Week 6: Honey Hazelnut Baked Brie
When it comes to Valentine’s day, or galentine’s or palentine’s (as I heard on the radio is the 2019 inclusive term), my feelings are mixed. I think it’s completely overcommercialized, however, I’m always up for an excuse to enjoy a good meal. If you read last week’s Superbowl post, you may be noticing a common theme 😉
I decided to make a nice dinner last night to celebrate Valentine’s when I had a weekend day to leisurely prepare everything. I came across this recipe for a heart-shaped honey hazelnut baked brie on Brit + Co’s website (https://www.brit.co/heart-shaped-honey-hazelnut-baked-brie/) and it looked and sounded SO delish. The heart-shape seemed a little too cheesy for me (hahaha) but it looked like I could just not trim the wheel into a heart shape and enjoy it just the same.
I’ve shied away from puff pastry since I had a disastrous attempt with it (breaking, crumbling, falling apart) many years ago, but decided to take another stab at it in the spirit of trying something yum.
Ingredients: puff pastry (I used PC brand), brie (I bought a 200g wheel of triple crème for $7), honey, and hazelnuts. Total cost: $10-15. This makes it a special occasion type of appetizer in my books.
Timing: 45 mins (plus two hours to thaw the puff pastry)
Yield: 4-6 servings
Serving: I served this with two kinds of crackers – cranberry hazelnut Raincoast crisps and sweet potato Breton crackers. The Raincoast crisps were the definite favourite, but it’s nice to have two options. And no, this is not a sponsored post… I wish! Lesley Stowe, if you’re reading this, holler at me! I love Raincoast crisps to the moon and back.
How did it go? It tasted really great, but there were a few hiccups along the way. Starting at the grocery store when I tried to determine which “1 wheel Brie” to buy. What size? What kind? Anyone who has looked through the gourmet cheese section knows this is mind boggling. 200g looked standard so I went with that and splurged on triple crème thinking it would make it even better (and it was only 50 cents more than double crème). Hazelnuts – roasted or unroasted? I assumed unroasted since the recipe says to toast them. Where do I find puff pastry? Freezer aisle, near frozen pie crusts for anyone else looking.
I was ready to start cooking when I pulled the puff pastry out of the freezer and saw that it needs to be defrosted for 2 hours on the counter or overnight in the fridge ☹ No mention of this in the recipe, unless you count somewhere in step three where it says “…puff pastry (thawed, but still cold)”. So this totally threw me off my game! We ended up eating our salad then appetizer, which wasn’t the end of the world, but still, frustrating. Let’s just say that I found the recipe writing left a little something to be desired.
When I finally started cooking, I realized that due to the shape and size of my “1 wheel brie”, I was able to use just one sheet of puff pastry rather than the two the recipe called for. More good news is that working with the puff pastry was actually pretty easy! I had a little extra so I just twirled it and popped it in the oven beside the brie. If you have a larger piece of brie I can see the need for two sheets, but there would probably be a lot of leftover pastry and I have no idea what you should do with it.
I let the brie sit for a couple minutes before cutting into it (mainly so I could take some pictures), and when I cut into it, a ton of oily goo leaked out. I have no idea why but we had to mop it up with paper towel to avoid leaking off the cheeseboard and it was kind of a mess. Maybe the triple crème brie had too much fat? If I were to remake this, I would use regular or double crème. If you’re bored and curious, here is an informative article about what differentiates types of brie and related cheeses: http://thephcheese.com/brie-vs-triple-cream-what-are-we-even-talking-about
Taste: Thank goodness after all that, this was delicious! So rich, creamy, and indulgent. Talk about treating yourself! I loved the flavour of the honey and hazelnuts, it was the perfect complement. I had a jelly ready to top this with but we didn’t even need it. SO good.
- Defrost: make sure you thaw the puff pastry ahead of time!
- Brie: use regular or double crème brie instead of triple cream to avoid potential oozing (just a hypothesis)
- Sealing: use a touch of cold water to help seal the top layer of pastry onto the bottom as the recipe suggests – I found this helpful/essential
- Pastry: See if you can position the brie in such a way that you can use just one sheet of puff pastry. Doing so might remind you of making the paper cut-outs for 3D shapes in elementary school math class but could save you from needlessly wasting puff pastry. The second sheet can be used for a different project the next day.
Luke’s review: Yeah that’s bomb. Brie’s meant to be baked isn’t it? So good. Kind of oily – get a big board [to account for potential oil oozing out]. Puff pastry’s delish. It’s dynamite! Mmm head bobbing EDM concert uncontrollable head bobs and weird involuntary mmm sounds.
Luke’s recipe rating: thumbs up