Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gruyère Cheese Gougères

I know, I know... two recipes (well THREE) in one week. Will wonders never cease? I had planned to make the Gougères on Tuesday evening and serve them with a really great chili recipe I've made before, but this afternoon, it started doing this outside:





And when it snows, I get the urge to bake, specifically things that involve cheese. So naturally, I decided to knock out the Gruyère Cheese Gougères ahead of schedule, and boy am I glad I did because now my house smells all warm and comfy. Here are the ingredients:



The first thing I did was mix the water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil:



Then, I added the flour and stirred it for a minute or two until it formed one ball of dough. Then, I transfered that ball o' dough to my pretty, shiny KA mixing bowl:



Then, with the paddle attachment, I whacked it around for about 30 seconds to cool it. After that, I added the eggs and the Gruyère and mixed it for another minute or two, which makes the batter/dough silky and smelling awfully nice:



If the Internet ever invents Smell-o-vision, then this truly would be food porn, no doubt about it. Wow. I put the batter into a pastry bag and piped out little blobs of it onto two baking sheets lined with Silpat. Right before they went into the oven, I added a little sprinkling of Gruyère on top of each one:



They baked at 450 for about 7-8 minutes, then on 350 for another 22-25 minutes. At the five-minutes-to-go mark, I called the neighbors over to help me eat them, since they taste the best when they're hot out of the oven. Rave reviews all around! Not only did they taste amazing, they looked pretty, too:





You bite into them and they're hollow, releasing a cheesy steam right up into your nostrils that makes the whole noshing experience so much more worthwhile. I sent a few home with the neighbors for the rest of the family to enjoy. We also did another sampling of the truffles and jellies because, well, because they were there and they need to be enjoyed. I'm glad I finally got the jellies done right because eating the two together is a real treat.

But back to the Gougères for a second... these are EASY and really light yet hearty, if you can imagine those two descriptors going together. I'd make these again in a heartbeat. They'd be great for our regular Friday afternoon cocktails, or even as an accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner. They'd kick the butt of regular rolls, for damn sure. They'd also be really great if you were just going to make a nice salad for dinner.

Up Next: Blini with Roasted Sweet Peppers and Eggplant Caviar... and since I'll be making a ton of blini, I'll also probably do the Blini with Bottarga di Muggine and Confit of Tomato on the same night. Who wants to come over for dinner this week?

Brands Used:
Ingredients from Whole Foods
All-Clad CopperCore Cookware
KitchenAid stand mixer

Music to Cook By: INXS, Kick


10 comments:

Papa Squirrel said...

Mama Squirrel made the gougères to go with a corn veloute for our family Christmas dinner. They were excellent.

We love your blog. I can't wait to see how the rest of the recipes go. Especially since we spend most of our time with the book just oohing and aahing.

Matt said...

FLC has got to be one of the most difficult star chef cookbooks out there - perhaps only just below the El Bulli book in sheer over-the-topedness. Regardless of its complexity the recipes are very grounded from a flavor standpoint. For your efforts there is no doubt you will eat very well. And who wants to come to dinner this week? Me!

spooneroonie said...

I'm not lucky enough to have 763 KAs in every color of the rainbow, so can I use a regular hand mixer for something like this? And is Gruyere an expensive cheese?

Oh, and how is Saturday night about 7? I'll bring you a cheesy lemony cloche as a hostess gift.

Kitt said...

Just found your blog. Great plan you have! I like your thorough documentation. It's very inspiring. The gougères look perfect. I'll be checking back for sure.

grapedog said...

If you use an egg wash and a pastry brush, you can smooth the tops of the gougeres to make them more round and to get rid of the "tail". I usually make the dough by hand, adding the eggs one by one with a wooden spoon.

I have the FLC in front of me and I am a very insane home cook. I just found this site and I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes that you are reporting in your posts!

Diner Girl said...

Spoonie, yes, you can use a hand-mixer and no, gruyere isn't expensive. Can't wait to get that lllllemon-cloche as a hostess gift. You are the smartest thing on the block!

PapaSquirrel, Matt, Kitt, and GrapeDog -- welcome! And, Grapedog, good advice on using eggwash to get rid of the little points on the gougeres. I didn't necessarily care how they looked because it was cold outside and I wanted to get them in the oven quickly so we could devour them. :)

Kitt said...

Happy blogiversary! This was the first post of yours I ever saw, and I actually stopped by today to look it up because I'm finally getting around to making these and wanted to check your notes. And there it was in today's post!

bspachman@gmail.com said...

You know, I made these over the holidays and found them incredibly salty. I followed the recipe in TFLC exactly and couldn't help but wonder if there was a 'write-o' in the text. My copy calls for 1 Tablespoon of salt, but WOW did that seem like too much to my buds. I think the next time I make them I'll be using 1 teaspoon...

Anyone else feel this way?

IB said...

bspachman, how anyone did not find these TOO salty is beyond me. They came out beautiful but mine went directly into the garbage after 1 bite. My wife the salt lover couldn't take them either. Most bread should be 1.5-2.5% salt and these had to be well over 4-5% without even including the cheese. WOW! I tend to undersalt but when i do these again (if ever, i prefer a good popover) I will go with 1 tsp also, or 1/4 tsp, no cheese, and cut them in half, add some ice cream and chocolate sauce. As is WARNING to anyone trying these. TOO MUCH SALT

IB said...

So since I have apparently too much free time I contacted Ruhlman and Keller this morning and Ruhlmans first question led me on a google search on salt. This will explain it I used Mortons Keller likes Diamond Crystal.

"Cooks Illustrated did an analysis (don't they always?), and found Diamond Crystal is about 1/2 as dense as regular table salt, so you should double it up if the measurement is for regular salt.

Interestingly, Mortons Kosher salt was less dense than table salt, but more dense than Diamond Crystal, so they say to use 50% more:

Although Morton's and Diamond Crystal are both kosher (or coarse-grained) salts, Morton's has a finer grain and packs more per cup than Diamond Crystal--hence the different formulas.

If you have Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, you can simply follow the instructions in our recipes to date, which call for twice as much kosher salt as table salt to get the same strength brine. If you have Morton Kosher Salt, you should split the difference. In other words, if our recipe calls for 1 cup kosher or 1/2 cup table salt, use 3/4 cup Morton Kosher Salt. Beginning with the May/ June 2003 issue, all recipes calling for kosher salt will provide amounts for both Diamond Crystal and Morton."