One of the more common mistakes made when baking Camembert, is to get the wrong kind of Camembert cheese. Basically you need to purchase unpasteurised cheese or it will curdle. We have noticed that quite a few people make this mistake, and despite their best efforts to follow the recipe, their end product is a curdled mess, which not only looks completely unappetising, it doesn’t taste particularly nice either! So make sure you buy unpasteurized cheese when you go shopping.
Another common mistake made by people who try baking Camembert, is that they bake it for too long! You should preheat the oven to 180ºC, and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Some people think that the longer you bake Camembert for, the softer and gooier it will be. Wrong! What actually happens is that after 15-20 mins, the cheese goes from a state of being nice and gooey, to hardening back up again.
You need to slice the top rind before baking Camembert. If you leave the rind intact, then the cheese ends up drying out and often expands with no way for any air to escape. Two options for overcoming this is to either completely cut off the top rind or carefully score a cross in the top rind, which will allow you to infuse such things as fresh rosemary or garlic. Whether you slit the top rind or completely take it off is your choice, but some people think that the rind makes the cheese, and want to keep as much of it around the cheese as they can. Others prefer to just go for the gooey centre, and leave the rind behind.
When baking Camembert you can use an actual baker or the wooden box it came in, providing you remove the paper wrapper. You should not just place Camembert on a baking tray with nothing around it; it will just spread out and become one big mess.
So, to recap:
- Preheat oven to 180ºC.
- Score a cross in the top of the Camembert.
- Place Camembert (inside its wooden box) on a baking tray.
- Cook in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, remove top rind and serve with lots of fresh bread.