Annette Joseph: Hi! I am Annette Joseph and I am a food and prop stylist. Today, I am going to show you how to plan a beautiful holiday party on a budget.
Now we are going to make a favorite of mine, it's a stuffed brie with figs. The ingredients today, we'll be using an eight ounce wheel of brie. We will be using one sheet of puff pastry frozen and then thawed. A half-a-cup of chopped, thinly sliced dried figs. We will be using a quarter cup of fig preserve and use the finest quality, because it does make a difference. One egg for egg wash, and then we'll use a little bit of flour to make sure our puff pastry doesn't stick. Okay, we are going to start with this puff pastry. It's actually a frozen puff pastry which I prefer to use, I don't think it's necessary to make your own puff pastry. Although, some of you want to and that's great, go for it. I use a little bit of flour on the surface just to make sure that it doesn't stick, and then I'd like to kind of pad it out a little bit. Then I take a wheel of brie, it's just an eight ounce wheel of brie. Make sure you pull this paper off of it. I know this sounds crazy, but because the brie is white, sometimes if you are in a hurry, you may not take this paper off of a bit and it's going to make this whole thing taste really weird and probably, catch on fire in the oven. So we don't want to do that. We place our brie in the middle of our puff pastry and then, we take a little bit of our preserve, approximately, a quarter of a cup, and put it right down on top of our brie wheel. I like to smush it around a little bit. I used terms like smush and gush, I know that they are probably not proper cooking terms, but that sort of how I cook. Then we are going to use some dried figs and dried figs essentially look like this. I like them without sulfites, I think that's really important. And then I thinly slice them, so you basically take your fig and slice it thinly down across the middle and then we take about -- it's about a cup of the dried figs and put them on top of our brie, and our fig preserves and don't worry if it kind of gooze over, that's okay, that's actually probably good.
And then what we do is we wrap this nice pretty package which is sort of prelude to our package that we are going to wrap later in our presentation and you can just smush it around, there is my word again, and just make it look like a nice little package. Then we are going to place it on a baking dish, on parchment paper that's probably the easiest way. You can grease the baking sheet, but I actually really like using parchment paper a lot. Then we have our egg wash and it's really one egg that you whip up with the yolk and then what you are going to do is you're just going take a pastry brush, and just brush it all over and one tip I like to say to people is that you really don't need to have a proper pastry brush.
If you just want to buy a regular art brush that you'd paint with, that's fine in your kitchen. I actually have those all over my kitchen and they are easy to wash, they are inexpensive and they do the trick and that's really what it's about. So you've got your egg wash and that's going to make it nice and golden and beautiful looking, and then we are going to put it in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, make sure you watch it because sometimes ovens are a little bit different. Okay, we pulled the baked brie out of oven and here is the thing, it has sit. It has to sit, because this is all about presentation right. So it can't be all steamy and gooey when we wrap it in our parchment paper as a fabulous present and here is how we are going to do it. I am going to go take our parchment paper, we are going to use some gorgeous, gorgeous ribbon. I always like to use about a three quarter inch ribbon and then we are going to take, yes, your basic glass baking pan. You all have this one and we are actually going to use this on our buffet table. So how are we are going to that, you say? This is cool so I can touch it, see it's cold. We don't want you to burn yourself and I am going to go literally wrap this brie as a beautiful gift. So I am going to go cut a bit of parchment, so we are going to pull this off. We are going to put it down on top of this because we don't move it, we don't want to break it, then we are going to literally take our left hand, if you are right handed and fold this parchment away and then we've got our nice little package of brie. I am actually going to go wipe my hands because I don't want to get grease all over the paper and this is important to do. And then we have nice clean hands which is important when we tie our package together.
We are going to literally take this and we are going to fold it, so that we are going to expose a little bit of our brie, and then we are going to tuck it underneath the brie, just like that. And we are going to take this piece and we are going to do the exact same thing. We are going to fold it and this time, we are going to tuck the entire thing and I folded up like this. Put our hand underneath and tuck it underneath. So it's really pretty and presented, we don't want it fold it up like a present because we want people to see what's in it. There we go, we have our nice little pocket and then we are going to take some ribbon. I think I might do the pink and then we are going to cut our ribbon and we are going to pull it underneath. I am going to make sure these guys are even and then we are going to tie a very pretty bow. And that's just makes sure, it's really tucked underneath so that when you pull it together, it pulls your paper together.
It always reminds me of something that you get like in European pastry shop, that's sort what I am going for when I do this. We tie a really pretty bow and you can even let a little bit of ribbon kind of hang down because that's very festive and then people can see that, that's what you have in your pretty package. Figs stuffed brie. Yummy! Now what I'd also like to do is just a little added extra, is go ahead and put some of this paper into the glass. You make a nice little fall like this, another little stylish trick and then you just press it right into there, and that it just makes it look more festive and package like. Then we are just going take this, a little package and we are just going to set it right in there, and that will get set out on our table with a beautiful little knife to help cut it and it just looks for a pretty little beautiful little package for our buffet table.
Coming up next, I am going to go show you how to make a beautiful and delicious deconstructed cannoli dessert.