When I saw the first few leaves fall onto the trampolene yesterday and notice the big critters coming inside to nestle in the warmth of our house, I realised with contempt that autumn is upon us. But long unpunctuated, miserable sentences aside, this means nuzzlely, body-warming foods are the order of the day. Now sometimes I just want to gorge on lush foods but can’t stop at one bite, i have to eat the whole thing, so the best thing to do in these situations is not eat any lunch and save yourself for that big treat later on. Bring on the Baked Camembert baby! This is a beautifully, simple, rustic French meal, totally indulgent, decadent as feck and probably not a good meal for your kids. What with no veg being present and all that. Honey, this is yours!! Feed them, bath them, story them, cuddle them, pack ’em into bed. Get down that stair and bake up girl, bake up….this is mummy time.
A big round of Camembert
Ciabatta or pannini bread
Fresh thyme or basil
Turn up your oven to a hearty 180 and let it get toasty. In the meantime pull out your beautiful, awesomely fragrant Camembert from the fridge and unravel it taking care not to discard of it’s packaging or rip it in any way. I like my cheese and if I can, I’ll buy the best that I can afford and this means Waitrose seeing as they have have such a spectacular selection. How smelly do you like it? This is another consideration. Personally, I want my fridge to stink for one day and I want to sense the luxury that awaits my mouth to devour it. Mmmmm, cheeeese!
Jeez! Back to cooking! Yes, so there’s a few that I would opt for…Brie de Meaux, mmmm, Chaumes, or Beaufort, mmmmmm but for just a tasy regular munch, go for a standard Normandy Camembert. Take a sharp knife and make some little cuts in the top of your cheese, place in here some sprinklings of crushed garlic but not too much, gently place some thyme or basil or whichever fresh herb you’ve opted for into those cuts and then like an expert, place your thumb over the olive oil bottle and drizzle over your Camembert. Gently re-wrap your cheese loosely and leave to one side. Take your ciabatta or pannini and cut into delicate, slim slices. Take a clove of garlic and rub it over your slices, again drizzle lightly with olive oil and place pieces around your Camembert on a baking tray. Take your whole ensemble and bake up in that piping hot oven for ten minutes.
This dish is best served up on a generous plate, cheese in the middle, crispy garlic toasts surrounding it and something ace on the telly.
Nothing goes better with creamy, indulgent cheeses than a velvety, deep-flavoured and full- bodied red, a Merlot is the perfect bedfellow.
Visit your drawer, pull out the corkscrew and pop open that baby, pour into your wine glass, breathe in, sup up and dip your very French slices into the condensed gorgeousness that is your baked Camembert. Voilà!