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Dec 16, 2006 09:55 PM

Alice B. Toklas recipe question

I saw this in a book (not a cookbook)attributed to Alice B. Toklas--
Soak a very good Camembert 24 hours in a very good white wine, then scrape off the crust, and mash the cheese with a cup of good butter. Use a wooden spoon (she thinks the metal will react somehow and change the flavor.) This is to make a cheese-ball , you shape it and roll it in fine-crushed nuts. It sounds to me like one of those mixtures that are simple but great. My question:
How big of a Camembert to use with that cup of butter? Are all Camemberts the same size?

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  1. I am kinda going out on a limb here - I don't know if there is an official mandate on this or not - but from my cheese making escapades, it appears that traditional camembert molds are about 4 inches across.

    1. That sounds delicious. Please report back after you make it and the size camembert you use...

      1. According to Wikipedia, real Camembert is made in rounds of about 250 grams, which is 8.8 ounces.

        1. This sounds like a variation on the basic method for making Fromage Fort, which I first encountered staying at a gites d'etape in France with my kids.
          The dairy farm's entire milk production went to the local Camembert coop and we could have as much of that cheese and several others that we wanted. Heaven? You bet!
          My older daughter always did and still does pass up sweets for cheese so she was an instant favorite of the farmer who taught her how to mix some of the really stinky cheeses or those past their prime, with wine or armagnac, sometimes butter, maybe spices, nuts, what-have-you, to make a cheese spread.
          I later learned that this is a traditional French way of using up leftover cheeses, even dried out ones or with mold cut off, to make them useable.

          Good recipe to have during the Holiday/cheese tray season. No need to start with a Brand New Camembert. You can use up those leftovers.

          1. That is definitely a variation on fromage fort, and a peculiar one. There's no reason to cut off the rind unless it's overripe, and you should trim the cheese before you mix it with wine.

            Here's a good recipe from Alton Brown: