Baking cheese and honey
During these colder winter months, I like being able to bring out something warming when it comes to nibbles. I think there is nothing more comforting than oozy melted cheese sweetened with runny honey.
Always a crowd pleaser, baked brie is a sweet, savoury, nutty, appetiser that’s easy to whip up and perfect for winter get-togethers.
Baked brie can be topped with just about anything, but I love the combination of crunchy walnuts, honey, and rosemary topped off with dried cranberries for a pop of colour and tang.
Baked brie with honey and walnuts
This recipe takes only four, or possibly five, ingredients and the amounts are very flexible; I’ve just put them in as a guide. The dried cranberries are optional but add a lovely pop of red to the dish. You can serve this gooey delishousness with crackers or toast, but I love to serve it in a way suggested on the New World site, which does cut down on the serving complications a wee bit.
You can also use a wedge, small round or wheel of cheese. A wedge of cheese may not be as pretty but it’s oozier. A wheel will make a prettier end dish and a little cleaner to present, just cut the top off.
- 1 round loaf of bread – sourdough works well
- 200g round brie
- ½ cup walnut pieces
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup raw honey
- Dried cranberries
- Coarse salt
- Preheat your oven to 190 degrees.
- Slice the top off the bread, then hollow out a circle large enough for the brie to sit in. Carve the surrounding loaf into a cubed pattern, ensuring not to cut entirely through the loaf. This makes it easier for people to snap off the brad to dip into the loaf.
- Sit the brie inside the bread, then press small sprigs of rosemary into the brie (no stalks).
- Place into the oven with the remaining bread chunks from the sliced off top and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bread is golden and the brie is soft and squishy.
- Toast the walnuts over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Pour in the honey and stir until the honey has caramelised. Mix in the salt and the cranberries.
- Spoon the honey walnuts mix over the baked brie.
- Serve immediately with the toasted bread chunks for dipping.
If you don’t want to serve the brie in a loaf of bread, heat the round, wheel or a wedge in a small casserole dish or cast-iron skillet – whatever you’re going to serve it in. Just make sure the dish is just slightly bigger than the cheese so people can get easy access. Pop in the oven for around 15 minutes.
Serve immediately with bread, crackers, or even slices of fruit such as apples or pears.
Honeycomb brie strudel
A mix of creamy brie, sweet honey, cinnamon and salty nuts melt together in bundles that can be served on as part of platter, or as a individual appetisers for party or dinner.
Baked brie en croûte, or brie baked in a pastry crust, traditionally uses puff pastry which forms a flaky, golden crust all around. However, this can often result in a thick and doughy bottom layer that hasn’t cooked through properly. I therefore prefer to use filo as it is more like a strudel and can be less doughy.
- Fresh honeycomb
- 1 round or wheel of Brie
- 3 sheets of filo pastry
- 1 apple
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup of toasted pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Slice the brie horizontally, or if you’re using a large round, slice a pocket for the honeycomb to fit in to.
- Unroll the filo sheets and place them in a baking dish.
- Core the apple and slice thinly.
- Place one brie half on the centre of the pastry, place the honeycomb on top of the brie half and top with half the apple slices. Sprinkle over the cinnamon, and nuts. Top with the other brie half.
- Gently wrap the filo sheets over the brie, twisting them together at the top.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes or more until nicely browned and the cheese just starts to run out.
- Serve immediately with the small toast or sliced fruit.
Serving honey and cheese
To elevate the flavour of cheese, honey goes a long way. If you’re not baking your cheese, the easiest way to serve it is to drizzle the raw honey over the wedges just minutes before your guests arrive and sprinkle them with nuts. Our raw kamahi honey is always a hit.