So, after searching the web you have found the most promising instructions about melting a Camembert. You have bought your Camembert, preheated the oven to 180º C (350º F), set your timer to 15 minutes and watched like a hawk as the minutes went by. You pulled it out, made an indication, but instead of fondant-like it was solid. Oh well, maybe bake for 5 more minutes. But as per the instructions, a minute more and your melted Camembert will re-solidify. You put it back in the oven, wait for 5 minutes, solid again. You desperately spent the next 30 minutes in a similar manner, when after and hour you give up hope and decide to serve it to your guests anyway. They welcome it in awe and dive in. But after a while the Camembert sits there with its insides split in a crumbled mess. When the night is over, on to the trash bin it goes, blaming yourself for not having bought the XX$ selection instead of the X$ one.
Now, let me make this clear. It is not a matter of nanoseconds of baking accuracy, nor a matter of mischievous oven and above all, not a matter of price.
After having my own share of disasters, I decided to attempt a Camembert bake off challenge.
I set off and bought five different wheels of Camembert, all of them pasteurised (I live in Greece, and like in many other countries, unpasteurised milk products are not allowed). I baked them altogether on the same sheet pan at 180º C (350º F) for 20 minutes. Of the five samples, the three melted perfectly, whereas the other two softened but were still solid. I put them all back in the oven for 40 minutes more, testing every 10 minutes.
The results were surprising. Here they are:
So far, it seems it is a matter of the brand you choose. But it is unclear which are the criteria you have to look after when choosing one. So, if you have had a wheel of Camembert and it was melty, stick to it.
WHAT YOU COULD DO IN THE CASE OF BLIND-TESTING A CAMEMBERT
For you Camembert lovers, before refraining from making a melted Camembert at home, I have a solution for you. At your next gathering, buy what you need for you Camembert platter (or be inspired by this Camembert a la Different Beast ). Make sure you have crackers and bread, not just breadsticks.
Remove the Camembert from its original packaging and place on a piece of baking paper, on a tray. Tip, click to unfold
Bake in well-preheated oven at 180º C for 20 – 30 minutes.
Remember 20 minutes allow for fondue-like melted camembert, 30 minutes allow for thinner, given of course that your Camembert actually melts.
When you pull it out, make an cut to check its consistency.
- If it is has melted, make a cross on it and tell your guests you have made melted Camembert. Get them to dip in.
- If it is solid, carefully cut it with a serrated knife in 1 cm. / 0,5 in. slices and then in half (you need to wipe the knife after each slicing to make for clean cutting) and serve with crackers and toasted bread for your guests to spread them on.
And that’s it. Now enjoy the party. Because that is what gatherings are about.
DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE A PHOTO OF THE CAMEMBERT’S PACKAGING and take notes, to help you with your next purchase.
And should you wish to help fellow camembert lovers, please do share it in the comments bellow if this Camembert you have bought is melty.