I was on the look out for an appetizer for a party I was hosting at home. I was thinking of a Cheese Platter, as I was running short on time with the other preps for the party. But the idea of Baked Brie seemed more delicious even in the planning stage. Brie is a French Cheese which pairs really well, both with sweet and savory bits. And it tastes even better when its baked. I had picked up a wheel of brie, from a recent Costco trip and I had some puff pastry in the freezer. Add to it some honey and a handful of nuts and you got yourself a crowd pleaser on your hands.
Baked Brie is quite a favorite at Holiday parties but it pairs pretty well around the year. Who does not love to scoop up warm and gooey cheese encased in some golden puff pastry. Pour yourself some good wine and bite along. You will surely get ab extra HUG form your friends that evening.
The best part of this recipe is that how convenient it is to make it. Even if you very little time on your hands, you can still make it. You can even prep the cheese a day in advance and bake it right before your guests arrive. Baked Brie can be made with a variety of toppings. You can make it sweet and savory. I have made Baked Brie with caramelized onions and prawns and also with honey and nuts. You can customize the toppings according to your taste buds.
The only word of caution is that you should let the Brie rest for around 50 to 10 minutes after you pull it out of the oven This prevents a hot molten lava of liquid cheese oozing out, which can burn your tongue. This resting time allows the cheese to congeal to just the right consistency. You can serve the baked brie with some dried apricots, croutons and grapes of your cheese. Let your guests have a go at it. They can cut out wedges of their choice and pair with what they like. Keep a Bottle or two of Wine by the side.
BAKED BRIE WITH HONEY AND NUTS :
Wheel of Brie
Egg : 1
Choice of Nuts
Puff Pastry : Thawed ( 1 or 2 sheets, depending on your choice of covering the Brie)
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
Remove the Brie from its packaging.
With a knife, scrape away the rind of the Brie on both sides. Make sure that you don't damage the wheel in this process.
Lay the Brie on some parchment paper. Smother it with honey .
Smooth out the honey with an off set spatula so that its evenly coated.
Chop your choice of nuts to uniform pieces. I had used unsalted cashews, pine nuts, walnuts and slivered almonds.
Lay the nuts on top of the coated Brie. Drizzle the nuts with more honey.
Roll out the thawed puff pastry.
There are two ways of doing this step.
First : Lay the rolled out puff pastry on top of the brie and tuck the rest inside and seal in as you go. Trim off the excess.
Secondly: Use two sheets of Puff Pastry. Roll out both. Lay the Brie on the first sheet and cover with the second. Cut along the perimeter leaving around an inch of dough along the sides. Crimp with a fork.
I cut out some leaves from the excess dough and laid them in a circular pattern on top of the covered Brie.
Brush the pastry with egg wash carefully so as to not snag at the pastry while you do it.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400F for around 15 minutes or till the dough is golden brown.
Enjoy ! Bon Appetit !