Bake a brie for 15 minutes and you’ll transform a good value brie into a spectacular brie. It’s like the best fondue you will ever have. Ever.
“When you cut through the rind, the inside comes pouring out like lava. It’s like the best fondue you will ever have.”
There are some seriously dressed up baked bries around on the internet. Dripping with blueberry compote, piled high with nuts and dried fruit, wrapped in prosciutto and pastry. But even just baked plain, it is stellar. Because baked brie is, quite simply, the best melted cheese in the world. When you cut through the rind and the inside comes pouring out like lava, you’ll forget all your troubles. It’s like cheese-aholic heaven.
This is made with just maple syrup and thyme, and a pinch of salt. The woody sweetness from the maple syrup gives this a perfect sweet/savoury balance which is reminiscent of dried fruits and fruit pastes you often get on cheese boards. And I love the earthy freshness that thyme brings to this. Most of it ends up around the base when it comes out of the oven, but it mixes in with the gooey cheese when you scoop it up with bread.
I first made this because I have a theory that cheese is like wine – you get what you pay for. And if your budget extends to $90/kg ($45/lb) for a great French triple cream brie, I want to be you! So for ordinary people like me who reserve French brie for (very) special occasions, this is a way to get gourmet flavour using a good value brie.
“This is how you transform a good value brie into an amazing brie.”
There is nothing difficult about making this other than making sure you don’t over bake it. A 250g/8 oz wheel takes 15 minutes at 190C/375F (fan forced oven) to be perfectly gooey and melted on the inside. Any longer than 25 minutes and the inside will start to firm up again. As I found out the hard way! To check if it’s ready, just lightly touch the centre of the brie and you’ll easily be able to tell whether it’s melted because it will feel like it’s about to collapse if you prod it any harder.
This can be served with crackers or plain bread, but garlic crostini is my favourite. Lightly toasted sourdough bread, drizzled with olive oil then rubbed with garlic. Dunk that into the baked brie and transport yourself to Cheese Heaven!
Make this once, then come join me at Cheese-aholics Anonymous! – Nagi
- 8oz / 250g brie (good value is fine)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
- 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
- Pinch of salt
- ½ sourdough french stick, sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half (not necessary to peel)
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F.
- Place brie in a small ovenproof dish.
- Drizzle over maple syrup and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until melted through. To check, gently touch the centre of the brie - it should feel very soft, like it is about to collapse if you press any harder.
- Serve immediately with crostini.
- Place bread slices on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake in the oven on the oven tray under the brie until lightly toasted (around 10 minutes).
- Remove from oven and rub each slice lightly with the cut side of the garlic.
2. When you first pour the maple syrup over the brie, it will pool on the surface. As it bakes, most of it will drip off and pool around the base of the brie. When you cut into the brie and the inside comes pouring out, this mixes in with the maple syrup.