There is literally a photo of cheese melting on a plate right here. If this doesn’t get you hot and bothered I’m not sure why you are here. And if you’re vegan I’m sorry for you on several levels, and may I direct you to this vegan friendly recipe right over here (just kidding, just kidding! I have respect).
But seriously folks, this is another recipe straight to you from Book Club. Yes. I am a 28 year old who attends Book Club, with a capital B and a capital C. It is literally (ha. ha.) one of the best life choice I’ve made recently and I would encourage you to do the same. Our Book Club is basically an excuse to have a girls’ night/ get together, drink good wine, eat good food, gossip, and occasionally discuss books. This semi lax approach is perfect for someone, like me, who is generally terrible at committing to anything consistently, except, it would seem, attending my job and posting biweekly to this blog.
Everyone and their mother has probably had a baked brie, but have you have baked camembert? If not I’d highly recommend it. Conceptually it’s the same thing, but camembert has a slightly milder flavor than brie, which is handy for people who prefer milder cheeses or if you’re just interested in something a little different. I have to say my decision to select camembert vs. brie for this recipe was as simple as “let me grab wheel-looking cheese from grocery store cheese display” and let’s assess the flavor later. All I can think about is getting cheese IN ME immediately!
Which brings me to my next recent discovery.. has anyone else read articles that suggest that cheese is literally addicting to the brain? This paper reports that cheese breaks down to a protein called casein, which further breaks down during digestion and produces an opioid effect on the brain. Opioid = similar to opiate pain killers. Interesting… and may explain my intense cravings and visceral reaction to any photo of oozing cheese-y goodness.
(I did also note that the paper states that casein has a an “antidiarrheal” effect on the GI tract, which begs the question… what happens when lactose intolerant people eat cheese? Does the casein negate the lactose intolerance? Or maybe casein is less powerful than the power of the GI tract’s ability to reject lactose at an alarming rate. Please do NOT post personal anecdotes in the comments section. This is completely rhetorical).
This gorgeous hunk of camembert is made even better topped with juicy balsamic macerated strawberries. You do not bake the camembert with the strawberries. I repeat, do NOT bake the strawberries. All you need to do is slice them, pop them in a bowl, douse them with a healthy measure of sugar and a little balsamic, and wait about 1/2 hour for the berries to soften and release their juices. You will be rewarded with a beautiful strawberry sauce, complimented perfectly by the fruity balsamic, a fantastic complement to the camembert. You will not be able to stop eating this cheese, and hopefully you don’t consume it all before arriving at Book Club. And hopefully you are in the non-lactose intolerant category and also have not completely cheated on your vegan lifestyle as a result of this post.
But the good news is that if you eat it all ahead of time, you’ll have an amazing (or depraved) excuse for why you need to make the whole recipe a second time for the next Book Club event.
Camembert with Balsamic Macerated Strawberries