Camembert is really just one of many soft cheeses that would work well for this
I try not to get too caught up on marching to the market with a specific cheese in mind, but prefer to talk to the stallholders about what they have and what might suit what I want to do with it. For this, I'd be just as happy with a vacherin Mont d'Or or Époisses. Whatever cheese you choose nestles within a whole loaf and is then baked for tearing and sharing, its flavours layered up with garlic, mushrooms, honey and wine.
Serves 3-4 as a main or 6 as part of a feast
- 1 round baking cheese such as Camembert (about 250g-300g)
- 1 round sourdough or cob loaf
- 1 garlic clove
- 30g butter
- 25g small girolle mushrooms
- ½tps herbes de Provence
- 2tsp honey
- 50ml white wine or vermouth
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan. Cut the top rind off the cheese. Then cut the top off the loaf and pull out enough of the crumb inside that the cheese can sit comfortably in the loaf.
Peel the garlic and cut into slivers. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low-medium heat. Cook the mushrooms until just softening, then add the garlic slivers and stir in the herbes de Provence. Take off the heat and stir in the honey and the wine. Mix well and season lightly.
Sit the loaf on a large piece of foil on a baking tray. Spoon the mushroom mix over the top of the cheese, then spoon the rest of the juices over, allowing some to go over the outside of the bread too. Push at the garlic pieces so they sink into the cheese a little.
Wrap loosely in the foil and bake for 20 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 190°C fan and open the parcel up just enough to reveal the cheese, and return to the oven for another 5 minutes to finish off.
Cut or tear the loaf into wedges and serve immediately while the cheese is still meltingly hot.
Taken from The Knowledge by Angela Clutton (Hodder & Staughton, £27)