Introduction: Cheese Cutting Board
Cheese is much easier to carve than most fruits or vegetables. It doesn't get brown or show mistakes as easily.
To make this cutting board with a knife and tomatoes, I used cheddar cheese, a tiny bit of brie cheese, and paprika. I tried using ground ancho chile pepper, but it was too coarse.
Slice a wide, flat rectangle from your block of cheddar to serve as the cutting board. Use a sharp knife to level it out. Drag a toothpick along the top surface of the slab of cheese in parallel lines to look like the pieces of wood in a cutting board. Drag it lightly across the same surface between the deeper lines to make faint lines that vaguely resemble wood grain.
If you want more contrast, sprinkle on some paprika, then wipe off the excess with a dry paper towel. If desired, lightly scrape the top of the cheese with a serrated knife to remove extra paprika from the high points.
Cut a small rectangle of cheese just slightly larger than the knife you want to carve. Trace the shape of the knife in the side of the cheese with a toothpick. Cut out the shape, then slowly carve it down until it's thin enough. Poke three little holes in the knife handle. Squish some soft cheese like brie into the holes, then wipe off excess.
Cut a small cube of cheese, then keep slicing off corners and edges to make it more spherical. After it's roundish, gently scrape the blade over the ridges of the sphere to smooth them out. Slice the sphere in half. Make some indentations in the cut side with a small tool. Fill these with brie cheese and wipe off the excess. Slice a few tiny thin triangles for the top of the tomato. Roll the outside of the tomato in paprika.
Slice the other half of the tomato, if desired, into small rounds. Arrange them on the cheese board. Make indentations in the top one and fill those with brie, if you like.
Some people make roses out of tomatoes by slicing around the skin and rolling them up. If you want to replicate this, slice a very thin strip of cheese and roll it up, setting it upright so the spiral is visible if you look down at it.
I washed my hands, but my fingers were all over this. A cheese carving is cute, but I wouldn't serve it to guests. I let my kids eat it.