A few weeks back, I gave my first try at using choux pastry to make profiteroles, most definitely a sweet treat. This time I am using it as a vessel to serve of some cheesy goodness, seeing as how cheese is this week’s theme for the 52 week cooking challenge.
Oh, a quick aside, here is a shout out to a young person in PA who has just started checking out the blog and going through some challenges right now. There are people thinking of you and rooting for things to work out! All the best luck to ya kid.
Ok back to business.
The preparation is called the gougere and is prepared almost exactly like the choux pastry for the profiteroles, with possibly the slight change of slightly more salt. And of course the addition of cheese. I’d like to take the time to add a caveat that one not go too crazy with the salt depending on the cheese you intend to use.
If you had, say a particularly salty Parmigiano-Reggiano, rather than adding a full teaspoon extra of salt, you might just want to go for a pretty big pinch.
And if you don’t care about looks and feel very lazy, they can end up rather flat looking. But still wonderfully creamy and cheesy on the inside.
The ratio stays constant: one part flour, two parts liquid, two parts egg, and one part fat. In this case, four ounces of flour, eight ounces of water, four ounces of butter and 8 ounces of eggs (4 eggs). And that is a half cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano there.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
The water, salt, and butter and brought to a boil over high heat. That’s a bit more than a teaspoon of salt there. Knowing what I know now, I’d reduce that to a scant half teaspoon.
Once the butter water simmers, add flour and stir vigorously until it comes together, and continue to stir and cook for an additional minute or two.
It shall become interesting and pull away from the sides neatly. Allow to cool for a few minutes or add to a stand mixer’s bowl.
If using a stand mixer, use the paddle and go at a brisk pace. I used the setting 4 as far as speed is concerned.
Add eggs one at a time, waiting until they are thoroughly mixed in before adding the next.
Once the eggs are in, it is time to add the cheese.
It will then be nice and slick.
Use a silpat or parchment paper to line your baking sheet.
Then pipe or spoon out the mixture into golfballs. My laziness and choice to sloppily spoon out the pastry has exacted a price upon the neatness of my presentation. I was a bit worried…
Put into the preheated oven, bake for ten minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F, continue cooking until finished. I went for the full 20 minutes out of the 10-20 minute recommendation.
Worries acknowledged, all things considered I think they turned out rather well.
Poofy, silky on the inside and cheesy.
Perhaps a bit deflated. I shall have to try this again when I feel more willingness to deal with messy piping bags.
Well, there you have it, cheese gougeres, a rather nice appetizer for any cheese loving friends.