So if you’ve been following along, and if you are OMG you must be the most patient person EVER! I have been hornswaggled and hoodwinked by this semester and I haven’t had the time or energy to blog or whatnot. However, I’m turning over a new leaf.
What’s that you say, I’ve said that before and then proceeded to drop off the planet yet again? Well, fear not my enmeshed friend I swear it’s different this time. This time I’m trying out the new French Friday’s with Dorie. This is an online cooking group that “cooks the book”, this time with Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table. I purchased the tomb, and it looks fabulous! I can’t be more excited and in fact today is my first entry in this new venture. I also promise to share the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m sure the recipes will all be awesome because that’s the kind of cookbook author she is, but my cooking mostly is good, but I can have spectacular epic fails as well. C’est la vie, on with the show-Gougeres!
Gougeres are basically a cream puff with cheese. What is a cream puff, you might ask, well it’s mainly just flour, egg, water and butter. What makes them “puff” isn’t magic, it’s in the technique you use to assemble them. You start by putting your butter and flour into a pan and bringing it to a boil. When it’s boiling, you dump in all your flour and mix like mad.
Pretty quickly your dough begins to form a ball and you will see a film gathering on the bottom of your pan. That is fine, in fact it’s what you want. This drys out the dough and um, begins the puffily magic (I don’t know what it does, but I do what I’m told). While you can do the next step by hand and possibly get carpel tunnel, I then dump the dough into my mixer and beat in the eggs. When all your eggs are beat in, then with Gougeres, you add cheese. In mine I added a nice English Cheddar. I’m usually a total Wisconsin cheese junkie, but didn’t have any Hook’s 12 year on hand.
Dorie says she just spoons out the dough onto the cookie sheet, and I followed suit, being a dutiful recipe follower this time. Okay, this isn’t especially pretty looking, but it did the trick. The chunks you see are the cheddar which didn’t melt and I thought that added a nice cheezily bits to the puffs. I then baked them starting at a higher heat and then lowering it, and got these…
Wow, they puffed and everything, they melted in your mouth and went down really nice with a sparkling rose that was just a little tart. Interestingly I made two sizes smaller, like the recipe calls for and larger more heaped up ones, like one of my favorite restaurant in Madison, L’Etoile used to make. The large puffed better and I wonder if it wasn’t because they were heaped up higher. I will have to do more research to determine the cause. Mmmm, delicious research.
Now I love the cheese and the crispy cheesey crust is awesome, but for me like with a popover it’s all about the fleshy innards. When gougeres puff they leave a hollow, but moist center and I love that webby middle. Some people cut a little hole in the tops of their puffs to dry them out, maybe more for cream puffs, so they don’t get soggy, but resist this, don’t mar the middle. Trust me.
Well, thanks for stopping by and if you’re new to my crazy little world, take a step back and get caught up. I’m going to try and catch as many of these along the way as I can, and I also am going to try and include some other things along the way too. I have food journals from New Orleans and beyond to add (I know, promises promises). With this cooking club we don’t include the recipes because seriously you should buy the book. You won’t regret it.
To see others go to the FFWD site