Kitchen Therapy


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MY NEWEST GOUGÈRES

What can I say?
It’s soooo exciting to be cooking again with a wonderful group of people!
8 years ago the group began working through Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Around My French Table, and now we began again!

Some of my happiest cooking and family memories come from making the recipes from Around My French Table! For some reason the Chicken B’stilla and the Beggar’s Linguine, pasta with raisins, figs and nuts, are two memories that easily come to mind. I think mostly due to the fact that both recipes were out of my comfort zone and being part of the group, I made them, and felt such a wonderful sense of achievement, it still stays with me today.

Dorie Greenspan’s new book, Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook, has yet to arrive in the mail for me, however Dorie has provided the Cook The Book Fridays group with a recipe we can all cook while we wait for our copies to arrive! And even better… she has given the participants permission to share the recipe on our blogs! So below you will find the recipe as an excerpt from her book!

Now to get to My Newest Gourgères!


Loved them 🙂
I made the recipe, took half out before I added the pecans (we have nut allergies in the house and different kids are allergic to different nuts…) and I froze them! I followed the directions and felt very accomplished having a bag of frozen gourgères in my refrigerator for guests!

I then added the pecans to the remaining half of the recipe and baked those straight from the mixing bowl.

We (those who can eat pecans) ate them fresh from the oven! And we loved the light, warm cheesy puffs with the bit of crunch that the chopped pecans provided. I was also surprised by how good these tasted cold!

I later made the gougères straight from the freezer, without pecans though, and the gruyere cheese was the star! Loved these. I  actually preferred them without the nuts. Again, I am totally astounded by how light and tasty these are, even after sitting out for hours. Love these and recommend them!

excerpted from Everyday Dorie © 2018 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

MY NEWEST GOUGERES
Makes about 60 gougères
Gougères are French cheese puffs based on a classic dough called pâte à choux (the dough used for cream puffs), and it’s a testament to their goodness that I’m still crazy about them after all these years and after all the thousands that I’ve made. Twenty or so years ago, when my husband and I moved to Paris, I decided that gougères would be the nibble I’d have ready for guests when they visited. Regulars chez moi have come to ex- pect them.
Over the years, I’ve made minor adjustments to the recipe’s ingredients, flirting with different cheeses, dif- ferent kinds of pepper and different spices. The recipe is welcoming.
This current favorite has a structural tweak: In- stead of the usual five eggs in the dough, I use four, plus a white—it makes the puff just a tad sturdier. In addi- tion, I’ve downsized the puffs, shaping them with a small cookie scoop. And I’ve added Dijon mustard to the mix for zip and a surprise— walnuts.

1⁄2 cup (120 grams) whole milk
1⁄2 cup (120 grams) water
1 stick (4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
11⁄4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (preferably French)
2 cups (170 grams) coarsely grated cheese, such as Comté, Gruyère and/or sharp cheddar 2⁄3 cup (80 grams) walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted and chopped

WORKINGAHEAD
My secret to being able to serve guests gougères on short notice is to keep them in the freezer, ready to bake. Scoop the puffs, freeze them on a parchment- lined baking sheet or cutting board and then pack them airtight. You can bake them straight from the oven; just give them a couple more minutes of heat.
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Bring the milk, water, butter and salt to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat and immediately start stirring energeti- cally with a heavy spoon or whisk. The dough will form a ball and there’ll be a light film on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring for another 2 minutes or so to dry the dough. Dry dough will make puffy puffs.
Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or work by hand with a wooden spoon and elbow grease). Let the dough sit for a min- ute, then add the eggs one by one, followed by the white, beating until each egg is incorporated before adding the next. The dough may look as though it’s separating or falling apart but just keep working; by the time the white goes in, the dough will be beautiful. Beat in the mustard, followed by the cheese and the walnuts. Give the dough a last mix-through by hand.
Scoop or spoon out the dough, using a small cookie scoop (11⁄2 teaspoons). If you’d like larger puffs, shape them with a tablespoon or medium-size cookie scoop. Drop the dough onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each mound. (The dough can be scooped and frozen on baking sheets at this point.)
Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F.

Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front
to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are puffed, golden and firm enough to pick up, another 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately—these are best directly from the oven.
S T O R I N G : The puffs are best soon after they come out of the oven and nice (if flatter) at room temperature that same day. If you want to keep baked puffs, freeze them and then reheat them in a 350-degree-F oven for a few minutes.

Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Cook The Book Fridays group thought about this week’s recipe!


