Baked whole Camembert with Bayonne Ham and Cornichons

, from Issue #19. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Baked whole Camembert with Bayonne Ham and Cornichons

This requires a visit to your local French cheese stockist as you need a white-moulded cheese in its own wooden box, such as a Camembert. 

Serves: 4


1 ripe but firm cheese as above, about 200 grams
1 cut clove of garlic
2 teaspoons white wine
sprigs of thyme
kitchen string

To serve
French bread or other crusty bread
cooked waxy potatoes
thinly sliced jambon du Bayonne ham


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Remove any plastic wrapping from around the box, leaving the cheese in the paper in which is it sitting. Gently rub the top of the cheese with the clove of garlic. Pierce the top several times with a toothpick or fine skewer. Drizzle over the wine and scatter with the thyme. Wrap the string twice around the box and tie firmly. The box can fall apart if it is not well stapled and the cheese would melt all over the oven. Replace the lid and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is hot and softened all the way through.

To serve: Place the melted cheese, in its box, on a wooden board. Dip the bread and potatoes into the cheese and serve with the cornichons and ham.

Cook's Tip: Dish used a Fromager Des Clarines which in fact comes from the Haute-Savoie, on the other side of France from Normandy where Camembert is produced, but we liked the fact it was deeper and in perfect condition for this method. It was sweet, buttery and utterly delicious.

Jambon du Bayonne is a cured ham similar to Italy's prosciutto. Available at specialty food stores.

Menu: Serve with Witlof, Celery and Pear salad and the Potato, Leek and Walnut Soup