When it comes to hosting, my friend Samantha puts me to shame. Where I’ll plan on hosting a simple meal for a group with some snacks, she’s got a 3-course meal, complete with a special punchher mother’s recipe.
Rather than try to outdo hersince, let’s be honest, it’s no contestI’ve opted for a far more sensible approach: enlisting her help. To wit, you saw her cheese plates from a recent dinner party in this post.
Things of beauty they are.
Almost too good to eat.
Almost. So, too, was the other trick up her sleeve that night. A round of Camembert covered with puff pastry and baked until it was gooey. I was kicking myself for not thinking of this appetizer myself.
Keep reading for her recipe and variations.
This appetizer is a crowd pleaser! It looks sophisticated, yet it’s made with only four ingredients and takes less than five minutes to prepare. The almonds give a bit of a crunch while the honey enhances the flavor of the cheese, filling your mouth an unexpected hint of sweetness.
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
1 round of Camembert cheese (Brie can be substituted)
1 healthy handful of sliced almonds
3-4 tablespoons of honey
Prep-time less than five minutes. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Defrost and unfold pastry dough. Place cheese round in center of dough. Drizzle half the honey over the cheese (don’t be afraid to get it on the dough). Sprinkle almonds and then rest of honey. Taking one corner of the dough, fold into center of cheese round. Then continue to fold the dough into the center of the cheese round in a clockwise fashion. You may find that there is an excess of dough on the top of the cheese depending on how big the round is (too many layers of dough will not cook properly). In this case, trim a bit of the dough off as you fold it over. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, or until pastry dough is cooked through.
Serving: Let stand at least 5 minutes. Serve on a plate with bread or crackers and a serrated knife. Feel free to garnish with a sprinkle of almonds. If you serve after 5 minutes, the cheese will likely ooze out, which is great for dipping. If you want it more controlled, wait 15 minutes.
Variations: Substitute the almonds with chopped pecans or chopped walnuts; substitute the honey with dried cranberries or fruit jelly (raspberry or apricot are my favorite). Experiment with your favorite cheese plate accompaniments.