Brie is a soft French cheese that is wonderful when served melted. However, it can be difficult to find that perfect balance between under and over-baking. If you remove brie from the oven too soon, it will only stay melted for a few minutes. On the other hand, if it is left in the oven too long it will lose it's beautiful shape and become difficult to handle. Luckily, there's a method for getting it just right!
Things You'll Need
8-ounce wheel of brie cheese (double cream is best)
Optional toppings: honey, maple syrup, jam, toasted nuts, dried or chopped fresh fruit, bittersweet chocolate
Optional accompaniments: crackers, crostini, sliced apples or pears
Step 1: Select the Perfect Brie
There are a variety of brie options on the market and any of them will technically work. Eight-ounce "double cream" yields excellent results (triple cream can result in melted brie that is too runny).
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For best results, allow the brie to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking. While this is not an essential step, it will ensure that the cheese melts evenly all the way through.
Step 2: Prepare the Cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, slice off the very top of the cheese. Leave most of the outer white rind in place; it will keep the melted cheese from spreading.
Step 3: Bake the Cheese
Set the brie on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. After 12 to 13 minutes, turn on the oven light and begin to check on the cheese. It should be starting to bubble on top.
Once it's bubbling on top you can take the cheese out of the oven to serve at this point and it will be perfectly melted through.
However, the sooner you remove the brie from the oven, the sooner it will begin cooling off. The trick is to leave it in the oven for as long as possible before the wheel begins to lose it's shape. The photo below shows what the wheel looks like after approximately 17 to 18 minutes. Still delicious, but the presentation isn't as nice and it's difficult to transfer from the baking sheet.
For best results, aim for somewhere between 14 to 16 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Add Optional Toppings
Brie tastes wonderful with a mix of both savory and sweet toppings. Try drizzling some maple syrup on top and then adding salted, toasted nuts and dried cranberries for a bit of crunch and tartness.