I went on a baking spree this week and Dorie Greenspan’s Gougères were at the top of my list. I don’t get to bake much these days, as my partner has celiac disease and isn’t fond of baked goods. So, no gluten-y or gluten-free baking for me at home. This week, I went over to my parents’ place and baked to my heart’s content. The first thing I tackled was also the first recipe for French Fridays With Dorie.
I used Asiago cheese for my gougères, as I’d picked some up for another recipe, but otherwise I followed the recipe as published in Around My French Table. My parents have a hobby farm, so I have the pleasure of using farm-fresh, organic, free-range eggs for free. The only challenge is finding eggs small enough to qualify as large. I also had the luxury of using my mother’s Kitchen Aid stand mixer, so the whole process was very easy.
I’d always been intimidated by the idea of choux pastry, thinking it would be easy to go wrong with it, but in this recipe everything was surprisingly quick and according to plan. By the time I added the grated Asiago, the dough was the consistency of a rich, extra-thick batter and glowed an eggy, buttery yellow.
I spooned out and froze most of the batch, which is being saved for my brother’s 40th birthday party. I saved enough to bake three, though. (No baking without tasting is a good motto, I think.) My mother’s oven runs a little hot, so they were just slightly browner than I’d wanted them to be, but they weren’t overdone.
I loved the texture and taste of these puffs. The exterior has the texture of a cream puff, but the interior is slightly moist and cheesy. The deep sharpness of the Asiago worked nicely. We ate the first two just as they were (sans Champagne, unfortunately) and my mother spooned some strawberry jam into the last one. I don’t know if that’s done or not, but it was delicious. When I make them next (and I will be making these often, provided I can get some gluten-friendly kitchen time), I think I’ll try Guinness cheddar.
You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Gougères