Whole baked Baron Bigod with fruit and nuts

Img 4630

There’s something rather festive about a whole baked cheese. Within a few minutes of sliding it into a hot oven, you will find yourself with a box of gorgeously oozy melted cheese. Throwing in woody green herbs, chillies and garlic before baking brings piquancy and a fresh earthy flavour to the party. All you’ll need to add is plenty of your favourite bread, crunchy vegetables and nuts for dipping. We used our favourite Baron Bigod cheese here, but any boxed brie or camembert will work just as well. Serves 4 as a starter or snack.

1 cheese in a wooden box

1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and sliced

1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and sliced

2 fresh bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 handfuls of cobnuts, walnuts or almonds

Crackers, bread and chopped vegetables to serve

Remove the plastic or paper wrapping from the cheese and return it to the wooden box or place it in a small ovenproof dish. Place the box or dish on a baking tray.

With a sharp knife, make small cuts in the top of the cheese and insert the garlic and chilli slices. Tuck in the bay leaves and half of the rosemary sprigs and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 200c/180 fan oven. While it’s baking, finely chop the leaves from the remaining rosemary sprigs.

Remove from the oven, then cut and peel back the rind on top of the cheese. Scatter with the chopped rosemary and serve with crackers, nuts, bread chunks and chopped vegetable.