Thursday, 19 June 2014

cognac and garlic baked camembert



... i've written before about how I prefer winter cooking to summer cooking, all those stews and roasts are so much easier to my mind set of what comfort food should be... all this barbecuing and faffing around with exotic salads is quite time consuming and more often that not, all too disappointing... much like I prefer cold-weather clothes to summer clothes, all those big jumpers and scarves for snuggling.  I have to say however that so far i've really enjoyed this summer of food.  Maybe i've been more prepared or maybe it's that i've been so busy I haven't really had time to think too much about the hassle... i've also realised that there is a lot of what would appear to be winter dishes that actually work perfectly well for the summer too.  It's all about making one or two little tweaks such as serving soup chilled with cucumber cubes instead of croutons or being bold and using traditionally wintery ingredients with a flourish...


cognac and garlic baked camembert 
this cognac laced camembert is, I think, a perfect case in point... to me cognac is about colder winter months, warm fires and large comfy sofas you can sink into with a glass of deep and rich cognac but since i've been working with Martell, developing recipes for their #MartellVerySpecialNights i've actually discovered how versatile a liquid it is... it works wonderfully mixed with fruit juices in cocktails and is beautifully layered with deep notes when baked with pears in a frangipane tart... and if you're clever with it and use a nice selection of herbs it works incredibly well with this rich and creamy cheese

one 250g camembert round - I used a 'le rustique'
2 cloves of garlic - sliced into very thin slithers
2 or 3 twigs of lemon thyme or thyme
3 tablespoons Martell VS

preheat the oven to 160C

take the lid off the cheese, un-wrap the round and place cheese in its bottom box into the lid, so you double up the thickness

cut a few slashes into the cheese in a criss-cross pattern and slide the slithers of garlic and pieces of torn herb into the slashes

sprinkle with the cognac and bake for 15 mins until it is warm and creamy

serve with some rustic home-made focaccia

eat and of course, enjoy!

18 comments:

  1. I love baked camembert but I've never thought of adding cognac. It sould gorgeous and your photo makes me want to dive in face first

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  2. That is positively sinful Dom and great for any time of the year! Here in France we also add cognac or Pineau des Charentes, Karen

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  3. I just baked a garlic and rosemary camembert at the weekend. Never thought of adding cognac! Yum!

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  4. I wonder how this treatment might be with a Brie ... input, please ...

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    1. I have done it with a massive brie before and it was amazing BUT the whole wheel was too large to get into the oven!!

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    2. Okay! So, my small Brie wheel with be a perfect party starter this evening! Thanks, love!

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  5. This looks fabulous, we've done some similar ones when staying in France using honey and fresh thyme.

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  6. Ohhhh my goodness, I don't normally suffer from morning hunger pangs but now... aaah. I don't think it matters if it's a winter food, if it's good, I'll eat it even if I'm in the middle of a heatwave! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua : Life in Italy

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  7. This Camembert looks delicious... man I am feeling hungry again. ;)

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  8. Oh my goodness Dom this looks heavenly, proper food porn right here!

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  9. Even though I've been invisible for a while it's good to see you are "keeping the faith."

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  10. Baked vacherin mont d'or is probably my favourite but hell yes to baked soft cheese!

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  11. Why oh why do I always look at your posts on a fast day? Ahh, this looks so damn good I'm jolly glad I don't have a camembert in the house. I do, however, have cognac.

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  12. Me too Dom! I just love winter cooking, the smells the comfort a good stew can bring, and sticky glazed cuts of meat with potatoes in any form. There have been many time where it's been 30 degrees outside yet I'm quite happily tucking into some roasted chicken, stew, braised brisket or whatever. I like the winter because you can easily get comfortable inside, yet the summer tends to bring flies, sweaty foreheads, rubbish BBQ'd chicken drumsticks, burnt sausages, the sunshine sheilas prancing around with oversized sunglasses flip flops and flowery dresses, hayfever and the abundance of morons taking their tops off at any given opportunity, showing off there flacid pale anemic bodies. I have a pale flacid anemic body and I'm pretty sure no-one needs or wants to see it, It's for my girlfriends lucky eyes only. I do love the summer food though, I do have a love for something fresh from time to time, a break from the stodge is always nice.

    I should also add that my pale anemic flacid body was gained through years and years of not giving two hoots about diets, eating the right thing or cutting 'naughty' things out. I am weak when it comes to food, and I have said before that if I didn't inherit my families metabolism I would probably be known as 'the jolly fat cook' by now.

    Now I shall scurry off and make a lard sandwhich and drink a pint of liquid cheese. :)

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  13. I do love a baked camembert, but never thought of adding cognac, sounds delightful.

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  14. Oh, Dom, this sounds utterly divine!! And I love that you are liking the summer cooking more this season. Living in an area where it's over 100 quite often throughout the summer.. summer cooking and grilling is my all time favorite and I love to hear other embracing it too!!

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