The simplest recipes are often the ones that become family staples for us and this baked camembert has certainly made its way into our list of firm favourites. The original recipe came from my friend Jo, who led a Pampered Chef party for me a couple of years ago.
The camembert was a hit with everyone who attended! I decided to make it again a couple of weeks later but I did not quite remember what Jo’s ingredients were so I sort of made the recipe up, changing half of it. It worked really well, even though I had the wrong type of nuts and chilli and used less (or was it more?) jam.
I have been serving this divine camembert pretty much every time we have had guests because it is incredibly simple, can be made a few hours ahead and baked at the last minute so you are not spending your time in the kitchen, abandoning your guests in the process. It was a real hit at Crevette’s French party last year!
It is a great dish to share as a starter or with pre-dinner drinks. I find it more convivial when people can help themselves rather than be served, so they can feel at home and have as much or as little as they want. No force-feeding, but no rationing either!
The sweetness of the apricot jam and the creaminess of the cheese neutralise the fire of the chilli pepper. My children who are not into spicy food have never moaned about the slight kick you get when eating it and even my nan who is not a fan of spices enjoyed it so much last time I made it that she was licking her fingers afterwards!
It tastes even better with good bread that is two or three days old, and I tend to make it with my easy crusty bread (white seeded pumpkin & sunflower loaf on the pictures) and healthy loaf. You can also make it with part-baked baguettes cut into 2 to 3 cm slices.
- 50 g cashew nuts dry roasted for a couple of minutes and roughly chopped
- 60 g apricot jam
- 1 red chilli pepper deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 camembert
- Crusty bread wholemeal loaf or French baguette
- Pre-heat your oven at 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit, gas mark 5).
- In a small bowl, mix your jam, chopped nuts and chilli pepper thoroughly.
- Cut your camembert lengthways and place one half, creamy side up on a round stone or baking tray.
- Spoon half of your mixture on the half camembert then place the other half on top, creamy part facing up, then spread the rest of mixture.
- Slice your bread, and place all around the camembert.
- Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.