French Pastries

Terry John Zila prepares two popular French pastries.

Gougeres

Ingredients:

½ cup water
½ cup milk
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
3 ½ ounces finely shredded Gruyère or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Continue stirring over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan, about 2 minutes.
  3. Scrape the dough into the bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the eggs into the dough, ONE at a time, being sure to beat thoroughly between each addition. Add the cheese and a pinch each of pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot

 

Profiteroles

Ingredients:

¾ teaspoon sugar
¾ cup water/milk (equal parts water and milk)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unbleached flour
3 large eggs

2 parchment lined baking sheets pastry bag fitted with ½ ” plain tip

  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F
  2. Place water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Boil until the butter is just melted.
  1. Remove from the heat immediately and add flour all at once,      stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon.
  1. Increase heat to medium and return mixture to burner, stirring until forms a ball and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  1. Immediately transfer warm mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time, at high speed. Beat thoroughly after each addition. Dough should be smooth and shiny. If dough appears dull and overly stiff, add a little bit of beaten egg (a 4th egg), just a little at a time to achieve a smooth, shiny finish to the dough.
  1. Transfer mixture to prepared pastry bag and pipe 18- one half inch diameter mounds onto parchment-lined sheets.
  1. Bake sheets from 20-25 minutes with oven racks adjusted to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Be sure to switch the position of the sheets halfway through the baking time -from top to bottom and front to back.
  1. Bake until puffed and golden. Cool on rack. Note: profiteroles are best eaten the day they are made.
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