200 grams goat’s cheese such as chèvre or feta
30 grams quince paste, cut into 4 mm cubes
30 grams walnuts
¼ cup plain flour
1 egg, beaten
½ cup panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil for deep frying
basil leaves, to serve
Bring the cheese to room temperature, then shape into balls of around 15 grams each, or approximately one level tablespoon. You will get around 12-15 balls. Poke a hole in the centre of each ball and push in a small cube of quince paste. Fold the cheese back over the quince and re-shape. Continue until all are done then refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Chop the walnuts finely and mix with the breadcrumbs.
Roll the chilled balls in flour, then coat in the beaten egg. Finish off by coating the balls in the breadcrumb-walnut mixture.
Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan large enough to hold the balls in one layer. Heat to 180ºC on a deep fry thermometer, or until a small cube of bread browns in about 30 seconds. Carefully place the balls in the oil and cook for about 1½ -2 minutes or until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and cool for a few minutes.
Serve the balls warm on a toothpick garnished with a basil leaf. Makes 12 – 15
Panko crumbs: These flakey Japanese dried bread crumbs create a deliciously crunchy crust. They are readily available from Asian stores and good supermarkets.