Coeur de Camembert au Calvados

April 2, 2009 at 9:29 PM | Posted in Recipe, Restaurants | 1 Comment

Today Mark Bittman posted this article about the cheese platter at L’Astier, a restaurant in Paris where I went last summer.  The restaurant was quite good, but the most impressive part of the meal was by far the cheese platter. There must have been 15 or 20 cheeses, and the waiter brings the platter to the table with a knife and lets you go at it for awhile, unsupervised.  HEAVEN.

mmmm, cheese

mmmm, cheese

When I read Mark’s post, I remembered something I’ve been meaning to make since I went to the restaurant, and I’m mainly posting this to remind myself that, at some point, I need to re-create it: Coeur de Camembert au Calvados.  It’s the oozy cheese with the lovely cracking golden crust in the right-hand corner of this picture (which is borrowed from the nytimes website).  After tasting it, I spent the next few days searching around on the Internet for the name and composition of this mysterious item, and as far as I can tell, this is how it was made (pieced together from several websites, in English and in French):

Take a medium-sized, half-mature round of Camembert and carefully peel off the soft white rind.  Soak in Calvados (apple brandy) for some appreciable amount of time (a few days? Longer? It had a definite apple flavor).  Remove cheese from Calvados, press fine, fresh breadcrumbs and toasted walnuts into the cheese, and let it mature for a few more days.  Serve at room temperature as a dessert cheese with apple slices, dried fruit, bread, and of course a cold glass of Calvados.


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  1. Hi Erika, I saw your comment on Smitten Kitchen and replied, but I realized you might not see my reply if you don’t subscribe to the comments or aren’t checking compulsively to see if anyone answered you. Just in case, here it is:

    I don’t have much experience with chestnuts, but you piqued my curiosity. What WOULD one do with chestnut paste? Well, I searched the Flavor Bible to see what is often paired with chestnuts. In bold capital letters it says CREAM OR MILK. Another bold is chocolate, especially dark or white. Another bold is vanilla. Another is rum. You know where I’m going with this, right? Chocolate chestnut ice cream. Put a splash of rum in there to keep the homemade ice cream from freezing rock hard, and I think your Paris purchase will be put to excellent use!

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