'Bake' Brie In Your Microwave And Save Yourself A Ton Of Time

A whole baked Brie makes an elegant centerpiece for a celebratory spread, but it's equally good as an indulgent snack for a movie night. The warm, oozing cheesy wheel also makes a delicious appetizer to share, scooped up with crackers, toasted bread, or crunchy vegetable crudités. It's as tasty as it is versatile. But if you don't want to spend the half an hour or so it takes to prepare and bake, not to mention pre-heating time and the extra energy used by the oven, then there's a much quicker way to get the gooey treat: Use the microwave.

Okay, so microwaved Brie doesn't have quite the same classy ring to it as baked Brie. But the benefits far outweigh the name, so it's worth putting any prejudices aside. Because in just a couple of minutes, you can have a similarly satisfying way to eat Brie whenever the craving strikes, with minimal effort but maximum reward.

Just as when traditionally baked, there are so many different ways to decorate and present the melty, gooey wheel of joy, depending on the occasion. And you could even switch the Brie for a similar soft cheese such as a whole Camembert if you prefer, using the same fast microwave method.

How to microwave Brie for a tasty treat in minutes

Microwaving Brie couldn't be simpler, but there are a few key tips to ensure you get the best results. While scoring the cheese is a step you should never skip when baking Brie, it's not vital when microwaving the dairy product. You simply need to place the whole unwrapped wheel on a microwavable plate ready to be heated, keeping the rind on so it holds its shape. However, make sure the plate's not too flat, as you don't want the cheese to run over as it melts. A dish or a plate with a raised lip is best, and placing the Brie on a small piece of parchment paper will create less mess.

How long it takes to get Brie to the optimum consistency in the microwave will depend on the size of the wheel and your specific machine. The easiest way to keep an eye on it is to microwave it in bursts. Try 20 seconds at a time, reducing the frequency to 15-second intervals after a minute of heating. Touch the center gently and carefully with your finger to check it's soft and nicely gooey.

When it's done to your liking, don't leave the cheese to rest; serve it immediately while it's warm and oozy. The Brie can be served simply as it is, with some accompaniments for dipping and scooping. Or to elevate it further, you could dress it with a selection of toppings.

Top Brie after microwaving to make it extra-special

A topped whole Brie, whether a small or large wheel, looks especially attractive if you're serving it as a dinner party appetizer. Prep these toppings ahead, and if you microwave the creamy cheese, you could have an impressive dish on the table in not much more time than it takes to pour a round of drinks. Try a mixture of sweet, savory, fruity, and crunchy toppings for a next-level texture and flavor boost.

Add nutty crushed pecans, jewel-like pomegranate seeds, and sticky Maple syrup for a colorful as well as tasty combo that pleases all the senses. A mixture of sweet-sharp cranberry sauce, candied pecans, and a sprinkling of aromatic fresh thyme leaves also works well. Fresh figs and walnuts always look appetizing and pair nicely in terms of flavor, or try honey, toasted sliced almonds, and slices of fresh sweet strawberries.

To make things even easier, just as bacon jam takes pan sauces to a whole other level – the salty, smoky, and slightly sweet condiment also makes a natural partner to spread across buttery Brie. Or go for a wholly sweeter option of caramelized plums, tart berries, or crunchy apple slices to top the cheese; since Brie is also one of the best cheeses to pair with coffee, you could even serve this less savory option to end a fancy meal rather than to start it.