Have you made Gougere lately (or at all)? I think they're the perfect little appetizer for a party, a family movie night, a tea, a bridal/baby/divorce shower, a light snack or as a little palate-pal to go with a glass of wine.
Once you get the basics down, there is no end to how these puffy little morsels can be tweaked to meet your culinary needs. You can make them large, sweet and fill 'em up with ice cream or pastry cream then drizzle them with chocolate (Profiteroles) or you can add seasonings, or cheese (Gougere) and serve them crispy and melt-in-your-mouth light for a savory appetizer.
For a recent Wine Tasting, I added a collection of Lindsay California Black and Green Olives (chopped) and finely grated Smoked Gouda cheese to the Gougere batter. I topped them with an egg glaze and cooked them into golden balls of tangy/salty/cheesy addictive poppers. One of the best things about these nibbles is how well they freeze for later. You can make these 2 weeks early, freeze them well, then bring out as many as you need and reheat them into crispy bites. That makes them the absolute perfect "have on hand" appetizers for me.
KNOW THE BASICS:
Choux paste is the batter that is used for Gougere, Profiteroles, Eclairs, Cream Puffs, etc. etc. It will always have you melting butter into salted water, then adding flour. You'll need to cook the flour taste out, by stirring it for a few minutes as it balls up and gathers into a glossy batter. Then, you'll be beating eggs into the batter (one at a time, very important) until everything is thoroughly incorporated. And, that's the process almost every time. The differences in this batter will be when and how much sugar to add, what kind of seasonings and savories to incorporate and the shape you use for what you want to serve (balls, long eclairs, mounds or strips.) A successful Profiterole, Gougere or Cream Puff will be crispy on the outside, hollow and mostly dry on the inside. If your additions hold moisture (like these olives or certain cheeses) there may be a little moisture or chew as a result of that, but it should be slight.RECIPE: Olive & Smoked Gouda Gougere
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup flour
4 eggs (plus 1 for a glaze at the end)
2 oz. Chopped Olives (about 1/3 cup Lindsay Olives chopped)
4 oz. Finely grated Smoked Gouda (about 3/4 cup)
1) In a saucepan on Med., heat and stir the butter, water and salt until the butter melts.
2) Add the flour all at once and stir briskly for about 3 minutes (the batter will gather in a ball and leave the sides of the pan.)
3) Remove the batter and place in a mixing bowl, allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then, beat (using the paddle attachment) to further cool the batter for a couple minutes.
[You can also do all the mixing by hand, just make sure to beat the eggs in well.]
4) Continue beating while adding the eggs one at a time, beating between each egg to incorporate.
5) Beat in the olives and the cheese just until blended.
6) Spoon the batter into a large pastry bag with a large hole tip and squeeze even sized dollops onto a parchment lined baking sheet (you can also spoon the batter onto the baking sheet by using a teaspoonful for each one). 7) For even cooking, use your fingertip or back of a spoon dipped in water and pat down any sharp tips that stand up. Then brush each dollop with a beaten egg glaze.
8) Bake in a 400F pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes. For extra care and crispy outside: turn the oven off at the end, open the door and leave the pan in the oven for 10 more minutes.
**TO FREEZE** Allow to cool on the baking pan, then place in freezer until individually frozen. Remove from pan and fill a zip-lock bag, label and return to freezer. To re-heat: cook at 325F for about 8 minutes. Good nibbling...and sipping...and loving :D Thanks for stopping by.