Saturday, January 7, 2012

Gougeres: Easy, Cheesy, Classy

I got a pastry bag for Christmas, and over the holidays my mom taught me to make choux pastry - also known as puff pastry. It can be filled to make cream puffs, sliced and stuffed with ice cream for profiteroles, or baked with cheese for a savory treat - called gougeres. To make the pastry base, all it takes is butter, flour, eggs, and a little water, salt and sugar (for sweet ones). You can put the dough in a pastry bag and squeeze it out for a nice shape, or you can just drop it by the rounded spoonful on a buttered baking sheet.

For a gathering this past week, I made gougeres using the recipe for choux pastry in James Beard's "Theory and Practice of Good Cooking", and added gruyere cheese and fresh chopped chives. A half recipe made about a baking sheet's worth of golf-ball size puffs, which was perfect for the small gathering I was headed to. I think next time I'll try a cheese with a little bit stronger flavor, like parmesan - but they were delicious nonetheless!

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