In my quest to shoot pretty pictures AND eat yummy stuff, I made another version of brie en croute last night.
This time I used a small circle of brie instead of a wedge.
And my topping mixture consisted of half a cup of almonds, chopped and toasted a bit to release the flavor, a third of a cup of orange marmalade, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and about half a tablespoon of butter. I combined those ingredients in a small saucepan and cooked for a couple of minutes to thicken the mixture.
I poured it onto a plate and spread it out, stuck it in the fridge for about five minutes to cool, and then placed on top of the brie.
Then I moistened the edges of the puff pastry with a little water and pulled the four corners up to meet, pressing the dough together along the sides.
I tried to get fancy with the ends and the center, twisting each corner into a loop, and then twisting the center section, where all the corners met, into a curl.
Now, of course, there are other ways of doing this. You could also cut the puff pastry dough in a circle just big enough to encase the cheese and topping, then put the topping down first, place the brie on top, wrap the dough up around the cheese and flip the whole thing over to bake. And with the extra dough you could cut out little leaves or other shapes and decorate the top with them.
By the way, if you want to make your own puff pastry dough (not as hard as you'd think), I've got a recipe and how-to for you right here.
Or, if you've got the topping on the brie on the dough, you can gather up the edges into a ruffle on top and tie them together (carefully) with some butcher's twine and bake that way.
To give the whole thing a lovely shine, you can paint the dough with an egg wash right before it goes in the oven.
I skipped the egg wash this time, fyi.
Anyway, I put the wrapped brie in the fridge for an hour or so this time, and then later (after the kids were in bed), I preheated the oven to 400 (instead of 375 like last time) for a good 20 minutes, and then baked the brie for 25 minutes.
And here's how it looked when I took it out:
Puffy and golden and lovely.
And it tasted even better than it looked.
I'm much happier with the way this one came out, visually. Taste-wise, it's a tie. The only real difference was dried cranberries in the topping the first time around, and none this time. Both were yummy.
And it's really the taste that matters most, once you start slicing, right?