol and a Mini log. It was a sort of early Christmas present for me!
The challenge consisted of creating my very own recipe based on goat's cheese. I decided to use the crottin de Chavignol with butternut squash, rosemary and goat's cheese ravioli, and the Valençay cheese with my Oval farmers' burger (see recipes below). Unfortunately the temptation to eat goat's cheese was too strong, so the mini log was used on different occasion as a little snack with a piece of bread, grapes and figs.

Here's the list of shops where I usually go to buy my goat's cheese: Une Normande a Londres (Borough Market), La Fromagerie (Marylebone), Androuet (Spitafields), Whole Food market (Piccadilly or Kensington) and Waitrose.

Butternut squash, thyme & goat's cheese ravioli

Ingredients for 4 portions:
- 200g of tipo '00' flour
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 crottin de Chavignol
- fresh rosemary

Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Cut your butternut squash in half and roast until flesh is very tender.
While your butternut squash is cooking. You can crumble your goat's cheese in a bowl and then prepare your pasta dough.
For the pasta dough, place the flour and the pinch of salt in a bowl and crack in the eggs on top, then gradually work the flour into eggs using your fingers. Knead the pasta dough, cover the dough and let it rest.
While the dough is resting, take out the butternut squash from the oven. When it is cool enough, scoop out flesh into the goat's cheese bowl and mix it together. You can add some rosemary to the mixture.
When the filling is ready you can start to roll the dough using your pasta machine. Then fill your pasta, shape and cut them. Cooking time is approximately 3-5 minutes.
I added some pancetta, the rest of butternut squash and rosemary for the dressing.

My Oval farmers' burger 

Ingredients for one burger:
- Grove Farm's minced beef
- one bun from Aston's Bakehouse
- half of an organic red onion from Brockmans farm
- Valençay goat's cheese (from my gift hamper- available at La Fromagerie)
- 1 tablespoon of mustard

Chop half a red onion. Preheat oil in your pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are a golden brown colour (this should take 15-20 minutes). To avoid the onions burning I usually add a little bit of water to the pan. Add a pinch of sugar while it's cooking. Once onions are caramelized, remove from heat and set aside.
Using the minced beef, create a beef patty and cook it.
When your beef is nearly ready, place slice of goat's cheese on top of your patty and warm up the caramelised onion on top.
Cut your bun in half and slightly toast it while your meat is cooking. Then spread both side with a bit of mustard.
Place your patty between your bun and your burger is now ready. I had my burger with some fresh spinach.


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