with chef Paul Alan Wood from Melia Ha Noi Hotel
Camembert, a soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow's milk cheese, was first made in the late 18th century at Camembert, Normandy in northern France. Now, Chef Wood presents to you this delicious cheese combined with fig, onion, walnut and parmesan!
Ingredients: serves 1
To make Camembert tart:
- 40g Parmesan, grated
- 0.33 tsp pink peppercorns
- Flour for dusting
- 15g walnuts
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 100g plain flour
- 55g butter
- 400g Camembert, refrigerated to keep firm
- Iced cold water
- 260g fresh figs, chopped
- 240g onion, sliced
- 40ml sunflower oil
- 50ml balsamic vinegar
- 30g caster sugar
- 4 drops Tabasco
To make sesame seed dressing:
- 150g sesame seeds
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 100ml sunflower oil
- 150ml hazelnut oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mixed salad leaves
- 4 fresh figs, browned with a blowtorch or grilled to similar effect
- To make the pastry for the Camembert tart, grind Parmesan, walnuts, pink peppercorns and salt in a food processor until fine.
- Add flour and butter. Blend until just combined, adding a small amount of cold water if it appears extremely dry. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour before continuing.
- To make the relish, heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the sliced onions and fry until golden brown.
- Add the figs, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add the Tabasco, season to taste and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 150oC. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry out thinly (1/4 cm) and cut it into 16 rounds using a 5cm-diameter cutter. Using a palette knife or spatula, gently lift the pastry onto a non-stick baking tray.
- Bake pastry rounds for 8 mins, then cool on the baking tray.
- To make the dressing, put a small dry frying pan over medium-high heat and add sesame seeds. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the seeds are light golden, around 2-3 minutes. Place into a bowl to cool.
- Whisk (or alternatively blend in a food processor on high speed) mustard, sugar and egg yolks. While whisking, gradually add both oils in a steady trickle, making sure the dressing is well emulsified. Stir in the cooled, toasted sesame seeds, vinegar and salt to taste.
- Shortly before serving, start building the tarts. Carefully slice off the top and bottom rind and cut the cheese into 4 even slices, then use the 5cm cutter you used for the pastry to cut the Camembert into rounds. Mix the excess cheese into the relish.
- Place each of the remaining cutters on a clean work surface. Using a palette knife, lift the pastry rounds one at a time from the baking tray and put one in the base of each cutter.
- Gently warm the relish and place a dessert spoon-sized dollop on each pastry base, using the spoon to smooth it over. Cover with another pastry round, then gently lay the Camembert on top and smooth it down.
- Carefully remove the cutters. Use a blowtorch to gently brown the cheese, or alternatively place under a hot grill to achieve similar results.
- Transfer each tart to a serving plate. Garnish with a small pinch of salad leaves and half a browned fig and lightly drizzle the sesame seed dressing around the plate.
You can sample the dish at Melia Ha Noi Hotel, 44B Ly Thuong Kiet St, Hoan Kiem Dist, Ha Noi. Tel: +844 3934 3343.