Let me reassure you that if you ever find yourself in my home, my kitchen, I will net let you go hungry. I'll make you tea and scones and tea sandwiches, or a big pot of soup, hummus and pita and stuffed grape leaves, or these gougères that I made yesterday in my parents home for a few friends that had helped them out earlier this year.
I'll make you these gougères, which makes me sound like such an accomplished cook. But you'll see, I am actually quite nervous whenever I try something new, unlocking my phone for the 50th time to check what the recipe mentiones I really should be doing now, worrying what I probably am doing wrong just right this minute. I'll be stirring until my arms fall off, because Heidi mentions in her recipe that you need to stir, stir, stir. I'll wait anxiously, hunched in front of the oven to watch the gougères puff and brown, mildly freak out when I take the baking sheet out to give it a turn and the gougères immediatly deflate and calm my heart as I and they regain composure.
So I may freak out just a little bit as I make them, but I'll be so happy to have you here in my kitchen and to have made you something special.
A few notes: If you have a fancy oven like my parents, and not an old one like me, turn off the convection for these. I had it on for the first batch and found that the gougères on the back browned more quickly. As I turned the baking sheet, the gougères deflated. They did recover but not quite to their former glory. A little thyme in these would be lovely, but I had none on hand. The next time I would make them even smaller, reducing the baking time another 5-10 minutes, and try to make them into little balls instead of the oval shapes you get with the spoons. And really, they can deflate, but they are actually kind of easy to make - you really should give them a try and worry a lot less than I did.
Adapted from these gougères from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks
2/3 cup/ 160 ml beer
1/3 cup/ 80 ml milk
1 stick/ 113 g butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup/ 130 g all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cup/ 90 g gruyere, grated, divided
Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, heat the beer, milk, butter and salt over medium heat, until the mixture start to bubble lightly. Turn the heat to low. Stir in the flour and stir vigorously until the dough comes together smoothly. Remove from heat and let cool down for 5 minutes or so, until you can work in the eggs without cooking them. Stir in the eggs, one at a time with a wooden spoon. (Your arm will feel like it is going to fall off, but you'll be fine ;)) The dough will look like it is never going to come together, but it will if you keep at it. Once you have incorporated the 4 eggs, stir in 80g/1 cup of the gruyère.
At this point, you can set the dough aside in the fridge, if you want to prepare it in advance. Or continue right away.
Using two tablespoons, spoon 1/2 teaspoons of dough onto the baking sheet. The gougères will spread quite a bit, so leave at least 1inch between each. Sprinkle with the remaining gruyère.
Place in the oven, bake for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down to 375°F/190°C. Bake for another 15 minutes or so, until the gougères are golden brown all around the edges.
Makes about 40 gougères.