Roasted Grape & Brie Crostini, with Honey Roasted Walnuts and Pumpkin Seeds

This is such an easy recipe for entertaining. You can make the roasted nuts in advance and just store them in an airtight container once they are completely cold. I also bought the baguette the night before and froze it. There is one really good French artisanal bakery here (it is called Le Fournil de Sebastien). Even though it is not very far from my home, it is out of my usual route and very often I just don’t have the time to go there. So now I just stock up when I am less busy, and keep it the freezer. I just sprinkle some water over the baguette. Then I bake it for about 15 minutes at 180C/350F and voilà, perfect baguette as it was just freshly made. For this recipe, I like the grapes to still keep their shape. So when you bite into them, they just burst open in your mouth. I roasted them in a bit of balsamic vinegar and port to add a bit more of a complex flavor to them. So good!

This recipe is for two medium baguettes.

Ingredients:
For the honey roasted walnuts & pumpkin seeds:
100grs of walnuts
60grs of pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of honey
Pinch of salt
For the roasted grapes:
500grs of red seedless grapes
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of port
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle of salt
Extras:
2 baguettes, sliced
400grs of Brie
Fresh thyme leaves to decorate

Start by making the nuts. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the vegetable oil, a pinch of salt and honey in a bowl, mix well with a fork. Then add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Mix well until they are evenly coated.

Spread them in a single layer and bake them for about 15-18 minutes, stirring half way through. Check that they don’t burn. Once the nuts are done, set them aside to cool down.

Raise the oven temperature to 220C/420F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the grapes from the vine. Add the olive oil, port, balsamic vinegar, thyme and sprinkle of salt. Add the grapes and toss to coat them. Spread the grapes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Don’t forget to also pour the sauce.

Roast the grapes for 20-25 minutes until they begin to burst. You want them to still keep their shape.

To serve, place a slice of brie over each slice of bread. Top with some roasted grapes and a bit of the juice. Then add some of the honey roasted nuts and a few thyme leaves. Enjoy!

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Onion Jam Stuffed Buns with Baked Camembert

I finally got a chance to post this recipe. It is another take on the flavor combination of onion soup. It is perfect for a dinner party and the holiday season coming up. Baked cheese is always a winner in our house and with our guests. You can make the onion jam a few days in advance and just keep it covered in the fridge.

Ingredients:

For the dough:
3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
7grs of dry yeast
1 cup of milk (lukewarm)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
5 tablespoons of melted butter
1 egg
For the onion jam:
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoon of olive oil
4 medium white onions, finely chopped
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of port
2 tablespoons of sugar
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

Extras:

1 Camembert

Fresh thyme leaves

1 egg for the egg wash

 

Start by making the dough. Place the yeast, the lukewarm milk and the sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Place the rest of the ingredients for the dough in the bowl with the yeast. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment.  If you knead it by hand, it will take about 10 minutes.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

While the dough is rising, start making the onion jam. Place a pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the onion, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. You want the onions to become translucent.

After the 10 minutes have passed, turn down the heat to the lowest. Then add the port, balsamic vinegar, sugar and thyme. Keep stirring and let it cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste for salt and blend it until smooth. Let it cool down.

Once the hour for the dough has passed, remove the dough from the bowl. Place it in your working area and punch it to remove the air. No need to use any extra flour. Divide the dough into 32 equal pieces.

Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Remove the cheese from its round cardboard casing and place the cheese back in the fridge. You are going to use the casing as a mold.

Place the cheese casing in the middle of your prepared baking tray.

Grab a piece of the dough, shape it into a ball and then flatten it with the palm of your hands. Add about a teaspoon of the onion jam in the middle of the dough. Then carefully close it and shape it into a ball again. Place the stuffed ball by the rim of the cheese casing. Repeat for all of the dough. I ended up only using 24 of the balls for this, just for aesthetics as it looked more even. But you can use them all.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for an extra hour to rise.

About 10 minutes before your bread is done rising, Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, brush your stuffed rolls with egg wash. Remove the cheese casing from the tray and replace it with the camembert. Bake for 30 minutes till the rolls are golden and the cheese has melted.

Carefully slice off the top part of the rind to uncover the melted cheese. Sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves. Serve straight away and enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.