The combination of a double cream brie, crunchy nuts and sweet prunes served with brioche toasts makes for a restaurant style cheese course that's easy to make at home.
Serving cheese at the end of a meal is very common and in my opinion is the best solution, when you don't feel like making dessert. A proper cheese course however, is something that can be found only on degustation menus in fancy restaurants.
But actually, it's not that difficult to make at home. If you want to surprise your guests with a spectacular plated course, this brie cheese stuffed with nuts is great to make ahead and easy to assemble.
Paired with a red wine reduction, marinated prunes and toasted brioche fingers, it hits all the right notes, making it an impressive course to end your meal with.
So now that you have found the perfect brie cheese recipe to go with that perfect bottle of red wine, let's plan your next wine dinner!
Brie, made with raw cow's milk, is one of the most popular cheeses around the world. Loved for its creamy, rich texture and earthy flavour, it is versatile to use. The French cheese is named after Brie, the French region from where it originated. Brie not only makes a great cheese plate it can be baked, stuffed or even turned into ice cream.
In Europe, eating cheese after a meal is quite common. In fact in France, we eat cheese after the main dish and before dessert. Yes, it gets it’s own course! You can also serve ripe or dried fruits, nuts or other accompaniments with the cheese in lieu of dessert if you wish.
What you need
Brie is the hero of the dish. Even though I love the sound of triple cream brie, I strongly recommend not to use a very creamy cheese. It will break easily and will also be hard to assemble. So, opt for a firmer, small wheel of brie like this double cream brie from yarra valley.
Red wine the red wine reduction adds a nice touch to the dish and is used to marinate the prunes. Best to use a grape you want to drink with the cheese course. I chose this well balanced cabernet sauvignon from Coonawarra.
Prunes are wonderful in a cheese course, as they add the right amount of sweetness.
Nuts & Seeds add your favourite nuts and seeds to the brie. I used walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachio and pumpkin seeds.
Brioche, especially homemade pairs great with the dish but if you prefer crackers or sourdough bread instead, feel free to substitute.
How to stuff a brie cheese
Stuffing the cheese can be tricky. You don't want the cheese to be too soft as you might break through the rind and leave cracks. Storing the double cream brie in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using it, will help keeping it firm.
Cutting the cheese
Start by carefully cutting into the cheese from the side with a sharp knife. You really want to end up with two even halves, so take your time doing that.
Go around with the knife until you come full circle and then work your way slowly to the middle until the pieces come apart.
Making the stuffing
Now scoop out the flesh from one of the brie halves. To do this, use a small spoon with thin edges.
Start in the middle and work your way to the sides, being extra careful not to break the rind. Collect all the brie flesh in a mixing bowl and set the scooped out half aside.
Chop the nuts and seeds into small pieces and mix through the brie cheese flesh.
Stuffing the cheese
While the mixture is still soft and smooth, place it back into the cheese half and gently press down so the filling spreads evenly.
Funnily you will notice, inspite of adding nuts and seeds, the stuffing fits perfectly inside.
Now you can press both halves back together and voila the brie is one again. Chill the cheese before cutting into it. Wrap it with cling film or store in an air tight container, before putting it back into the fridge to chill.
Making the red wine reduction and prunes
Add the red wine to a pan together with the sugar and reduce on low heat. If you are not close to the stove, I recommend setting yourself a timer, as this can go quickly.
You are looking for a syrup like consistency but keep in mind, the reduction will be thicker once it has cooled down, so don't go too far.
For the prunes, cut them in half and add a tablespoon of the reduction to it. Mix well and set aside.
For the plate up
As an alternative to a cheese platter, we are plating individual servings of cheese. To plate up, prepare all your garnish first.
Cut the brioche into batons and toast from all sides in a dry pan (alternatively you can toast the brioche slice in a toaster and cut them afterwards into batons).
Cut the stuffed cheese wheel into 8 even wedges.
Drizzle the red wine reduction around the plate and place two prune halves on to one side.
Next, place two cheese wedges next to the prunes and finally two brioche batons.
It should all be placed like a triangle to make it visual appealing.
What's a plate of cheese without a glass of wine? But pairing cheese and wine can be very complex. In my opinion it doesn't have to be. If you pair by flavour and intensity, you will find that food and wine compliment each other rather than compete with each other.
For our brie cheese course we found the perfect match in this well balanced cabernet sauvignon from Coonawarra. A beautifully complex wine with aromas of cassis and plums, balanced by pepper and herbaceous notes.
A stunning wine from McGuigan winery - one of the most awarded wineries in the world. With over 100 years of winemaking to draw on, the McGuigan family has been a driving force in Australia!
Besides nuts and seeds you can add dried fruits like apricots, cranberries or figs. Chopped rosemary, thyme or chive works well too. Adding quince paste to the stuffing does add a pleasant sweetness to the brie.
Other cheese that work well for this recipe are camembert, coulommiers, brillat-savarin or fromage d'affinois to name a few. Look for a rather young cheese to make it easy to stuff it.
more cheesy courses
Serving a dish with cheese at the beginning or end of a meal is surely a safe option. I mean, who doesn't like cheese?
- Honey roasted fig salad with parmesan chips
- Fennel, blood orange and feta salad
- Lemon cheesecake mousse with poached peaches
You now have some great ideas of how to serve a cheese course for your next dinner party! It's an easy way to elevate your meal without a whole lot of extra fuss in the kitchen isn't it?
If you have any additional tips about cheese and wine pairings, we would love to know. Also, leave us a comment below telling us what you thought of our stuffed brie cheese recipe and watch the story here.
Stuffed Brie Cheese with Nuts and Prunes
- small pan or pot
- mixing bowl
- 1 small brie cheese (200-250g / 7-8oz)
- 25 gram mixed nuts and seeds pistachio, walnut, hazelnut, pumpkin seeds
- 200 millilitre red wine
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 4 prunes
- 2 slices brioche
for the stuffed brie
- To cut the cheese in half, cut into the cheese from the side with a sharp knife. Go around with the knife until you come full circle and then work your way slowly to the middle until the two pieces come apart.
- Scoop out the flesh from one of the brie halves by using a small spoon. Start in the middle and work your way to the sides being extra careful not to break the rind.
- Collect all the brie flesh in a mixing bowl and set the scooped out half aside. Chop the nuts and seeds into small pieces and mix through the brie cheese flesh.
- While the mixture is still soft and smooth place it back into the cheese half and gently press down so the filling spreads evenly.
- Press both halves back together so the brie is one whole again. Chill the cheese before cutting into it. Wrap it in cling film or store in an airtight container before placing it in the fridge.
for the prunes with red wine
- Add the red wine to a pan together with the sugar and reduce on low heat until syrup like consistency. Keep in mind that the reduction will be thicker once it has cooled down, so don't go too far.
- For the prunes, cut them in half and add a tablespoon of the reduction to it. Mix well and set aside.
for the garnish
- Cut the brioche into batons and toast from all sides in a dry pan (alternatively toast the brioche slice in a toaster and cut them into batons afterwards).
- Cut the stuffed cheese wheel into 8 even wedges.
for plate up
- Drizzle the red wine reduction around the plate and place two prune halves on to one side. Place two cheese wedges next to the prunes and finally two brioche batons. It should all be placed like a triangle to make it visual appealing.