Brie and Camembert

The recipes and techniques used by cheesemakers are almost identical for both Brie and Camembert.
Brie and Camembert have flavor profiles that are almost identical.

The texture of both Brie and Camembert is also very similar, although Camembert tends to be denser and Brie runnier.

Traditional French Brie and Camembert are made with raw milk. However, the USDA requires that all cheeses made with raw milk be aged at least 60 days before being sold in the US. Brie and Camembert are aged less than 60 days. Therefore, French brands of Brie and Camembert and American versions of Brie and Camembert that are aged less than 60 days and sold in the US are always made from pasteurized milk.

Both Brie and Camembert have bloomy rinds and ripen closest to the rind first. If a wheel of Brie or Camembert is cut into too early the cheese near the rind will be ripe and soft and the middle will be firmer with a lighter, sometimes white, color.

Once a wheel of Brie or Camembert is cut into, it will stop ripening.So, when is a wheel of Brie or Camembert perfectly ripe? This can be a personal preference. However, a perfectly ripened wheel of Brie or Camembert is often thought to be soft and full, bulging slightly against the rind but not running completely out of the rind. Both can have a strong and stinky aroma, but should not smell ammoniated.

Overripe Brie and Camembert often have an unpleasant, powerful aroma and an extremely runny consistency that cannot be contained within the rind. Conversely, Brie or Camembert with a dry, cracked rind and and dry texture is past its prime, too.

The white on brie is NOT wax. It’s the bacteria that have grown on the cheese.

Sugar and Nut Glazed Brie Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Show: Paula’s Home Cooking
Episode: Holiday Show

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts or pecans
1 tablespoon brandy
1 (14-ounce) round brie
Apple wedges, for serving
Pear wedges, for serving
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Crackers, for serving

In a small bowl stir together the sugar, nuts, and brandy. Cover and chill for at least 24 hours or up to 1 week.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the brie on an ovenproof platter or pie plate. Bake for 4 or 5 minutes or until the brie is slightly softened. Spread the sugar mixture in an even layer on top of the warm brie and bake for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until the sugar melts. Brush the fruit wedges with lemon juice and arrange them around 1 side of the brie. Place crackers around the other side.

There are lots more recipes on the food network website.