So, when visiting Colleen in Seattle, I decided to whip up a batch (or, uhmm, a couple batches) of homemade Obatzda and prove just how easy it is to make at home.
Obatzda is by no means healthy - it's basically cheese and butter - but the great thing about it is that at least it can be made from all natural, high quality ingredients. And that orange color? It doesn't come from the cheese - nope, that's the paprika that gives it it's bright hue.
The type of paprika that you use in this dish will have the biggest impact on the flavor. In Bavaria, we use a type of sweet Hungarian paprika - as opposed to smoked paprika, or just "plain" paprika that does not have a lot of flavor, but is used primarily for color. Get Hungarian paprika for this recipe, if you can. Also, if Camembert is not available, other soft rind cheeses can work, such as Brie, Saint André, or Carré de l'est.
1 cup (200 g) camembert cheese, rinds removed and softened to room temperature
1/4 cup (50 g) Frischkäse (if not available substitute a 1:1 mixture of cream cheese and sour cream)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) (50 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp sweet paprika
pinch of salt
couple grinds of pepper
thin slices of red onion
sprinkling of chives
1. First, it is easiest to cut the rinds off the camembert when it is cold, then leave the insides of the cheese in a bowl at room temperature for a couple of hours to soften and become slightly runny.
2. Once the cheese has softened, mix in all the other ingredients - you can do this by hand, no mixer necessary. It's okay if there are small chunks of butter that do not completely mix into the cheese. Try to get the cheese mixture somewhat smooth, but it's not going to be perfect - and that's how it's served in beer gardens and restaurants in Germany- often a little lumpy with pea-sized pockets of cold butter dotted throughout- so it will be authentic!
3. Top the cheese dip with the slices of red onion and chives.
4. Serve with pretzels. Obatzda can be served room temperature, or cold, straight out of the refrigerator.