An quick, easy and delicious holiday appetizer, with melty Camembert cheese, combined with cranberry sauce and served in a warm, toasted bread bowl.
This year is all about Christmas re-imagined. Gatherings with friends and family and spreads of food are being replaced by simple, but special holiday moments at home. This cranberry and camembert filled bread bowl helps to fit that bill perfectly, as it's super simple to make, but wonderfully festive, indulgent and special! Combine with a glass of wine and enjoy while you watch your favourite holiday movie with your family :)
This bread bowl is also endlessly customizable. You can use Camembert or Brie. And along with it, switch it up to your tastes or mood. I've detailed some ideas in the Cook's Notes below.
Bread - I've used a Sourdough Round here, but any round bread will work. Use a store-bought bread or make your own. I went with a store-bought here, in keeping with the "simple" them this year. (An artisan walnut round would be especially nice with this one!)
Cranberry Sauce - I made my own small-batch of cranberry sauce, as I had some fresh cranberries on hand. I've included the cranberry sauce recipe in the Recipe Card. You can make your own cranberry sauce with either fresh or frozen cranberries. Make it ahead so it's ready when you are ready to put your bread bowl together. You can also use store-bought cranberry sauce, if you like, to make this super easy and quick.
Thyme - Fresh thyme sprigs are pretty, so I'd suggest them if you can. Otherwise, just use a few pinches of dried thyme leaves. You could also use fresh rosemary here, if you like.
Camembert - A 250-300g (8-10oz) round is about the right size. Substitute a Brie round, if you prefer.
This is a visual summary of this bread bowl coming together. Always refer to the complete instructions in the Recipe Card below.
- When adding the cranberry sauce, put some in the bottom, but put a nice thick layer around the outside edges. It looks prettier and makes it easier to get a hit of cranberry with the cheese (so you don't have to go digging for it :)
- There are no rules for eating this one. Arm yourself with a few knives and some spoons and dig in.
- Wrap left-overs tightly with foil and refrigerate. To re-warm, pop into a 350F oven until warmed through (10-15 minutes).
- Alternate flavour ideas: Caramelized onions and fig jam, Apricot Jalapeno Cheese Topper, any jam, marmalade or chutneys. Consider adding some fresh herbs and/or nuts to the mix, as well.
Cranberry Camembert Bread Bowl
- 1 Round Sourdough Bread (or any round bread, store-bought or homemade)
- 250-300 g round Camembert (or Brie)
- Fresh thyme sprigs
Cranberry Sauce: (of use store-bought)
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
- Prepare cranberry sauce, if making your own: Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, orange juice and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 6 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries (about 2 cups). Cook, stirring regularly, until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes) and liquid thickens slightly. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl. Let cool slightly, then cover tightly and refrigerate, if making ahead or let stand at room temperature to cool/thicken somewhat before using. Cranberry sauce will thicken more as it cools.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut the top off the bread round, only cutting to expose the bread a little wider than your cheese round. Place your cheese round on top and using a sharp knife, cut around it about 1/2-inch out and about as deep as your cheese round. Remove inside from the cut area.
- Spoon cranberry sauce into the cavity, then using a spoon, push the excess towards the outside edges. Sprinkle with some thyme leaves. Place the cheese round on top. Cut slices in the top of the cheese in a hashtag pattern. Using a serrated knife, cut slices every 1 1/2-2-inches around the loaf, cutting about 2/3 of the way down the side (these will be the bread wedges you can easily pull of later to eat)
- Wrap the whole thing in foil (you'll probably need two pieces of foil to cover it all).
- Bake on top of a baking sheet in preheated over for 20 minutes, then peel back the foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melty and bread is toasted and golden. Garnish with more thyme sprigs, if you like. Enjoy immediately, while the cheese is lovely and runny.
Adapted from a Delicious magazine recipe