What do you get when you take already-decadent brie cheese and add an extra dose of cream? Double-cream brie, which contains up to 60 percent to 75 percent butterfat, in accordance to French labeling laws. The results are often described as "buttery" -- a smooth, spreadable texture and a rich mouthfeel are characteristic of this style of cheese. Serve it for an indulgent appetizer or dessert.
Cheese novices often wonder whether or not they should eat the rind of brie and similar soft-rind cheeses. The milky-white rind of a double-cream brie is entirely edible, but if you prefer, it's OK to leave it on your plate.
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A Simple Cheese Plate
A wedge of double-cream brie can be served on its own with crackers or bread to spread it on -- or as part of a cheese plate, perhaps with a firm or semi-firm cheese and a blue to provide contrasting flavors and textures. Accompany your wheel of cheese with fresh or dried fruit and/or nuts. Try fresh apple slices, clusters of grapes, a dab of your favorite chutney, a handful of fresh raspberries, a scatter of dried cranberries or a selection of dried dates.
Allow double-cream brie to come to room temperature before serving as part of a cheese plate.
Brie en Croute
Wrap a round of double-cream brie in puff pastry and bake until golden; in French, this is known as brie en croute. The brie inside becomes extra-soft but will not melt entirely.
Brie en croute doesn't necessarily need further adornment, but you can also top the wheel of cheese with a little something extra before wrapping it up in the pastry. This filling can be either savory or sweet. Sweet options include:
- Fruit preserves
- Fresh berries
- Sauteed apple or pear slices
- Cranberry sauce
Add nuts to sweet fillings for a little crunch.
Savory options include:
- Sauteed mushrooms and garlic
- Slivered or chopped sun-dried tomatoes and thyme
- Red pepper relish
- Artichoke paste
Wrap the brie in thin slices of prosciutto before adding the outer pastry layer.
Once your brie is out of the oven, serve with crackers or slices of baguette and a knife for spreading.
Serve Champagne, prosecco, cava or another sparkling wine with your brie, either baked or unbaked. The creaminess of double-creams stands up well to mildly acidic wines both red and white. Double-cream bries also pair well with the fruit-flavored beers of Belgium.