So I’m working through my food magazines – trying out and keeping recipes that I (we) like or otherwise chucking them (aka leaving them in the tea room for others to read). And because of this, I decided to try choux pastry. I’ve not ever attempted choux pastry before, but seemed ideal to try out for B*ke Cl*B*. But what does one make from choux pastry? Well eclairs and profiteroles both come to mind, but I really wanted something savory as well as sweet. Enter the Gougere. Gougeres are (essentially) choux pastry with cheese stirred in. And, while my eclairs suffered from my piping, but the gougere’s (dolloped using a spoon) were excellent.
150 g plain flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
100g unsalted butter
250 mL cold water
4 eggs (I actually used 5 smallish eggs)
Sieve the flour, sugar and salt onto greaseproof paper. Put the butter and water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then quickly slide the flour off the paper and into the pan. Stir well. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture off the heat until it forms a ball and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan. This should take just a few minutes. Beat the eggs together in a bowl. Still off the heat, beat the eggs into the mixture, a little at the time until smooth. At first it will feel like the egg doesn’t want to amalgamate, but keep beating and it will eventually, Keep beating until you have a paste that is thick and shiny (I added my 5th egg to make sure it looked like a shiny paste). The mixture should drop off the spoon when lightly tapped on the side of the pan.. Pip or spoon the mixture onto a greased baking tray and bake at 200 deg C until golden brown. Ecaires and small profiteroles take 20-25 minutes,. Large buns take 30-35 mins. Remove from the oven and make a small hole in the underside of each bun to release any steam, Set a side to cool on a wire rack.
I took about 1/2 the dough to pipe as eclairs (see right for my piping attempts) then I added 20-40 g swiss cheese (gruyere is the authentic cheese to use) and a pinch of powder to the rest of the pastry before spoonign out as buns. Choux pastry requires a bit more arm work than (though at least different arm work – stirring rather than kneading), but it is easy and produces very impressive results. I am saving this recipe!
*I cannot talk about B*ke Cl*B.
EDIT 20/10/100: My most recent version this morning included ~75g of sharp vintage cheddar and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper sifted in with the flour. NOM!