Friday, October 1, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Gougeres

Update:  I tried my frozen cheese puffs.  See my results HERE.

Today is the day all of us Dorie followers have been anxiously awaiting.  All over the world, we are posting our results of our first recipe from the new cookbook, Around My French Table.  I have been looking forward to this week for quite sometime.

Our first recipe (chosen by Dorie), is/are Gougeres.  I don't know the first thing about the French language, so please don't ask me to pronounce that G-word!  I grew up in Arizona, so I can speak a little Spanish, but French ... none, nada, nothing.  I've actually found myself calling them the "cheese rolls".  Much easier.

As soon as this recipe was announced as our first recipe, I knew that I wanted to use it as part of a dinner for my family of five.  I thought about a fish dinner with some lightly steamed, fresh green beans or asparagus as well as several kinds of soups.  I finally settled on our favorite potato soup and thought that I could garnish the soup with leftover cheese from my cheese rolls.  The creaminess of the soup with a nice roll appealed to me and I knew that I could make the soup earlier in the day, let it simmer all day, and make the rolls right before dinner.  This way I'd be able to focus my attention on the new recipe.

One of our French Fridays with Dorie (FFwD) rules is that we are not allowed to share the actual recipes on our blog, but I'll give ya a little hint ... Go to FFwD & there is a PDF file available for the October recipes that Dorie has chosen to keep us busy this month.  Maybe your interest level will be peaked and you'll decide to spend the $25 to buy your own copy of the cookbook so that you, too, can cook or follow along.  (October is the only month that recipes will be available on the FFwD website.)

With young children & my pocketbook in mind, I chose a sharp cheddar cheese from Trader Joe's.  In the future, I would not go with anything less sharp if I was going to use a cheddar cheese again.  The recipe calls for 1-1/2 cups or 6 oz of cheese.  I had my bowl on the scale as I measured out my cheese and after 1-1/2 cups of cheese, I was only up to 4-something oz.  Knowing that weighing is usually the better way to go, I added another scant 1/2 cup of cheese to get up to 6 oz.

My daughter had a ballet class the night that I chose to try my recipe.  So with my soup simmering away, I prepared & measured all my ingredients with the intent that as soon as we walked in the door from ballet, I could start my cheese rolls.  After making this recipe, I would highly recommend having everything measured and ready to go before you start any cooking.  Things move fast and you won't have time to stop and look for an ingredient or spend lots of time measuring.  You especially want to make sure your cheese is grated and ready to go before you begin.

I used a Wilton 1M cake decorating tip to pipe my dough onto my cookie sheets.  Possibly because of the softness of the cheese (????), my rolls had almost no resemblance of my star-shaped tip before they even got into the oven.  They still looked very beautiful and almost rustic when they came out of the oven.

Immediately after taking them out of the oven, I tried my first cheese roll.  I was shocked.  I don't think I expected such a simple little cheese roll to be SOOOO delicious!!  It was soft and delicate and had just the right amount of cheesiness.  Maybe I didn't bake mine quite long enough, but the insides were almost kind of creamy ... maybe from the cheese.  I will definitely be making them again.  They were quick & simple to make, but I almost felt like I was eating dessert as I devoured a few while they were still warm.  I also found myself daydreaming about how I could incorporate chocolate into the dough.

I ended up freezing about 20 small cheese rolls, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they turn-out after being frozen.  Next time I make my cheese rolls, I'd like to try Parmesan cheese ... anyone gone down that road???  This recipe is definitely a keeper for me!!  I urge you to also try this recipe the next time you are looking for a roll to go with your dinner. 

To read about other bakers' experiences with Gougeres, please visit this site.  One of my favorites, so far, is the post by Soup Addict.  It looks like she baked her rolls longer than I did (which I'd also like to try in the future) and she has beautiful photos!!  I tried so hard to get a photo of the inside of a roll, but after making several adjustments on my camera and taking tons of photos, nothing was working.  Not sure if it was bad lighting (I was taking photos at 10:30pm in a poorly lit kitchen) or if I need a different lens.  I can never get as close as I'd like to food-type subjects.

P.S.  While I have the attention of a lot of foodies ... anyone tried or have opinions/reviews for Blommer chocolates???

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Elle said...

I always end up taking my photos at 10:30pm in a poorly lit kitchen! I got a few shots to the inside (not that I put them on my blog) by putting them up against a black pot-holder

Cecilotta said...


And YUM!

Elaine said...

They look delicious and have a perfect shape. Great idea to eat them with soup!


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