03 Apr Gougères
3 April 2020
PREP. TIME: 10 MIN - COOK TIME: 25 MIN - SERVES: 4
It may sound a little fancy and out of reach but I wonder if the world has forgotten about what we always knew as Cheese Puffs - or rather, Gougères - when in France or polite society.
These delicious canapés can be enjoyed with a glass of Champagne or a bottle of wine.
They are the perfect start to any party and they certainly have a wonderful ability to smarten up any pre-dinner drinks.
Put some glamour back into your life in these unpredictable times. Make each day a little special. Don’t dismiss the dependability of a relaxed and aperitif snack becoming a treasured feature of your day.
Gougères can be made in advance and popped into the oven while you assemble a meal. They are perfect for bribing a child with - suggest that they have one - in another room, while you resurrect your day and have a drink in peace.
Only minimal basic ingredients are needed, a heavy saucepan, 10 minutes of your time and 25 in the oven. Gruyère cheese is classically used - and it is readily available in stores like Leaf or MeatSmith or even for that matter - probably in Woollies or Coles. Keep some on hand. Less ideally the Gruyère could be substituted for Parmesan or at a stretch - Cheddar cheese.
This recipe comes from Alice Waters - The Art of Simple Food. She recommends Gougères be eaten hot from the oven - I agree; possibly stuffed with an anchovy - I say, Why not? and that you will find perfection when consumed with chilled rose wine - this is true....
Give it a go - you will thank me for suggesting!
1/2 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons Cold Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Plain Flour
3/4 Cup Gruyère Cheese
Measuring cup; Chopping Board and Butter Knife; Cheese Grater; Heavy bottomed saucepan; Wooden or Silicone spoon for stirring; Mixing Bowl; 2 x Baking Sheets; Baking Paper or Silicone Sheet; 2 Teaspoons; Wire cooling rack
Preheat the oven to 205C.
Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper or silicon
Prepare the ingredients:
Chop the butter into small pieces
Grate the cheese
Measure the flour
Break the eggs into 2 glasses
Place the water, the butter and the salt in the saucepan over moderate heat and heat without boiling.
When the butter has melted, add the flour all at once and stir it into the mixture
Keep stirring vigorously until the mixture coheres and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Continue stirring for another minute over the heat.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly (stirring will speed up the cooling process).
Add the first egg to the mixture - pour it in from the glass and beat it thoroughly before adding the next egg.
Stir in the grated cheese.
Using 2 teaspoons - spoon the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in spoonfuls - the size of a walnut and arrange them 4cm apart. (Alternatively use a piping bag and pipe out 1.5cm puffs with a plain tip).
Bake undisturbed in the oven for 10 minutes at 205C.
Lower the temperature to 190C and bake for 15 minutes more.
The puffs should be golden brown and crisp on the outside.
Remove them from the oven and place the tray on a wire cooling rack.
With a sharp pointed knife, pierce each warm puff with a small slit to let out the steam, which helps them stay crisp.
Serve right away while warm.
NB: The puffs can be made in advance and re-crisped by reheating them in an oven at 190C for 3 minutes.
In place of or in combination with the cheese, use 2 or 3 salt packed anchovies, soaked, filleted, dried and chopped.
Recipe by Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food.
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