A hunk of crusty bread, molten cheese, and the sweet/savory combination of rosemary, honey, and maple candied walnuts. If this couldn’t take the stress away, nothing would.
I heated and served this Brie right in a small cast iron skillet and it worked out perfectly. The cast iron retained the heat and kept the Brie warm for quite a while. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can use a small/medium-sized casserole dish or pie dish.
For the walnuts:
- 1½ cups walnut halves
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup (the real stuff)
- pinch of salt
For the brie:
- 8-12oz. wheel of brie*
- 2-3 TBSP honey
- a few sprigs fresh rosemary
- crusty french bread, toasted, for serving
- maple candied walnuts, for serving
For the walnuts:
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Preheat a dry skillet over medium-high heat for a couple minutes to get it nice and hot. Add the walnuts, maple syrup, and salt, and stir. Cook, stirring constantly, until the maple syrup has thickened and clings to the walnuts. You should just begin to smell the syrup caramelizing when the nuts are done. Be careful not to let it burn.
- Pour nuts onto the prepared baking sheet, and quickly spread them out to avoid clumping. Let cool, then store in a cool dry place at room temperature.
For the brie:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove cheese from its packaging. Place in the center of a rimmed baking sheet, or an oven-safe pan. Place a sprig or two of fresh rosemary on top, and drizzle thoroughly with honey -- don't skimp.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the honey is bubbling and the cheese is soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before digging in.
- Top with additional honey and bits of rosemary (I like to remove the leaves from the sprigs of rosemary that were baked with the cheese and sprinkle them on top, or you can use a little fresh rosemary), and serve with crusty bread and candied walnuts.
*When choosing a brie for baking, try to find a younger cheese. Older cheeses may be too runny, and the rind can have an unpleasant flavor. Brie's labeled "triple cream" are also softer and runnier inside. Look for something labeled "double cream", or ask your cheese monger for a good brie for baking.
The rind of the cheese is completely edible. If you prefer to avoid the rind, you can slice off the very top of the wheel prior to baking. Do not remove the rest of the rind, as you need it to hold the cheese together. Once baked, simply dip and scoop the cheese out of the center.
Baked brie is a great place to experiment with different sweet and savory flavor combinations. You can use just about anything you can think of! Here are some ideas: bake your brie with herbs, spices, garlic, pesto, or serve with caramelized onions, for something savory.
Or, bake your brie plain and top it with fruit preserves (such as apricot jam, marmalade, or cranberry relish), fresh fruit (such as figs, raspberries, or apples), or drizzle with honey or maple syrup.
Excerpted from Will Cook for Friends:
Baked Brie with Rosemary, Honey, & Candied Walnuts
by Willow Arlen