Camembert – The King of Cheeses by M. Kuehn

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The French are jolly good at all sorts of stuff – they have the best National Anthem (nowhere better demonstrated than in Casablanca when Bogey gives the nod to the band to play The Marseillaise to really irritate The Hun – tears still spring to my eyes, no matter how many times I’ve seen it).
They are the undisputed kings of the culinary world.
They produce Montrachet for God’s sake. Clever gits.
They do cinema really well.
Their women are born knowing how to wear lipstick and look chic.
I could go on, but I’d be here till les vaches came home.
I do, however, have an obsession with French cheese, and Camembert, when perfectly ripe, is pure joy in my mouth.
Baked with a cranberry relish – what could be simpler and more divine? Baking a whole Camembert in its box at 180oC for eighteen minutes, served with a cranberry sauce that you just whip up in advance and refrigerate until you need to use it. Here’s the sauce recipe – it’s so easy you won’t believe the taste compared to the amount of effort put it. Result.
300gr cranberries
150gr sugar
40ml port
80ml orange juice
a pinch of cinnamon
Simply place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil and reduce for two minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for a further ten minutes. Mash the cranberries lightly with a potato masher or a fork.
Some people top the Camembert with the sauce before it goes into the oven, but I think it looks and tastes much better when served separately. Add your best mates and a couple of bottles of
Drouhin Chorey-lès-Beaune, Burgundy, France 2010, available from Waitrose.

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