Bienvenue a 2014!

Hello friends! Welcome to the beginning of week 4, 2014 :) has anyone kept their resolution? Does anyone even make resolutions anymore? Anyway, those of you that have (and have kept them!), power to you. I’m trying to gym a ton so as soon as I get my 8-pack, I’ll be sure to post a nice snap.

Originally I was going to write a review of this great resto I went to when I was home in Calgary, but then I tried a new recipe today and I’m just too excited! I made thyme gougeres from a Bon Appetit recipe (October 2013 issue) for some friends that were coming over for wine…unfortunately the friends all flopped but I got all the gougeres, so really I win. What’s really convenient (surprisingly convenient, actually) is that, once baked, these little cheese puffs are freezable. So I indulged in a few little treats, and then stashed the rest in the freezer for a rainy day (aka that day when I forgot I have to prep for class tomorrow, and do those discussion questions, and do all that research for the meeting…aka, every Sunday night full of panic). But that’s a story for a whole other blog (entitled “how in the world did I convince myself a PhD was a good idea). Back to the gougeres.

So the basis for these little guys is a choux pastry, a traditional French dough. It sounds super fancy (and it is dahling, after all, it’s French! Mais oui ma petit!), but in actuality it’s really easy. I remember making this in my baking class at George Brown a few years ago, and my instructor gave me some great tips, which I will pass on to you. Read on, intrepid souls:

The basic concept is thus: butter and water are brought to a boil, flour and salt are added off the heat and beat (beated?) madly; the pot is brought back to the heat and more beating occurs, until a thin film forms on the bottom and sides of the pot (a minute or two). Then, the pot is taken off the heat and the mixture beat(ed) until it is cool to the touch; we used a stand mixer and tested the temp on the inner forearm in class, but this evening I put the pot in the fridge for 5 mins to give my arm a break :). Then, 4 eggs are beat(ed) in; after each egg, the mixture will split but will come back together with your vigorous arm workout. Mix-ins such as cheese, thyme, or whatever else you can think of (these can be made savoury or sweet) can be added before the eggs. Then, bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 mins; some golden brown-ing should occur, but the inside should stay moist (however will you know if the inside is moist? I guess you’ll have to try one!).

Homemade gougeres

Gougeres without their cheeky cap of golden-brown

I ran into a spot of trouble here: for some reason, these little babies started smokin’ up the oven (yes, they are that hot!), so I actually turned the oven off 4 minutes early and just left them in there to cook in the residual heat. They ended up fine (a few gougeres were hurt in the ascertaining of this fact, I won’t lie). Things all happened so fast during the whole beating-egging situation that I wasn’t able to photog that part, but I did get a nice shot after they came out of the oven. Critical.

Homemade gougeres

All for me, my pretties!

Right. So now that I have salvaged my wounded ego with many cheesy delights, I will hit the gym. All of you resolution-ing, I wish you luck; incidentally, this recipe is made for you because you can have a few and stash the rest in the freezer. Always lookin’ out for you guys ;)

Homemade gougeres

Many Cheesy Delights

Stay delicious, folks!

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