Oven Baked Rustic Camembert with Calvados

There's nothing cheesy about Jean-Christophe Novelli's fun alternative to fondue, a herb-scented camembert doused with calvados and tapenade and baked to oozy perfection
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Oven Baked Rustic Camembert with Calvados
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus marinating time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 1 camembert cheese, in wooden box
  • 2 tbsp calvados
  • 2 tbsp tapenade
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprigfresh thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 tbsp oil, from tapenade
  • 15 lavender stalks, cut into 5cm lengths
  • sea salt
  • freshlycracked black pepper

To serve

  • 8 cooked small new potatoes
  • 12x1 cm smoked pancetta
  • 12x1 cm cubes crusty bread

Method

1. Set the camembert box aside. Remove the waxed paper from around the cheese and prick the cheese all over with a fork or skewer.

2. Place the cheese in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle both sides of the cheese with calvados and top with the tapenade and garlic. Add the thyme, bay and rosemary, cover and leave to marinate for around 12 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Drizzle the cheese with oil from the jar of tapenade.

4. Place the trimmed lavender stalks in the base of the cheese box and set the marinated cheese on top of the lavender. Cover with the box lid, place in the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes.

5. Carefully remove the cheese from the oven and place the box on a serving plate. Remove the lid and leave the cheese to cool for 2-3 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, place the cooked potatoes, pancetta cubes and bread on individual skewers and arrange them around the cheese. To eat, dip the skewered foods into the cheese like a fondue and enjoy.

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