January 25, 2022
I had the pleasure of meeting Dorie Greenspan last summer at a book signing. One would think after all the books, interviews, videos, and television appearances, the Queen Bee of Baking would pretty much be over it, but no...she couldn't have been more enthusiastic about her craft. The gracious, easy mannered person we've come to know and love really is THAT person.
I was glad to not only meet one of my icons, but to thank her for all her work, and blurt out something like "your Gougère recipe is my favorite...I add Espelette and it really sends it". She probably thought I was some kind of nut.
Gourères are so French: said to have been invented in the eighteenth century in Burgundy, they are made with pâte à choux, a miracle of pastry that was itself invented in France in the mid 1500s. What's not to love?
If you happen to have a little French Piment Espelette in the spice drawer, add it for an authentic smoky note that pairs beautifully with the Gruyere. Likewise, Gros Sel de Guérande, a flavorful crunchy salt harvested in Brittany, is a nice substitution. (We sell it in the Pantry section of this website)
Be sure to take Dorie's warning to heart, these unassuming little cheese puffs are incredibly addictive. Serve with a chilled Rosé or Champagne.
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bring the milk, water, butter, salt, and optional Espelette to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add all the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. The choux will come together quickly and after a few moments, start to form a thin layer on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue stirring over medium heat to dry the choux...another minute and a half.
Drop the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Give it a few moments to cool, then add the eggs one by one, beating between each addition until fully incorporated. The choux will become velvety and quite yellow. Add the Gruyère and blend.
Using a spoon or a pastry bag with no tip, portion out 1 tablespoon drops of choux onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each drop. Lightly sprinkle the warm choux drops with crunchy salt.
Bake on center rack in preheated oven for 12 minutes, then rotate the sheet and bake for another 12-15 min, or until puffed and golden brown.
Note: be sure to portion out all the choux while it's still warm. If you're not going to bake off the entire batch, freeze the unused portions on the baking sheet, then peel them off and store frozen in an airtight container. They'll keep for two months.
February 02, 2022
January 25, 2022