Ok, the making of Choux pastry sounds like an effort but really it isn’t. Once you have it worked out, then you can use it for making profiteroles, cream puffs and even eclairs (if squidgy chocolate and cream cakes do it for you). For me, the best thing are these small, cheese puffs of gougeres; delivered up with cocktails, or a replacement for nuts before dinner they are a light delight. Sheer indulgence but wonderful.
- 1 cup (6fl) milk
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- few grinds of fresh black pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup ( plain (all purpose) flour
- 4 extra large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese, plus a little extra for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg beaten with teaspoon of water mixed in.
- Preheat the oven to 425dgs, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Over a medium gas, heat the milk in a saucepan with the butter, salt, pepper and the pinch of nutmeg until the milk comes just below boiling point.
- Add all the flour in one go and mix it in with wooden spoon bringing it all together and cook while stirring for two minutes. remove from the heat. Immediately add the eggs, cheese and keep beating with the spoon until they are all combined and you have made a smooth but thick dough.
- Spoon it all into a pastry bag with a large round tip. Pipe into small mounds onto the baking sheet. If you have a pointy swirl on the top you can press down with a damp finger tip.
- Wash lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with some of the remaining cheese, then into the oven for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden.
- Serve immediately, but you can freeze them after they have cooled just reheat at 425 for about five minutes (from frozen).
While They Are Baking
There really is little to say about these. Make as many as you dare eat, but trust me there will be more eaten then you even think possible. The best thing to do is find the best cocktail to drink with them. More on that subject another time, when cocktails appear on the menu.