Sunday 28 December 2014

Camembert Brioche

Published 16/09/2012 | 06:00

Camembert Brioche
Camembert Brioche

This is very rich but very good. Serve as a starter to share, with a simple watercress and endive salad and a sharp dressing. Serves eight.

YOU WILL NEED

1 quantity brioche dough

1 x 350g Camembert cheese, about 13cm across

About 5 tbsps well-spiced fruity chutney, such as apple and raisin, or roasted peppers

Beaten egg, to glaze

1 baking sheet, lined with baking paper

Method

Make up the brioche dough, then turn out the chilled dough on to a lightly floured worktop.

Cut off a quarter of it, cover and set aside until needed. Roll out the larger portion to a round about 10cm larger than the cheese (about 23cm across).

Gently lift up the dough just to check that it's not sticking to the worktop; dust on more flour if necessary, then lay the dough flat again.

Spread the top of the cheese with a thick layer of chutney and set it upside down in the middle of the dough round.

With a well-floured sharp knife, trim about 1cm from the edge of the dough round to remove the thick rim.

Add the trimmed-off rim to the reserved quarter of dough and briefly knead together, then roll out to a round about 14cm across. Trim into a neat round using a small plate as a guide.

Brush the exposed surfaces of the cheese and the outer 1cm of the larger dough disc with the beaten egg glaze. Lift up the disc, in small sections, and wrap over the cheese, leaving the centre exposed.

Use more egg glaze as necessary to stick the dough in place. Brush the dough on top of the cheese with egg glaze, then set the smaller dough round on top and pat gently to seal together thoroughly.

With floured hands, carefully invert the cheese brioche on to the prepared baking sheet. Gently mould the edges to smooth out any bumps or bulges and to seal any gaps.

Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes, until almost doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.

Brush the dough lightly with beaten egg, taking care you don't 'glue' the dough to the baking sheet, then neatly score a pattern in the top with the tip of a sharp knife. Bake for 30 minutes, then brush again with beaten egg and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 45 minutes before serving -- the cheese will still be runny. Alternatively, cool to room temperature (this will take about four hours) so the cheese firms up a bit before serving.

For a picnic, leave the brioche until cold, then wrap. Take along a sharp knife -- the brioche will cut into neat slices.

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