When I was in college, I was known for making strawberries and champagne cupcakes. That’s a reasonable dessert, one you want to try, one that is just unique enough to pique interest but it’s still user-friendly. It doesn’t scare people away from the dessert table.
Strawberries and champagne grilled cheese? Well, that could scare people away from a whole party. It’s definitely a wacky and out-there idea. But hey, if you don’t want to try it, more for me. This baby is delightful. And we’re serving up the recipe just in time for Mother’s Day. Your mom will love it. It’s got champagne. And it’s got brie. And moms love brie.
Think of this recipe like a tea sandwich — one of those little dainty finger foods you indulge in on a Sunday morning. It’s savory with a hint of sweet and a whole lotta champagne. (Don’t worry, we cook the alcohol out but leave the flavor.)
The first time we tested this recipe, I tried to get too fancy with it. I made a pistachio mint pesto and was ready to top it all off with arugula and prosciutto, but my trusty coworkers reined it all back in. They reminded me that most of the time, simple is better. And they were right, especially when it comes to this sandwich.
We kept the champagne flavor as the star of the show with a champagne sauce. This is made similar to lemon curd, just sans the lemon and add the champagne. It turned out so good, we even recommend serving some on the side for a dipping sauce with this sandwich.
As for the bread, we turned to our trusty, buttery, flaky friend the brioche. Toast the brioche before making this sandwich to help maintain the fluffy structure. We found that if you don’t toast the bread, your sandwich can get a little flat, especially if you’re using a griddle to cook on like we did.
Layer the toasted brioche with champagne sauce, thin-sliced strawberries and triple crème brie. We chose the triple crème because it has a firmer texture and is easier to work with on a sandwich.
After you’ve layered on your ingredients between two pieces of bread, place the sandwich on the griddle and let it get hot and melty. We turned our griddle up to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let it cook for a good 8-10 minutes to achieve a nice crunch on our bread and gooey cheese.