My local co-op has had those little wooden boxed camembert cheeses on special offer recently. I bought one a couple of weeks ago, planning to bake it, but of course life intervened and it was only this week that I finally got around to it. This is no problem, of course, as it just gave the cheese a chance to mature and ripen nicely.
I think it’s probably a side effect of my early upbringing in Switzerland, but I have to admit to being a teeny bit obsessed with melted cheese. And this is one of the quickest, simplest, and most self-indulgent melted cheese suppers of them all.
Who could ask for more after a long day at work? You will need –
- A whole camembert, in a wooden box. The cheaper ones tend to have cardboard bottoms. This isn’t a problem as long as at least one half of the box has wooden top and sides.
- A clove of garlic, minced.
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme (dried, at a push).
- A tot of dry white wine.
- To serve, a fresh crispy baguette (or other bread if you prefer – some home-made sourdough would be wonderful, of course!) and some chutney (I chose my spiced plum chutney, but choose whatever you like!).
Open the box and unwrap the cheese, taking off any plastic or paper surrounding the cheese itself. Return it to half of the wooden box, and place the box on a baking tray. Set the oven to heat at 180C.
Cut four our five parallel slices through the top skin of the cheese. I’ve seen some recipes call for cutting this off entirely, but I really can’t see the point. Mince up your clove of garlic, and rub it into the top of the cheese, making sure you get some into the slices you’ve made. Strip the leaves from the fresh thyme sprigs, and sprinkle these over. Finally, pour over a tot of wine (about a single spirit measure, or a good ‘glug’).
That’s it, really. Could it be simpler? Slide the prepared cheese into the oven, and pour yourself a well-deserved glass of that nice dry white wine. After about 10-15 minutes, put the bread in alongside it to warm through and get all crispy and gorgeous and leave it all for another five minutes.
Then serve, with some chutney on the side. Go ahead and dig straight into the silken melted heart of the cheese with a big piece of crispy baguette.
I think it would be great served with a crisp green salad with a nice sharp vinaigrette, perhaps using some gorgeous chive flower vinegar, but it had been a long day at work, so I just settled for totally indulgent bread and cheese!
As you can see, it went down a treat. Make this, you won’t be disappointed!
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