HHDD #20 : I choux choux choux you!

There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills…
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust…
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home…
— To build a home, The Cinematic Orchestra.

Whoosh. The sound of choux pastry in the oven, rising from zero to hero.

Hsoohw. The sound of the shrinking number of posts on this blog. Is that a collective sigh of relief I can hear? No more peppering you each day with the silly little things I have been madly churning out from my little kitchen at home. No, I haven’t actually grown tired and bored of baking. On the contrary, I’m going to miss it. But unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end, or in this case, slow down considerably.

I can’t believe how much time has passed since I resigned and then eventually left my last job. At first, it was hard to submit myself to being on Holiday Mode. I quite liked keeping busy in that way, but eventually I got the hang of my hiatus from working life, and started pulling various baking books off the shelves and bookmarking things I’d always wanted to try. Of all the many things I’ve been making and tasting, one of the greatest and most memorable discoveries have actually been, believe it or not, these simple but incredibly moreish cookies by Claudia Fleming.

But like I said earlier, such things which I’m going to have less time for, do eventually have to come to an end. Next week, I start a new job at this restaurant, and I’m incredibly excited because it’s one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney. Realistically, it’s going to be a return to the long hours, double shifts and everything else that restaurant work entails, but I’m also looking forward to it being as big and as useful a learning experience as it was working with the amazing, wonderful and ultimately rather crazy Andy.

(Sorry Mir, it looks like I won’t be able to meet you in London afterall! :/ )

In the meantime, I still have a few more things that I made recently, that I’d like to share with you. Don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever met a gougere I didn’t like. These cheesy “puffs of air” as David Everitt-Matthias dubs them, are no different, and I’m contributing these gougeres to HHDD #20, hosted by Suzana of Home Gourmets.

Gougeres :
(makes 30-40; from Essence, by David Everitt-Matthias)

100ml milk
50g unsalted butter, diced
100ml water
125g plain flour
3 eggs
85g Gruyere cheese, finely grated
85g aged Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Put the milk, butter and water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Pull the pan to the side of the stove and tip in the flour, beating all the time with a wooden spoon. Place back on the stove over a medium heat and beat vigorously until the mixture is shiny and leaves the side of the pan. Continue to beat over a low heat for 1-2 minutes to dry out the mixture a little.

Transfer the mixture to a freestanding mixer, and using the K paddle, beat for 2 minutes to cool it down slightly.

Meanwhile, crack the eggs and whisk lightly to break them up. Add them to the dough a little at a time, fully incorporating them before the next lot is added. The mixture should be smooth, shiny and fairly firm; you might not need quite all the egg. Stir in the cheese and add some salt and pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a 1.5cm nozzle and pipe it in mounds of 3x3cm on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, allowing a 4cm gap between each one. Place in an oven preheated to 180’C and bake for 15-20 minutes, until well risen and a rich golden brown. Allow to cool slightly, then serve.

29 Comments »

  1. r said,

    June 1, 2008 @ 9:07 pm

    Congratulations! That’s mighty impressive! (with regards to the Pier job…although the same can be said about these choux balls)

  2. Lorraine E said,

    June 1, 2008 @ 9:36 pm

    Congrats on the new job! I haven’t been to Pier for ages. Hehe and that scene from the Simpsons is just adorable with Ralph Wiggum. I honestly wish they made Valentine’s Day card saying that lol I don’t think I’ve tried savoury choux but they sound great and like I am missing out on something!

  3. Mir said,

    June 1, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

    Congrats on the new job! Even if I don’t get to see you across the ocean, maybe when I’m in town I can finally go and eat in a restaurant you are working in for once! Can’t believe how quickly time has passed, it’s nearly a month since I saw you on that eventful first-jobless day.

    Your blogging is making me oddly home sick to have a kitchen, doesn’t matter where as long as its a kitchen.

  4. chocolatesuze said,

    June 1, 2008 @ 11:46 pm

    congrats on the new job dude! and ooh those gougeres look awesome lol and ralph is my favourite of all simpsons characters…

  5. Suzana said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 2:45 am

    Lovely. I *just* happen to be crazy about those beauties. I’m with you in the gougΓ©re love – it can’t go wrong. Thanks for entering Hay Hay it’s Donna Day.

    Congratulations on the new job, and all the best. πŸ™‚

  6. Nora said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 8:03 am

    Y, Congrats on your new job!!! The restaurant is fab – 3 hats no less!

    I love working with choux pastry. Will have to think of something for this round of HHDD.

    take care & stay dry (wet wetaher all week),
    Nora

  7. Aran said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 8:48 am

    oh gougeres… i had to make a ton every night at my last job but so worth it. half of them ended up in my mouth!

