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Gougeres

Pate a choux derives from the old French meaning "to cherish" or cabbage paste because of its shape, this pastry has been in use since the sixteenth century. It is a cooked mixture of water, butter and flour which rises due to steam expansion. The paste crusts on the outside, trapping steam inside, creating a puffed shape with a hollow interior. The crisp shells are filled with a variety of creams and finished with a glaze.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

1/2 recipe Pate a Choux, recipe follows

1/2 cup grated Gruyere

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 egg, beaten

Pate a Choux:

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons sugar

6 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, sifted

4 eggs, beaten

Directions

Special equipment:
pastry bag fitted with a #10 star tip, baking sheet, parchment paper, pastry brush
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add the grated cheese and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper to the half-recipe of pate a choux. With a rubber spatula, scoop the pate a choux into the pastry bag and pipe out approximately 25 (1-inch) rounds, spaced 1 to 2 inches apart on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush lightly with the beaten egg and place in the oven. Cook until golden and puffed, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool briefly on a baking rack. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Pate a Choux:

  1. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water, salt, sugar, and butter to a boil, making sure the butter is completely melted. Off the heat, add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return to the heat and continue beating until the dough forms a solid, smooth mass and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan. Take off the heat and empty the dough into a clean mixing bowl. Little by little add the beaten eggs, beating vigorously in between each addition, until the dough forms a smooth, supple mass. Divide the dough into 2 even quantities, 1 part to be used for the gougeres, the other for profiteroles.
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