LOADED BAKED BRIE

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Vegan, gluten free, leftovers friendly

Makes 1 large bowl, serving 10-15 as a side

The best thing about baked brie, is you can top those babies with just about anything. The recipe below is one beautiful option, but there are so many different ways you can do it, depending on your taste and what you already have. I think the key is to have plenty of sweetness on top (chutney, cranberry sauce, honey, jam, or even just brown sugar), along with some texture (nuts, seeds) and some extra flavour (balsamic, herbs, pesto, etc.). Some of my favourite topping options are: walnuts, pesto, chilli jam, pine nuts, sliced and roasted mushrooms or capsicum, fresh chilli, and herbs of any description.

Ingredients

  • 2 wheels of brie (or camembert)

  • 1 large red onion, sliced

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, plus extra

  • ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 2 tsp smoky paprika

  • 2 heaped tbsp cranberry sauce

  • Handful each of fresh thyme, and fresh rosemary

  • Extra balsamic and olive oil

  • Toasted baguette, crackers, etc., to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a frypan, heat olive oil, and the butter. Add onions, and cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes over a medium heat. Once they are significantly reduced and caramelising, add the brown sugar, 2 of the spoonfuls of balsamic, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring often. If the onions seem too sticky, add another splash of vinegar. Transfer to a bowl.

  2. Add the seeds into the same pan, with another drizzle of oil. Cook on a low heat until the seeds begin to pop. Add honey and season and add the paprika, cook for another minute or two, and then set aside.

  3. To assemble, put wheels of cheese onto a lined baking tray. First spread the cranberry sauce over the cheese, then top with the onions. Divide the herbs over each wheel, reserving a few sprigs to top with at the end. Add the honeyed pumpkin seeds, and top with the reserved herbs. Finish by drizzling a little olive oil and vinegar over the top.

  4. Bake brie for about 15 minutes, or until the toppings are sizzling hot, and you can see that the inside of the cheese is melted (the wheel will have slumped, as it’ll be liquid inside). Serve immediately with your choice of dunkage.