First up, I’d going to recommend buying a Camembert and eating it fairly swiftly. You should certainly not buy it, leave it in the fridge for 3 weeks wondering why the fridge stinks every time you open it then pack it into the car boot, spend the day driving to Ikea, back again and then driving to Oxfordshire. Because by the time you get to Oxfordshire, your car will reek riper than ripe. And you probably will to. This may or may not have happened to me! It is however worth it because whilst rather decadent, a whole baked cheese treated as a fondue is bloody delicious.
My Camembert was sold as a ‘baking camembert’ and came with a little ceramic dish to bake it in. More often than not, they come in flimsy cardboard boxes – simply dispose the lid then line the box with tin foil. The box/dish will stop the cheese from spreading as it bakes.
I cooked this as a lunch to share between two but it would equally make a great starter with some lighter ‘Things to Serve it With’ for 2 or with heavier ‘Things to Serve it With’ for 3 or 4.
1 Whole Camembert
1 Garlic Clove
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
Things to Serve it With:
1 Red Onion
2 Thick Slices ‘Cutty’ Bread
6 Baby Potatoes
6 Cherry Tomatoes
Leftover Roast Chicken
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Turn the oven on to 200c or equivalent. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
Slice 1 Red Onion into chunks and lay in a lined oven tray and drizzle with 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil and a small pinch of Sea Salt Flakes. Pop into the oven and keep an eye on them. Remove from the oven when soft all the way through and crispy around the edges.
Prepare 1 Whole Camembert by carefully slicing off the top layer of rind trying to keep it in one piece.
Tip – This will be much easier if the cheese is fridge cold.
Finely slice half of 1 Garlic Clove. Using a sharp knife, poke slits in the top of the cheese and poke the slices of garlic into the slits.
Sprinkle 1 tsp Dried Thyme, 1 tbsp Maple Syrup and 1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes over the cheese then replace the lid and press down.
Put the cheese in the dish or foil lined box and pop into the oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
Cut 6 Baby Potatoes into quarters and put in a small saucepan, cover with some of the boiled water and put on a high heat to boil.
Meanwhile slice 6 Cherry Tomatoes in half and warm some Leftover Chicken in the mircrowave or small pan.
Toast 2 Thick Slices ‘Cutty’ Bread, rub the remaining half garlic clove over the toast and drizzle over 1 tbsp Olive Oil. Cut into soldiers.
When the potatoes are cooked through, drain and toss with 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes.
Once the cheese is cooked, serve in the centre of a plate with all of the other elements presented around it.
To eat, remove the rind lid (make sure to eat it or scrape of the gooey cheese!) and dip away.
Have a rennie on standby.