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!

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