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Madeleines

I loved this week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays, Madeleines, from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. Especially fresh out of the pan!

Warm, light with crispy edges. These were simple yet familiar and comforting.
My 18 year old son graduated from high school last week and is now studying for his final exams.

He emerged from his room, ate 3 in a row, said they were great and then disappeared back into his room with the 4th one to get on with his study.

The rest of the family filtered into the kitchen one by one and within minutes the Madeleines were gone!

Delicious 🙂
Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Cook the Book Fridays thought of this week’s recipe!


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Maple – Star Anise Cookies

This week’s choice for Tuesday’s with Dorie was my favourite cookie so far!
The recipe from Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan was a little fiddly. I bought my own spice grinder for the Star Anise. (I also managed to lift the lid off the grinder while it was grinding and Star Anise flew everywhere!)
I’m not a fan of liquorice, however mixed with the cinnamon (which I love), ginger, maple syrup and orange rind, the cookies were delicious. Especially straight out of the oven. I had to stop eating them!

I made the cream cheese frosting the next day and I think I might have eaten a bit much of it straight out of the bowl, my tongue became very tingly!

I don’t have a cookie scoop, that’s next on my list of things to buy! So I experimented and made different sized cookies for the first batch and what I thought was small size turned into Cookie Monster sized cookies! These really do spread. I do like their soft, almost cake like texture though, and the larger cookies were great on their own!

The star anise flavour blended wonderfully with the rest of the spices to make one of the best cookies in the book in my opinion!
Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group made!


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Double Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies

I like Buckwheat!
However I’m not really that much of a chocolate fan.
Which is strange considering I seem to make a lot of chocolate things!

I thought these were good.
I would not make them again however I did like the activated bukinis that went into the cookies. I couldn’t find the kasha however I think the bikinis did the trick!

These cookies were part of the Tuesdays with Dorie group recipe of the week.
They are from Dorie Greenspan’s Book, Dorie’s Cookies.

I wasn’t that taken by these however I am interested to read about what the rest of the group thought!


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Rosemary Parmesan and Pecan Cookies

These cookies piqued my curiosity!
Tuesdays with Dorie has encouraged me to push myself and try things that I would usually skip past or tell myself I’d get back to that one day and never do.
These cookies from Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies cookbook are both sweet and savoury at the same time.
You can taste the rosemary, a delicate hint of parmesan and the pecans come through as well. The taste is subtle yet clear. It’s an unusual taste combination for a cookie however it works… really well.
I’m still fighting a virus, so this recipe was simple and easy, a good and comforting winter bake 🙂

Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group thought of this week’s recipe options.


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Kirsch Babas with Pineapple

I had “TRIFLE!” in my head going in to this week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe by David Lebovitz.
I don’t know why… I know what Rum Babas are and I love them.
I think the pineapple, along with being sick for weeks now, made me long for all things summery, fruity and tropical!
So I tried to pretend my glass a mini trifle bowl and I layered the recipe. The sautéed pineapple at the bottom, a dollop of cream, the kirsch baba and then spooned extra juice over the entire thing.
I made a few glasses and placed them in the refrigerator, ready to eat after dinner. No plating required, it was all there in there ready to go!
There was a good hit of alcohol in this dessert!
The layers mixed in my cup and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Everyone loved it!

Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Cook the Book Fridays group thought of these Kirsch Babas!


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Hazelnut, Ginger and Olive Oil Cake

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It is winter here in Sydney, Australia.
And even though the days are sunny and mild, you can see the people sniffling, coughing and blowing noses when you’re out and about.
The past couple of weeks we have all had sore throats, blocked noses, nausea and even some vomiting. I made last week’s Dorie’s Cookies recipe however I only had the energy for a quick photo on Instagram. It made me feel like I still participated in some way 🙂
My daughter is in her last semester and uni and my son is locked down studying for his trial HSC exams before the real deal begins in October! Once the HSC exams are finished (November 9th) his high school days will be over! However until then it’s a crazy time for him trying to stay away from the sick people in the house while preparing for the celebrations of finishing high school (which still need to be organised even though none of the boys can think beyond the exams!)
So I guess it’s just a lot of hunkering down in our house.
Which made this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe ideal for us!
It’s basic, it’s tasty and it comforting. And most importantly we can all eat hazelnuts 🙂
Even the pickiest eater in the house (my 18yr old son) tried it and said it’s unusual but good!
Looking forward to seeing what everyone though of this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipes!