James Martin and Lawrence Keogh liven up a cheeseboard with baked French cheeses, fig chutney and rosemary spiced walnuts
By James Martin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the fig chutney

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g golden raisins
  • 50 ml sherry vinegar
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 7 figs, sliced

For the baked vacherin

  • small bunch white grapes
  • 1 box vacherin
  • drizzle olive oil

For the baked chaource

  • drizzle olive oil
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 round Chaource cheese

For the spiced walnuts

  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1 knob butter
  • 200 g walnut halves
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, chopped

To serve

  • crusty bread
  • bunch of grapes
  • selection of cheese


For the fig chutney: put the sugar into a large pan with the golden raisins, sherry vinegar an onions. Cook gently for 6-8 minutes, or until caramelised then stir in the sliced figs. Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Leave to cool.

For the baked vacherin: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

Press the grapes gently into the vacherin cheese. Put the cheese, still in its box, onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

For the baked chaource: heat a drizzle of oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the streaky bacon for 2-3 minutes on each side until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

Cut the cheese into 3 slices horizontally, and arrange the streaky bacon on top of each slice. Stack up the layers, then put on the baking tray alongside the vacherin. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes, or until the cheeses are beginning to melt, but still holding their shape.

For the spiced walnuts: heat the olive oil and butter in a pan. Add the walnut halves along with the brown sugar and toss together for a few minutes, until caramelised. Stir in the cayenne pepper and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently over a medium heat for a further 1-2 minutes.

To serve: arrange the baked cheeses onto a chopping board and serve with a wedge of bread. Spoon the fig chutney into a serving bowl and arrange the grapes and spiced walnuts alongside. Serve with a selection of cheese.

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