With October all but over, we are now well on our way to the festive season. Melbourne Cup is next week, the Christmas decorations are up in all the shops, and we’ve already started doing artwork for New Years Eve at work. I’ve got no idea where the year went, but I can’t really complain, because this means cocktail parties, and lots of them! Canapés served at functions can be very hit and miss sometimes, and it’s often hard to balance a tricky morsel on a napkin when you have a glass of wine (or a camera!) in your other hand.
These gougéres are this month’s recipe from the Tartine cookbook, a perfect bite-size puff of savoury choux pastry, flavoured with Gruyére cheese, thyme and black pepper, although you could use any herbs or spices you like. I’d never made or eaten a savoury choux before – usually I stick to the sweet varieties – but this really worked. They are the perfect finger-food, and so moreish, in fact I would say completely addictive. The whole batch disappeared more quickly than I’d like to admit.
I paired them with a fantastic Honey and Thyme Daiquiri, adapted from this one on the Gourmet Traveller website, and finally christened the cocktail shaker I bought over six months ago! I cut back on the rum, upped the amount of honey and thyme water, and also added some vanilla sugar to the shaker, because I like a sweeter cocktail. The thyme flavour made it a perfect match for the gougéres.
I am also very excited to be a Featured Blogger on I Eat I Drink I Work for the next 12 weeks! It’s a great resource for food and hospitality news, and I’m thrilled to be involved. And don’t forget to check out Mark’s gougéres on No Special Effects.
Recipe from The Tartine Bakery Cookbook
Makes about 30
• 1 ¼ cups non-fat milk
• 140g unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup all purpose flour
• 5 large eggs
• ¾ cup Gruyére cheese, grated
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
• Pinch salt
• Grated Gruyere, for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
2. To make the choux pastry, combine the milk, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan and place over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture comes to a full boil. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the mixture has formed a smooth mass and pulls away from the sides of the pan. This should take about 3 minutes.
3. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time and mix on medium speed, incorporating each egg before adding the next. The mixture should be thick, smooth and shiny.
4. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, add the cheese, pepper and thyme and mix in with a rubber spatula. Use a teaspoon or small ice cream scoop to drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 4-5cm apart. Lightly sprinkle the top of each pastry with grated cheese and a small pinch of salt.
5. Place in the oven immediately and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they have puffed and are nicely browned. Serve hot or warm, or at room temperature. Or they can be cooled completely and re-crisped in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.