  8. Y said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 8:58 am

    Thanks r!

    Lorraine : I’ve always wondered the same, because I would definitely buy that kind of V Day card.

    Mir: A whole month of solid baking, that was! Could have gone on for a year too, if baking ingredients and equipment weren’t so expensive ;P

    ChocolateSuze, mine is Homer.. Hmm.. I wonder what that says about me?!

    Thanks Suzana, and I’m looking forward to checking out all the other choux entries in the roundup.

    Nora: Thanks! I love working with choux too – the most rewarding thing is getting to watch them rise in the oven. And then eating them, of course!

    Aran: Hahaha.. Maybe I should amend the “puffs of air” description to include the words “lethal and addictive”. I know what you mean though. I think I ate most of this batch of gougeres!

  9. Eva said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 5:55 pm

    Congrats on your job! I’ve just checked their menu – although I can’t afford a three-course dinner, I hope to have one of your desserts there some day!

  10. Y said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

    Eva, their tasting room menu consists of smaller dishes, at a smaller price. But yes, you definitely have to come for dessert one day. The chocolate dessert the pastry chef has on at the moment, is amazing!

  11. Lorinda said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

    Congratulations on the new job, I’m most impressed!
    I hope to come and eat at your work some time when you’ve settled in. I’ve never been to Pier, so it’s as good an excuse as any.

  12. Christie @ fig&cherry said,

    June 3, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

    Those puffs look heavenly! Congrats on your new job too – I may have to pop on over there and review it! πŸ™‚

  13. Kim said,

    June 3, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

    Congrats on your new job! This is a wonderful recipe and I love making them. Thanks for reminding me about them.

  14. B said,

    June 4, 2008 @ 10:02 am

    Y, if you’d kept baking at that rate for a year, I’d have ended up looking like one of those gougeres!

  15. Cakelaw said,

    June 5, 2008 @ 10:56 am

    These look delicious! Good luck with the new job, and enjoy your last few days of freedom.

  16. sophie said,

    June 5, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

    This sounds like a fun finger food, I especially like the ‘cheesy puffs of air’ part ;). Good luck at the new job!

  17. Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said,

    June 5, 2008 @ 10:02 pm

    Hey – congrats on the new job! I’ve never had savoury choux puffs before, sounds good though! Do you eat them on their own or with anything on the side?

  18. RG said,

    June 6, 2008 @ 7:51 pm

    Hi Y! Mir mentioned that you used to work in BM ages ago and I just went there for a trial and met your friend Kylie. Wanted to ask you about the place. Talk offline? [email protected] when you have the time.

    Congrats on Pier!

  19. Jj said,

    June 7, 2008 @ 3:35 am

    Those sound fantastic. hope you’re enjoying your new job!

  20. cathy x. said,

    June 7, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

    hello! i was watching mad tv the other night and i saw the most hilarious sketch called ‘3 minute kitchen’. Be sure to go to the bathroom before you click so you don’t run the risk of peeing your pants πŸ˜›

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqqPtfq-FPo

  21. barbara said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

    I love this style of choux. Congrats on the new job. I’ll miss your posts.

  22. joey said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 9:05 pm

    They look fabulous…I have yet to try this but I’ll definitely make some one day…they sounds absolutely delicious! πŸ™‚

  23. Angela said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 11:24 pm

    Your gougiers look fantastic! And congratulations on your new job, too.

  24. talida said,

    June 18, 2008 @ 6:04 am

    I love your blog, and your choux look great πŸ™‚

  25. Bron said,

    June 18, 2008 @ 8:30 am

    I’ve never met a gougere or choux I didn’t like either, and these look positively splendid examples!

  26. Holly said,

    June 18, 2008 @ 11:31 am

    These look so incredibly perfect! Great job!

  27. Clumbsy Cookie said,

    June 19, 2008 @ 5:38 am

    I hate doble shifts! Hope everything goes well in the nre job. The gougeres look so perfect, perfect little balls!

  28. Pam said,

    June 19, 2008 @ 7:44 am

    Hi Y, congratulations on your new job. I love gougeres. They’re always the first thing on a party platter that I grab. You’ve made the recipe sound so easy, I think I’ll have to give them a try. They look so inviting. Do you ever serve them with a filling?

  29. Y said,

    June 19, 2008 @ 8:26 am

    Hi Pam, I usually like them plain ‘n’ cheesy, but you can fill them with a herby creme fraiche/sour cream filling and even a bit of smoked salmon.

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