2.02.2011

Gougères

Have you had gougères?  I bet you think they're hard to make, what with all the puffy, cheesy, yumminess...

you are so wrong.

(if you havent had them, puffy, cheesy, yumminess pretty much sums it up...  and now you know you want them...)

Jordan and I were both, separately, first introduced to gougères at Artisanal...  (i'm pretty sure our marriage is based on a joint love of that place...)  But Jordan was the one who decided that he wanted to make them at home...  and i was all, 'knock yourself out, dude, but leave me out of it!'.

and so, one day, i came home to gougères.

That was a good day.

They were supposed to make more appearances but we never seemed to get it together at the right time, etc, so it wasnt until we went to Miette Culinary Studio and took the gnocchi class (a birthday present from him to me that we put off until after the wedding diets were over...) that they reappeared.  and i got to see, first-hand, just how not-hard they really were...

Fast forward another month when, for Christmas, i recieved the book that the entire food-blogging world had been talking about for 3 months - Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  Despite it being far from vegetarian-friendly and our over-abundance of cook books, it was one of the only things i actually asked for this christmas...  between the gorgeous pictures i'd seen while flipping through it, the glowing reviews of all things Dorie and especially this book, and our 2 week culinary adventure in Paris, i REALLY couldnt wait to get my hands on this book...

So imagine our amusement when the very first recipe in the book was for the one french thing we actually knew how to make!  Gougères!  ha!  we were thrilled to see that Dorie's recipe mirrored all the recipes we'd used prior (it made us feel smart & capable!!!) and it was just the motivation we needed to make them again.

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Dorie gives great instructions at the end for how to pre-make gougères and freeze them for later consumption...  We havent gotten that far yet (though i've included the instructions for you below) but it really is pretty much the greatest thing ever to consider that you could make a big batch of these, store them in the freezer and then pop a few in any time you wanted the puffy, cheesy, yumminess that is gougères...


Gougères
courtesy of Dorie Greenspan - Around my French Table with teeny modification based on instructions at Miette Culinary Stuido

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère, divided

***

Preheat the oven to 425°.  Make sure rack is in the center.

Line a baking sheets with parchment

Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a boil in a heavy-bottomed  saucepan over high heat.

Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low, and immediately start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon or heavy whisk. The dough will come together and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring—with vigor—for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should now be very smooth.

Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or into a bowl that you can use for mixing with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon and elbow grease. (we went with a hand mixer & wooden spoon combo at home but had done them with the mixer at Miette)

Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one and beat until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before you add the next, and don't be concerned if the dough separates—by the time the last egg goes in, the dough will come together again.

Beat in 1 1/4 c of the grated gruyère.

Place the dough in a pastry bag (or, if you dont have one, in a gallon-sized ziplock with the bottom corner cut off just a bit).  Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougère, leaving about 2 inches of space between the mounds.  Sprinkle each mound with a couple shreds of gruyère.

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375°.

Bake for 12 minutes, rotate the pan front-to-back to ensure even cooking.

Continue baking until the gougères are golden, firm, and puffed - another 12 to 15 minutes or so.

Serve warm, or transfer the pans to racks to cool.  (note:  yeah right - has anyone actually had them last long enough to cool???)


Storing (straight from Dorie)
The best way to store gougères is to shape the dough, freeze the mounds on a baking sheet, and then, when they're solid, lift them off the sheet and pack them airtight in plastic bags. Bake them straight from the freezer—no need to defrost—just give them a minute or two more in the oven. Leftover puffs can be kept at room temperature over night and reheated in a 350-degree-F oven, or they can be frozen and reheated before serving.

4 comments:

roopa said...

Can you bring gougeres to bowling next week. Pretty please.

Also, are those photos with the new camera?

kristen said...

I dont think they'd survive the trip! so how about if any of us win the Artisanal cheese pool, we'll have them there?

and no, those were taken with my regular old camera... we experimented with the new camera and food pictures last night but we dont have a good macro lens, so who knows how that will work in the end...

nova said...

I read this last night and tonight we went to a restaurant that had gougeres on the menu, and I had to order them! Thanks for educating me!

kristen said...

nova - ha! thats awesome! were they good???

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