baked camembert – delicious, indulgent and super easy

this is my go-to recipe when I fancy something delicious, indulgent and super easy. Baked camembert to me is a cheap and easy way to spoil myself and make myself feel good and I have to say, there is nothing nicer than a large glass of wine to go with this simple dish.

baked camembert
baked camembert

this isn’t a dish to eat if you are counting calories, watching your weight or trying to be good. Its calorific and the addition of bread for dunking is also a necessity but not kind to the scales. its an all-or-nothing kind of treat.

there are many different recipes out there and a variety of ways to add flavour to baed camembert but my go-to is simply garlic, rosemary and olive oil.

some people add honey, cranberry jam or caramelised red onions and others add lots of garlic, white wine, and even liqueur.


one camembert cheese

one or two cloves of garlic (depending on your taste)

1tbsp olive oil

1 sprig of rosemary

ground black pepper.

bread, crackers, oatcakes for dunking

selection of olives, cornichons, sliced vegetables such as carrot and cucumber.


preheat the oven to its maximum temperature so that it’s piping hot when you finally put the camembert in.

finely slice the garlic clove(s) and wash the rosemary sprig, removing the leaves from the stalk.

unwrap the camembert and slice the top off of the circular cheese, almost like a lid.

place the cheese inside an ovenproof dish and use a knife to pierce some slots in the cheese so that you can push the garlic slices inside.

sprinkle the rosemary leaves on top of the cheese, pour over the olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.

place the lid of the cheese (that you sliced off) on top of the cheese and you are ready to put the cheese in the oven.

Reduce the oven temperature to 200oC and place the cheese in its ovenproof dish into the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes but do keep an eye on the cheese as it cooks.

whilst the cheese is baking prepare a number of dunkable snacks that can be eaten with the cheese. Crusty bread, oatcakes, crackers all dunk well. to balance out the richness of the cheese I always try and have some vegetables such as cucumber and carrot and I do like a few olives to go with the cheese.

if you love cheese as much as I do then this is a great snack to master and enjoy, but it may require extra hard work at the gym to work off the guilt.

give this a go.



Easy Hainan Chicken Rice – sort of

In my years in China and with the amount of travel i have done with work and for fun, i have eaten a fair few Hainan chicken rice meals – some have been lovely and some have been utter crap. the point is, i still don’t know what the REAL Hainan chicken rice should taste like and i also don’t really care.

Hainan chicken rice sort of
Hainan chicken rice sort of

i love chicken, i love rice and i love dipping sauces and so i decided that after finding a recipe online the other day, that i would attempt Hainan chicken rice and see if it was great or rubbish. L liked it a lot and M liked it but said it wasn’t authentic whatever that’s supposed to mean but regardless of the opinions, plates were left empty which means that they must have enjoyed it.

so what exactly is Hainan chicken rice some of you may be asking? it’s a poached chicken gently flavoured with salt and ginger and then the stock is used to make boiled rice. the chicken and the rice are then ate with condiments of soy sauce, ginger sauce and chilli sauce. sounds pretty simple but if its to your liking it can be extremely tasty and comforting.

so how to make it?

for the chicken you will need a large chicken 1-2Kg, a 2″ piece of fresh root ginger and a generous pinch of salt. I used sea salt.
use a pot large enough to accommodate the whole chicken and fill it with water and bring to the boil. while its boiling you can wash and pat-dry the chicken and place the salt and the sliced 2″ piece of ginger in the cavity.
place the chicken in the pot breasts up and bring the water back to the boil. simmer gently for 20-25 minutes and then turn the chicken over. simmer or a further 20-25 minutes.

while its simmering prepare a large bowl (enough to fit the whole chicken in) of cold water. after the total simmering time of 40-50 minutes (depending on chicken size) is complete, remove the chicken from the pot and place it in the cold water and leave it to rest. this will reduce the heat of the chicken and stop it from further cooking.

for the rice,
plain white rice – 2 cups
2 red shallots finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
4 cups of chicken stock from the boiled chicken
pinch of salt
splash of soy sauce

in a hot wok quickly colour the garlic and onions in a splash of sesame oil. pour the browned onions and garlic into the pot of a rice cooker.
wash the rice through until the water isn’t cloudy anymore and place in rice cooker along with the chicken stock and salt.

turn on the rice cooker and leave it to do its magic.

dipping sauces:
while the rice is cooking get out the ingredients for the dipping sauces along with a mortar and pestle or food processor.

for the ginger sauce:
2″ fresh root ginger finely chopped
2 green onions or scallions finely chopped
2tbs chicken stock from the boiled chicken
1tsp salt
1tsp sesame oil

place all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle or food processor and bash/blitz the hell out of them then pour them into a serving dish.

for the chilli sauce:
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 small red chillies (remove seeds if you don’t want too much heat)
1/2 inch piece of fresh root ginger chopped
2tbs chicken stock from the boiled chicken
juice of 2 limes

place all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle or food processor and bash/blitz the hell out of them then pour them into a serving dish.

now that the chicken has had time to cool in the cold water remove the chicken and carefully chop up the chicken into small bite size pieces. serve up bowls of flavourful rice alongside the dipping sauces and enjoy.

That’s it! Easy Hainan chicken rice – let me know how you get on.