Baked Brie with truffle, hazelnuts and thyme
The only thing better than a ripe Brie, barely containing its creamy paste within the thin, white-bloomed shell, is a ripe Brie that has been baked and adorned with crushed hazelnuts, shavings of truffle and sprigs of thyme. All the textures and tastes meet and create a rich alchemy that gives you a feeling of utter wellbeing. You could also try topping the Brie with sweet caramelised onions or sharp fruits such as red berries or cranberries. I prefer to keep the cheese in the round wooden box it came in for baking.
Remove any wrapping from the Brie and return it to its wooden container, with the lid off. (If your Brie doesn’t have a box, you can buy a special-purpose Brie baking dish or use any ovenproof dish which will hold the cheese snugly.)
Scatter most of the thyme sprigs on top of the Brie and bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbling under the surface and slightly browning around the rim. Meanwhile, crush the hazelnuts, using a pestle and mortar.
Sprinkle the crushed hazelnuts over the hot Brie and shave the truffle thinly but generously on top, using a mandoline or a swivel vegetable peeler. Scatter over the remaining thyme sprigs and eat immediately, with a fresh, crusty
A round of Brie, 250–300g, such as Lubborn
A handful of sprigs of thyme
A small truffle
A baguette, to serve
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