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You do you garlic cob fondue

Servings: 6 as a snack
For this pseudo-fondue you’re looking for a brie or camembert-style cheese, but there’s no need to splash out — warming any cheese, even if it’s on the econo-end, will make it taste way better and bougier than if you serve it at room temp with creaky crackers. Because the heat mellows out flavour, and older cheese is more intense, this is a great way of using up a cheese that’s approaching its use-by date; in the shops, these are often discounted for sale — winner! As for the bread, a day-old loaf works best, but if yours is fresh and fluffy, you can dry it out a little first in the oven — 150°C (300°F) for 20 minutes should do it. Day-old breads hold their shape and give you better crunch, so you’ll notice that I use stale stuff in recipes quite voraciously. From French toast to cheese toasties to this here cheeseplosion, old bread’s still got plenty of love to give.


  • 1 x 200 g (7 oz) bloomy rind soft cheese such as a camembert-style, nearing its use-by date
  • 1 good-quality cob loaf a day old, and preferably sourdough
  • 4 garlic cloves 3 finely chopped, 1 thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch of flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • cup 80 ml olive oil or melted butter (no need to be too precise)
  • 10 thyme sprigs
  • ¼ cup 60 ml decent white wine


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • If the cheese comes in a box, flip it over and use it as a stencil to cut the same shape into the middle of the cob with a small serrated knife (or cut a round by eye roughly the same size and shape as the cheese). Cut the cob loaf in a crisscross fashion around this central round to form bread soldiers, making sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom. Tear out the central round and reserve these bits of bread.
  • In a bowl, mix the chopped garlic, parsley and half the olive oil together into a paste. Spoon a little of the mixture between the cracks of the cob soldiers. Pour the remaining olive oil into the dregs of the paste and toss the reserved bits of bread in it.
  • Place the cheese in the hole and poke in half the thyme sprigs and the remaining garlic slices. Pour the wine over the cheese. Pop the cob loaf on the baking tray, surrounded by the oiled-up bits of bread. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cob from the baking tray and place on a wooden board to serve.
  • Sprinkle the remaining thyme leaves and some cracked black pepper on top. Enjoy with good company and a glass of that wine by ripping the bread soldiers off and dipping into the molten cheese fondue.

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