>> Monday, January 17, 2011
This recipe is no sophisticated reprocessing of a classic recipe, but the change of French cheese in the original recipe for such a Spanish native cheese like manchego infuses the puffs with such a rich taste that I wanted to share it. For those who do not know about gougères, they are small choux dough balls, basically very similar to sweet choux puffs like profiteroles, but tiny, savory and with cheese. They are soft and very light, because they are almost hollow. They are typical from the Burgundy region and are usually had as an appetizer to accompany the wine, including in wine tastings. The French are genius when it comes to food, oh là là. Concerning my culinary tastes, I am quite a Francophile... Everyone has a dark side. And I assure you these little puffs, like all small bites, are eaten by the dozen. You could eat tons. Well at least I could...
I have used the recipe in the Tartine book, the ever famous pastry shop in San Francisco, that I have modified only slightly. If you do not know the book, I highly recommend it. All the recipes I have tried have turned out to be a success. Making choux dough may seem a bit scary at first, when you've never even attempted it, but I assure you it really is not difficult and the result is well worth it. And with my Thermomix it is a breeze. Lately I have been preparing these puffs quite often whenever we have had guests and they are always a hit.
Gougères with manchego cheese
Yields between 90 and 100 puffs
(*) Tips: If the dough is too runny, so much so that it pours out of the pastry bag when you lift it vertically, just let it cool a bit, until the consistency is thick enough to make the mounds. Getting the "feel" of this dough just takes a little practice. On the contrary, if the dough is somewhat thick, so that is a bit hard to pipe, there is nothing really to be done, but it does not mean the gougères will not rise (well, unless the dough has the consistency of cement). They will turn out equally succulent. I advise against the use of silicon sheets on baking trays for these puffs, at least in my case I think that once they prevented my puffs from rising up right. Using parchment paper they blow up divinely like little balloons.
I serve my gougères with various types of charcuterie, I do not know if this is too French, but it is a combination you will not forget...