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Camembert and roasted garlic

If you have a hot date or an important business meeting later on, this dish is best avoided. If, however, your calendar is free for the rest of the day, then Camembert and roasted garlic is a most pleasurable snack. Serve with chutney or relish and a glass of red wine.

Ingredients

  • 2 bulbs garlic, unpeeled with the tops sliced off

  • 40g/1½oz butter

  • 80ml/3fl oz extra-virgin olive oil

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 squidge of honey

  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 200-250g/7-9oz Camembert, plastic wrapping and lid removed but still in its wooden box, at room temperature

  • 1 French baguette, ripped into 10cm/4in pieces and sliced horizontally

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  2. Place the garlic cut-side down in a large roasting tin. Add the butter, oil, a pinch of salt, a couple of twists of black pepper, the honey, rosemary and bay leaves and bake in the oven for 40–45 minutes. After 30–35 minutes put a large cross in the top of the Camembert and add it to the oven. Add the French baguette to warm it up too.

  3. Once the garlic is soft, the bread is extra crunchy and the cheese is all soft and gooey, remove from the oven.

  4. Serve everything on a big sharing plate. Break off a piece of crusty bread, squeeze out the tender flesh of the garlic along with a healthy dose of cheese and smear it liberally over the bread.

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