Valentine's Day Excess: Chocolate and Cheese
It's that time of year when minds turn to seduction via food. The question is, which old standby do you turn to, cheese or chocolate?
Just to be safe, I humbly suggest both.
This is how I made a chocolate brie en croute (the one pictured, in fact). I almost never follow recipes, so it feels a bit odd to write one. Feel free to deviate from it at will. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out... the food, that is. I'm not responsible for anything that happens afterward.
That's all you.
Chocolate Brie En Croute
1 sheet puff pastry
1 baby brie wheel
1.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips)
2 Tablespoons red wine (I used a Merlot, because that's what I had)
1 Tablespoon water
Some crushed hazelnuts, unless your grocery store is out of them like mine was.
Thaw your puff pastry, if it is frozen. This will take most of an hour. I love frozen sheets of puff pastry. They're expensive, but incredibly versatile.
Preheat your oven to 400º F.
Reduce your wine by about half in a small saucepan over a low heat. It should thicken up nicely.
Lay your puff pastry sheet flat.
Slice the top off of your wheel of brie and put it (rind side down) in the center of the puff pastry sheet. Most baked brie recipes of this sort just put things on top of the brie. We're going to put stuff inside.
Sprinkle your chocolate and, if you have them, your nuts on top of the piece of brie that you just put in the middle of the pastry sheet. Drizzle the chocolate with the wine. In case you were wondering why the wine is in there, it is an attempt to balance the flavors a bit. I wanted to add a wee bit of tanginess.
Put the brie wheel back together, and wrap the puff pastry around it. You may want to trim some of the pastry off. That's fine. You can use it for something else.
Turn the brie en croute over so that the pretty side is up. Put it on something oven safe. I just use a ceramic plate.
Now make an egg wash by taking the egg and mixing it with the water. Brush this on top of the pastry.
Bake for about 20 minutes.
Serve with warmed bread.
Morning Update: The leftovers are like a chocolate cheese croissant. On crack.