Monday, December 29, 2008

Little Christmas Cheese Poofs

For Christmas, Matthew and I wanted to share one of our new favorite recipes, Gougères au Cumin, with our families. This recipe comes from the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook and is extraordinarily easy to make, with few dishes to clean up because it's all mixed in one pan.

We often try to make various changes but the original recipe usually turns out the best. Extra cheese makes them go flat and cooking at a lower temperature doesn't allow them to rise as well. A few large pinches of paprika is a fine addition but doesn't make them significantly better. This is one instance where I've actually made a recipe correctly the first time and haven't preferred my personal changes over the original recipe(as Matthew can tell you, that is highly unusual for me).

I've made this recipe so many times that I actually have the ingredients memorized and of course the method is just basic. You make
pâte à choux and add cheese then bake.

Gougères au Cumin

1 cup water
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
5 ounces (1 1/2 cups) grated cheese, swiss, sharp cheddar or whatever you like
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
ground pepper

Bring water, butter and salt to a boil. Add flour and stir until dough forms a soft ball in the center of the pan. Remove from heat and let sit three minutes before you add the eggs one at a time, stirring each egg in completely before adding the next. This takes patience as the eggs will very stubbornly insist on remaining slimey until all of a sudden they will give up and mix into the dough. Once all the eggs are incorporated, add the spices and fold in the cheese. Allow to chill for at least 30 min or up to 8 hours(I've even let sit in the refrigerator 24 hours without any adverse affects).
Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 400 F for 20-25 min. When they are done baking, make sure you turn off the oven and crack the door for five min. before you remove them from the oven. This should prevent them from falling. They are perfectly reheatable and can be frozen as well.

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