Liven up that brie cheese wheel with edible flowers

·3 min read
Rita Heikenfeld
Rita Heikenfeld

I was asked to bring an appetizer to a garden party and found myself in a quandary. I didn’t want to bring any food that needed heated, or that would not hold up on a buffet table.

The herb garden solved the problem. I was pruning basil and miniature rose bushes when the eureka moment hit. Edible flower glazed brie cheese. There were plenty of edibles to choose from, so I picked a variety of both flowers and herbs.

The cheese turned out lovely with the different herb and flower flavors enhancing its mild flavor.

Now looking at the cheese you might think it’s hard to make. Not so. A few edible flowers and/or herbs and a brush of gelatin glaze are the only other items you need.

If not with brie, try Camembert, a look-a-like for brie but with a more rustic taste and texture. A Mexican Panela would work, too. What about a nice wedge of white cheddar? In other words, use your imagination. Just about any sliceable cheese would work.

Floral glazed brie

Floral glazed Brie.
Floral glazed Brie.

The gelatin was plenty for a 6” wheel of brie. You can double the gelatin ingredients for a large wheel.

Ingredients

Wheel or wedge of brie or other sliceable cheese

1-1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup white wine or water

Edible flower petals and herbs (see list below)

Instructions

Put edible flowers and herbs on plate in single layer. Set aside.

In small pan, whisk gelatin into wine so gelatin doesn’t clump up.

Let sit 5 minutes for gelatin to “bloom”/start absorbing liquid.

Place pan over low heat and cook just until gelatin dissolves.

Remove and cool to room temperature (can be done ahead, refrigerated and rewarmed).

Place brie on cooling rack to catch drips.

Using a small pastry brush, brush a light coat of glaze on top (and sides if you’re decorating them).

Arrange flowers and herbs on top, and sides, if desired.

Brush with another thin coating of glaze.

Place in refrigerator until glaze is firm, a few minutes.

Repeat brushing on glaze up to 4 times, refrigerating between each to set glaze. The goal is to brush on enough glaze to cover the edibles but not so much that it looks gloppy. I usually do 3 coats.

To serve, place on platter or plate and have a basket of crackers, bread, etc., alongside.

Edible flowers/herbs

Edible herbs and flowers. First row: mint, dill, fennel, roses, lavender and snapdragons. Second row: pansies, borage flowers and petunias. Top row: lemon verbena, nasturtium flower and leaf, purple basil, marigold and tarragon.
Edible herbs and flowers. First row: mint, dill, fennel, roses, lavender and snapdragons. Second row: pansies, borage flowers and petunias. Top row: lemon verbena, nasturtium flower and leaf, purple basil, marigold and tarragon.

There are so many. First, use only pesticide-free, edible clean flowers and herbs. My site has a list of edible flowers and herbs.

Before using, check for dirt or insects. Clean gently in cool water and pat dry. Use within a couple of hours, or store in refrigerator between paper towels with a tent of plastic wrap, for up to a day.

Some flowers can be used whole, like pansies and violas. For roses, nasturtiums and petunias, I will use petals, sometimes cutting them into pieces.

Flower tops of culinary herbs are edible. Think basil, lavender, sage, thyme, dill, etc.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Liven up that brie cheese wheel with edible flowers