When Flip video cameras asked if I would produce a Christmassy dish for their online digital advent calendar, I was more than happy to do something for them.
The theme was “sharing” and the video had to be short. Hmmmmm, a sharing dish which takes an instant to prepare? It had to be my baked camembert in its own box. It’s a great little lunch in its own right – or will make a lovely starter on Christmas day.
One of my great pleasures when I lived in France was the “Vacherin” season – the time of year (around now actually) when cheeses like Mont D’Or were available. Matured in their own wooden box, these cheeses were simply baked in the box, in the oven, giving a deliciously cheesy, warming meal.
Using camembert is a simpler variation of this. Archie loves “dressing up” the cheese and dipping bread into eat it is a really fun way of eating together. If you want to make your version a little more party-esque, feel free to drizzle some wine over the cheese before cooking, or better still some brandy!
You’ll need a ripe camembert (you’ll know if it’s ripe if it is a little soft in the centre when you press down on it).
1 clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced.
1 sprig of fresh thyme
Lots of crispy fresh bread
Preheat your oven to 180C/ 450F.
Take the camembert out of the fridge and leave it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Make sure it is in a wooden box which is stapled together rather than glued.
Throw the cheese’s plastic wrapper away and put the cheese back in the wooden base.
Score the rind of the cheese and insert the garlic slices and the thyme leaves.
Put the lid of the cheese back on and bake it in the oven, on a baking tray, for about 25 minutes.
Serve it immediately with lots of fresh crusty bread to dip with – or, for a healthier option, with carrot and celery sticks.