For me, baked cheese at the start of a meal, is ten times better than a standard cheese course at the end. Perfect for dipping bread in, this is the perfect kick off for any festive dinner party.
What you need:
- A selection of semi soft cheeses. I’ve had best results with Ricotta, Camembert and goats cheese
- A squeeze of honey
- Half a shallot
- Zest of 1 orange
- Juice of half an orange
- 4-5 figs
- Herbs including thyme, sage and rosemary
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced into slithers
- 1 tbl spoon of white vermouth (optional)
- A drizzle of olive oil (or truffle oil)
It’s so simple:
- Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees C
- Cut the figs into halves or quarters and scatter into oven proof dish along with some thyme and rosemery leaves
- Cut the Camembert in half and arrange some finely slices shallot, thyme and sage inside it
- Put the top half back on and use a knife to make small slits in the top
- Push some garlic slithers and pieces of rosemary into the slits and put the cheese into the dish with the figs.
- Pour the vermouth over the Camembert
- Put the ricotta in the dish and cover with orange zest
- Make holes in the goats cheese in the same way as the Camembert and again insert some thyme and garlic. The garlic will loose its harshness when it’s baked and become soft and sweet
- Squeeze the juice of half an orange over everything, then drizzle with oil and put into the over for 30 minutes
- When they come out of the oven they should be perfectly soft and dippable – serve with toasted bread.