Disclaimer: In December 2019, I was commissioned to develop a variety of recipes for Dairy Australia. This is one of them, featuring the use of cheese. Styling and photography by me. Both the recipe and the photo is now property of Dairy Australia, however I was given permission to publish them on my website. © Dairy Australia. All rights reserved.
Psst, I’ll tell you a secret. I hated all cheese until about 8 years ago. I know… I’m weird. But hey, I’m slowly adding one cheese at a time to my list of yummy things to eat. This one was the last one I added… a camembert. Like with many foods I’m not a fan of, once they’re hot, I find them delicious (hello tomatoes!). Cold, not so much. And baking the camembert was what got me over the line.
A word about mushrooms
So when you think of cheese toppings, what usually pops up in your mind? Fruit? Nuts? Yup, that’s what I also thought. But somehow I was drawn to mushrooms. I did some work experience at a café last year and they deep fried enoki mushrooms until they were crisp, sort of as a garnish. Isn’t that cool?
But my absolute favourite mushroom is a shimeji mushroom. I came across them when I was trying to find maitake mushroom for a different recipe (which to this day has been unsuccessful here in Australia), but shimeji looked so similar, I thought I’d give them a go. And they’re divine! Kind of remind me of shredded chicken. You should give them a go!
What happens when you combine the baked cheese, the mushrooms, and yes, some nuts and balsamic vinegar? A flavour and texture sensation in your mouth. It’s a smooth and creamy and crispy and sweet and sour and umami experience. Enjoy!
Mushroom duo on baked camembert
- 200 g wheel of camembert
- ½ clove garlic
- 200 ml vegetable oil
- 40 g enoki mushrooms
- 150 g shimeji mushrooms
- 30 g salted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 20 g toasted hazelnuts
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan forced 180°C). Toast hazelnuts for 10 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the oven, rub the skin off then roughly chop.
- Thinly slice the garlic. Cut the surface of the camembert into a criss-cross pattern and wedge the slices of garlic deep into the cuts. Loosely wrap with aluminium foil then bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Heat the oil to 180°C. Deep fry enoki mushrooms for 5 minutes until they are crisp and a deep golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Melt butter in a frypan and fry shimeji mushrooms on medium heat for 5 minutes. Drizzle honey and balsamic vinegar over the mushrooms, add thyme leaves from 1 sprig and cook for another 1-2 minutes until caramelised.
- Place the baked camembert on a plate and top with shimeji mushrooms, sauce included. Decorate with toasted hazelnuts and enoki mushrooms. Finish with thyme leaves.
- Serve warm with crackers or toasted bread.
- Tip: Equally enjoyable with brie. If shimeji mushrooms are hard to find, try shiitake or baby king oyster.