Easy Recipe: Vegan Baked Camembert with Candied Walnuts

We were sent a selection of Violife vegan cheese to try, so we made this vegan cheese baked camembert with candied walnuts. All images and opinions are our own.

Since I became lactose intolerant five or more years ago, I’ve been reducing the amount of dairy I’ve been eating. Rich dairy, things like soft cheese, brie, camembert and halloumi all seem to make me quite poorly. I can take tablets to lessen the symptoms, but sometimes it’s just easier to avoid them altogether. Baked Camembert is one of those things I really miss. Sharing an oozy baked cheese with some crusty bread and a nice glass of crisp white wine is, or was in the past for me. However, vegan cheese makers, Violife have created a camembert which melts when you bake it, and it’s perfect for dunking crusty bread in and sharing with a friend; glass of crisp white wine optional.

I baked my camembert very simply, with a good crack of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, but there are all kinds of different vegan recipes and suggestions on the Violife website. I adore candied walnuts and their nutty sweetness really brings out something special with the cheese. They’re also something I make quite a lot of just for snacking. Walnuts are one of my favourite nuts and they’re packed full of the good stuff.

Vegan Baked Camembert with Candied Walnuts

This recipe makes enough for a nice lunch for two, with crusty bread.

Vegan Baked Camembert with Candied Walnuts

Ingredients:
A Violife Le Rond Vegan Camembert
A drizzle of olive oil
Some ground black pepper
Fresh thyme or rosemary, optional

For the candied walnuts:
100g walnut halves
2 tablespoons of water
25g of sugar

Vegan Baked Camembert with Candied Walnuts

How to make your Vegan Baked Camembert with Candied Walnuts:

Begin by candying your walnuts. To do this, toss your walnut halves in the water and shake off the excess. Toss the damp nuts in the sugar and place on a baking tray and pop them in the oven at 200° for five minutes, check them regularly as you don’t want them to burn. Once they’re starting to brown a tiny bit, remove them from the oven and tip onto a plate to cool down. While your nuts are cooling, it’s time to turn your attention to the vegan cheese.

I’ve got a camembert baking dish, but any ceramic or cast iron dish would work well. Put your vegan cheese in the baking dish, drizzle over about half a tablespoon of olive oil and add some black pepper. If you have it, some fresh thyme or rosemary works well on top. Bake the cheese in your oven until it’s melting and bubbly, this took me around 15 minutes.

Vegan Baked Camembert with Candied Walnuts

Serve your baked vegan camembert with crusty bread, a heap of fresh rocket and a lovely, crunchy handful of the candied walnuts. Delicious!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try my vegan sausage rolls or these Vegan cheese and baked bean pasties.

Vegan Baked Camembert with Candied Walnuts

Homemade Gifts: Fruit and Nutty Buttons

Homemade treats make for really lovely gifts at Christmas. These Fruit and Nutty Buttons are really fun to make and delicious too.

Homemade Gifts: Fruit and Nutty Buttons

I’ve been making variations of these chocolate buttons since I found a silicone mold in a charity shop for £1 earlier in the year. I’ve made these a bunch of times with my son, they couldn’t be more simple. Melt some chocolate, pour it in the mold and decorate however you want.

As it’s Christmas I wanted to use some nuts in these buttons, so I made a batch of candied walnuts. They’re super easy and so delicious, we nearly ate the whole batch before we got chance to add them to the buttons.

Homemade Gifts: Fruit and Nutty Buttons

Candied Walnuts

Ingredients:

200g walnuts
6 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 egg white
splash of water

Homemade Gifts: Fruit and Nutty Buttons

How to make your candied walnuts:

Pre-heat your oven to 120° and put some baking parchment on a baking tray. In a bowl, whisk your egg white with a splash of water. In a different bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon until it’s well combined.

Using a fork, dip each walnut in the egg white and then toss is in the sugar until it’s covered. Place the walnuts on the baking tray. Once all the walnuts are covered, put the tray in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or so. Make sure you turn the walnuts every 15 minutes so they cook evenly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Fruit and Nutty Buttons

Ingredients:
250g of milk chocolate
A bag of mixed fruit and nuts
Candied walnuts
Small bag of white chocolate buttons

Homemade Gifts: Fruit and Nutty Buttons

You will need:
A saucepan, a glass bowl which will sit in the pan, but so it doesn’t touch the bottom; a metal spoon, silicone baking molds.

How to make your fruit and nutty buttons:
Boil some water and pour the water into your pan so it’s about 3cm deep. Carefully place the glass bowl in the pan making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. This is called a bain marie.

Break your chocolate up into small pieces and put it in the glass bowl. The water in the pan needs to be at a gentle simmer, not bubbling and boiling. Stir the chocolate until it is melted.

Once the chocolate is melted, with a spoon scoop out some melted chocolate into each of the molds. Try and put an equal amount in each. Gently shake the silicone tray so the chocolate settles.

Homemade Gifts: Fruit and Nutty Buttons

Melt about half of your white chocolate buttons for drizzling. Take your fruit and nuts and decorate the buttons however you want. I did four different kinds –

  • Candied walnuts drizzled with white chocolate
  • Pecan nuts, dried cranberries and sultanas
  • Just candied walnuts
  • Plain white chocolate buttons

Leave them to cool for at least two hours. If you need them to set a bit faster you can pop them in the fridge. Once they’re set you can put them in little cellophane bags and decorate with ribbons.

They’re really delicious and the addition of fruit and nuts turns them from a fun chocolate treat into something a little more grown up. They’re such a lovely gift to give and receive, and really great to make with kids too.

Homemade Gifts: Fruit and Nutty Buttons