Baked honey camembert with bread sticks
Who can resist this dish? While preparing this book, I understood that resistance is futile. I will remember for a long time how Raimonds (the book’s sommelier) and my husband (the book’s photographer), who said they were full from tasting the various dishes, continued dipping the bread sticks into the cheese while saying, “I’m so full!” This is a good sign, and, truth be told, I am happy that I had to continue cooking for I also would have indulged. It’s a great snack for the holidays. Even better than great!
2 camembert cheeses (each 200‒250 g)
small handful of pecans, roasted almonds and cashews
70 g mild honey
1/5 tsp of lavander
375 g high quality wheat flour
pinch of sea salt
320 ml water
1.5 tsp lemon juice
250 g butter, room temperature
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp water
2 tsp anise seeds
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp sea salt
tiny bit of chilli flakes and smoked paprika powder
Prepare the dough. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the salt and stir. Add the water and lemon juice and knead for about 5 – 7 minutes until uniform and elastic (when picking up the dough, it stretches instead of breaking). Roll out a 20 x 35 cm rectangle with the short side facing you.
Visually divide the dough in three and spread 2/3 of the butter in the middle third, but leave a 1.5 cm edge without butter. Fold over the far third, spread the butter on top of the folded pastry, and fold the closest third over the top. Turn the pastry 90° and roll it out into a rectangle again, Fold it over in thirds, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the honey in a pot, to which the lavender and let it sit. Mix egg with water.
Heat the oven to 200°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out a 30 x 60 cm large pastry rectangle. Visually divide the dough in three and brush the middle third with eggwash, sprinkle with anise, a bit of salt and pepper. Fold over one third, brush with eggwash, sprinkle with anise and pepper, and fold the third over the top. Roll out a 30 x 60 cm rectangle again, cut into strips, and brush with the remaining egg*.
Put the sticks on the pan, sprinkle with smoked paprika or chilli, and bake for 15 minutes until they are golden. Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.
When the bread sticks are done, bake the camembert. Put both camembert cheeses (whole) on a pan lined with parchment paper. Mix half the honey with nuts and pour on top of the cheeses, and place in the oven (on the same temp) for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, place on a serving plate, and pour over the remaining honey. Serve with the bread sticks.
Recipe and pictures: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s