Tott (in case you are not a regular reader, Tott is "The Official Taste Tester," otherwise known as Bethany, my best friend and gourmand extraordinaire) and I had a "date" tonight. We had talked of grand plans of pot roast and mashed parsnips, but she showed up, and we were both tired and sluggish, and we were just too lazy. (Did you know pot roast takes 4 hours? I get off work at 6. I cannot wait until 10 to eat.)
So, we settled on my French onion soup. Delicious (and perfect for the nasty rainy night), but kind of boring--I mean, I've made it a million times. I wanted to try something new!
I found new. I found new and awesome. I found new and French and delicate and light and creamy and crispy and brown and baked. What I found, my friends, was gougeres.
I have no idea what gougeres are supposed to taste like. I have only been to France once, and it was only a few days, and it was very, very hot and so Drew and I just sat in the hotel room and took cold showers, separately, repeatedly. We did not eat gougeres.
I saw beautiful pictures, however, and lovely descriptions, on the many food blogs I read. Apparently, they are like little puff pastries. So, I decided the try them myself. And they turned out wonderful. Right now, I am biting my lip, trying to restrain myself from going and eating the three I saved for Drew for when he gets off work.
Goat Cheese Gougeres
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of salt
3 teaspoons of sugar
6 tablespoons of butter, cut in little pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
5 eggs, beaten (4 eggs set aside in one bowl, and one in another)
8 ounces of goat cheese
Put the water, the butter, and the salt and sugar in a little pan. Cover it, put it on high, and bring to a nice rolling bowl. Don't let it boil over, because water with butter in it burns when it boils over. Once it's boiling, add the flour and take off of heat. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth ball pulling away from the pot. You may need to put it back on the heat, but I didn't.
Put the dough in a bowl, and add the 4 beaten eggs a little bit at a time. Stir like heck with a wooden spoon until it's smooth and glossy and gorgeous. Add the goat cheese a little bit at a time, stirring like heck.
Take a cookie sheet, covered in parchment paper. Put little balls of dough on the paper (I scooped mine with a little ice cream scoop. (By the way, I seem to be quite fond of parentheses tonight. Sorry 'bout that.)) Brush with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper.
Put them in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Take them out and let them cool a little but then eat them.
(Doing this will result in beautiful, brown, crispy-on-the-outside-but-really-goat-cheese-creamy-on-the-inside gougeres. If you want them less gooey on the inside, poke little holes in them and let the steam escape. Give them a few more minutes in the oven to let them dry out a little on the inside. I like mine gooey, because I do not know any better.)
By the way, I have no idea how to pronounce "gougeres." Tips would be welcome, because right now, I say them like this: gow-jer-eez. I am sure that is incorrect. Please help in the comments if you speak French.