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Baked Brie with Sultanas in Champagne, Spicy Cinnamon & Vanilla Gelee, Nutella Dust

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One thing I really love to make is dessert; one thing I really hate to eat is dessert. Put a cheese board in front of me any day, but keep that sweet stuff away.

Then there is this recipe. Ah, common ground. A savory sweet that hits so many notes it’s almost singing a broadway musical. Sweet, spicy, tangy, gooey, tart and an array of textures define this dish as unique and wonderful.

The gelee will keep for weeks, the powder a week and the brie wrapped in pastry can sit in the fridge covered for up to a week (unbaked), which will allow you to prep this pre-charter and whip it out whenever you are running behind schedule or simply because you need a break.

Baked brie photo from Mark Godbeer

Baked brie photo from Mark Godbeer

I added frozen blueberries, raspberry syrup and some micro mint to my plate. Enjoy. Serves 10.

For the brie:

2 cups sultanas (or golden raisins)

2 cups champagne

1/2 cup sugar

1 bunch fresh thyme

2 5-inch wheels of brie

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sultanas, champagne, sugar and thyme. Simmer for 20 minutes to reduce to a syrup-like consistency. Pull out thyme and allow to cool.

Cut just the top rind off both wheels of brie and set aside.

Spread out pastry sheets on a floured surface. They should each be big enough to encompass one brie wheel.

Place the brie (cut side up) in the center of each pastry and spoon some of the cooled sultana mixture on top, making sure not to let it pour over the edges.

Fold over one side of the pastry, then the next and so forth until the brie is totally covered. Trim any excess pastry and brush both bries with the beaten egg.

Place the brie in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

For the gelee:

3 Tbsp chilled, filtered water

2 7g packs gelatin

4 cups filtered water

5 Tbsp white sugar

3 cinnamon sticks

1 vanilla bean, split

1 bird’s eye chili, halved and deseeded

Pour chilled water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over, allowing it to bloom.

In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes, or until water has reduced by half. Strain out hot liquid and return to the pan at med-high.

Add gelatin to the mixture and whisk for 2 minutes until completely dissolved.

Pour the mixture into a silicone bread mould, allow to cool and then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Once hard to the touch, use a butter knife to loosen the edges and turn out the gelee onto a chopping board. Make half-inch slices. Reserve in fridge until plating.

For the Nutella dust:

4.2oz (120g) Nutella

2.8oz (80g) maltodextrin powder (Available from specialty stores. I get my chemicals from the International Store on 17th street.)

In a food processor, place the ingredients and pulse for 1 minute. Scrape the sides if necessary.

Place the powder in a sealed container until plating.

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