Home > Ask Our Experts > Recipe Ideas For Hardened Brie and Camembert?

Recipe Ideas For Hardened Brie and Camembert?

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 30 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Brie Camembert Cheese Ripen Rind Melt


Dear ILC,

ILC too! Problem is, I have just discovered (in the fridge) a fair amount of hardened Brie and Camembert. Do you have any suggestions for using these in a recipe?

(M.P, 22 April 2009)


Before describing what you can do with your cheese, we firstly have to look at whether the cheese is, in fact, edible. This largely depends on how old the cheese is, as well as how it has been cut and stored.

Brie and Camembert are two very similar cheeses. They are very alike in their taste and consistency, so it’s not surprising to learn that they are also aged in a similar manner. An edible Brie or Camembert should be smooth and slightly sponge-like in consistency, with a firm, but not hard, rind. An under-ripe Brie or Camembert will not only have a hard rind, but the supposedly ‘soft’ cheese inside will also be hard. Whereas an overripe Brie and Camembert will smell quite ‘funky’, and have a sticky and runny consistency. This is caused by excessive amounts of ammonia that are used as part of the normal ripening process.

It’s also worth noting that if you purchase Brie or Camembert whilst it’s still hard and under-ripe, once you take it home it will most likely stop ripening, and will retain a hard consistency. Likewise, a slice of Brie or Camembert will also stop ripening once it’s cut.

As most people purchase smaller portions of Brie rather than a wheel of Brie, portions of Brie and Camembert should be eaten within a few days of their purchase and aren’t really suitable for storing for any longer than this. However, if the rind goes hard, you can always remove it to access the softer cheese inside, although this might be regarded as a social faux pas! If you opt to purchase a wheel of Brie, it can be stored for around 2 weeks before it’s past is best.

If your Brie and Camembert haven’t been stored too long, as with other soft cheeses, they’re great for melting and baking with. Traditionally, Brie and Camembert are often paired with walnuts, cranberries or tomatoes. But why not try melting a small amount into a puff pastry soufflé or into a savoury tart, or perhaps over croutons in soup. Or why not wrap up in Filo parcels, along with some chopped walnuts, lemon zest, a pinch of cinnamon and a tiny sprinkle of sugar.

You can also use Brie or Camembert as a replacement for mozzarella – try them on pizzas and on top of burgers for a new twist. Or how about coating bite-sized pieces of the soft part of the cheese in breadcrumbs and deep-fried for deliciously naughty appetisers? The choice is yours!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
    Re: Vegetarian Cheeses
    7 July 2017
  • Jimbt
    Re: Casu Marzu: World's Most Dangerous Cheese?
    Good reason that they slice thinly - that should reduce the risk of infection ??
    4 June 2017
  • ronnie
    Re: Casu Marzu: World's Most Dangerous Cheese?
    First time i read this i actually thought that before you eat it,maybe,some how you get the maggots out of the…
    11 March 2017
  • Pixee
    Re: Blue Cheese: Roquefort
    Hi Could you let me know when Roquefort cheese was first available in the UK? Many thanks Donna.
    8 January 2017
  • Cheesefancier
    Re: Limburger: The Worlds's Smelliest Cheese?
    Being fond of Limburger, I enjoyed your article. But I doubt it's the smelliest cheese. There's a Gloucestershire…
    22 October 2016
  • unlucky
    Re: Portuguese Cheese Such as Castelo Branco
    could you please give me an idea of cheeses from the azores and where to buy them, I recently stayed in the azores…
    21 October 2016
  • ILoveCheese
    Re: A Guide to Dutch Cheeses
    Liesie - Your Question:How could I buy some Leiden kaas but not dry from where?They took our sources of our Hollandse bakery and our…
    23 September 2015
  • Liesie
    Re: A Guide to Dutch Cheeses
    how could I buy some Leiden kaas but not dry from where? They took our sources of our Hollandse bakery and our Hollandse store away…
    21 September 2015
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ILoveCheese website. Please read our Disclaimer.