Double-cream brie, a rich, soft cheese made from cow's milk, is frequently offered as an appetizer at dinner parties or as a sophisticated snack at cocktail parties. Generally, hosts will serve wine pairings, food pairings -- or both -- with the cheese. Some also enjoy serving double-cream brie baked in a pastry shell with sweet or savory ingredients. Each serving method works to highlight the cheese's rich taste and buttery texture.
Serving With Wine
Visit a local wine shop, liquor store or grocery store to buy one or several wines for pairing. Sparkling wines, sweet dessert wines, full-bodied white wines such as chardonnay and fortified wines such as muscat, Tokay and port all pair well with double-cream brie. Ask a staff member if you need help selecting a wine.
Remove the brie from the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before serving it. Arrange your serving area with fruit preserves, sliced fresh fruit and crackers. You can eat these separately from the brie or in the same bite.
Choose the correct glassware -- champagne flutes for sparkling wine, white wine glasses for white wine and port glasses for port or dessert wine. Pour the wines conservatively, especially if you are serving several types. Advise your guests to taste the brie before sipping wine to get a true sense of the cheese's flavor.
Brie Baked in a Pastry Shell With Jam
Defrost sheets of puff pastry -- one for each wheel of brie -- for 15 to 20 minutes. Gently unfold each sheet.
Slice the rind off of the top of the brie, leaving the rind on the sides. The rind is edible, but slicing off the top allows the nuts and jam to incorporate more securely into the brie as it bakes.
Melt a small amount of butter in a saucepan and brown the nuts in the butter. Sprinkle the nuts over the top of the brie and then smooth jam over the nuts.
Smooth the puff pastry with a rolling pin to increase its size by a couple of inches in all directions. Try brushing beaten egg over both sides. Place the brie on top and lift all four corners of the pastry together over its top, twisting them slightly to make a bundle shape. Tie the twisted portion with cooking string.
Place the bundle on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until it's golden brown. Serve it warm with crackers.
Brie Baked in a Pastry Shell With Caramelized Onions
Slice several onions. Soften them with butter in a saucepan, drizzling a splash of balsamic vinegar over them when they're almost done.
Defrost a sheet of puff pastry. Spread the caramelized onions over it and place the brie and one side.
Roll the pastry to cover the onions and brie. Refrigerate for approximately half an hour.
Remove the rolled pastry from the refrigerator, bake it to brown it and serve it warm with crackers.