Recipe: Gougères

Gougères are essentially cream puffs without the cream and instead with cheese. They are the savory version of the pâte à choux. The cheese is commonly grated Gruyère, Comté, or Emmentaler. I used Gruyère in this.

In culinary school, I had to mix this by hand and that was exhausting. I have a stand mixer at home so making the choux was a piece of cake!

This recipe yields around 50 pieces.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 oz. butter
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups Gruyère, and extra for garnishing
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with SilPats or parchment paper, oiling them is not necessary. In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter, and salt, and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Stir over low heat until the dough dries out and pulls away from the pan, approximately 2 minutes.

Scrape the dough into a bowl of a stand mixer. Let it cool for a few minutes before beating in the eggs. On “stir”, using the paddle attachment, beat the eggs into the dough, one at a time, and beating thoroughly between each one. It is important to be sure that each egg is fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. Don’t worry if the batter separates and looks curdled at first. Keep beating, and it will come together nicely. Add the cheese and season with black pepper, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets. Sprinkle more cheese on top of each one and bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot/warm. I stuff them with duxelles, which is a finely chopped mixture of mushroom (chanterelles).

Recipe: Maple Ice Cream

FYI, I make all my ice creams with gelatin sheets – it makes the ice cream smoother and it gives it better texture!

  • ⅔ cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1¾ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 gelatin sheets

First prepare an ice bath. Also, bloom gelatin sheets in some ice and water, set aside.

Heat maple syrup and reduce by a quarter, about 5 minutes, then set aside. In a saucepan, combine heavy cream and milk. Turn on heat to medium-high and warm it up in order to temper eggs. It shouldn’t get to boiling, just heat it up so that it’s hot to the touch then turn off the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and salt until combined. Temper eggs slowly with heavy cream/milk mixture then return to saucepan and heat. Continue whisking custard mixture until the temperature reaches 168°F. Remove from heat, add in the bloomed gelatin and reduced maple syrup. Taste for seasoning, add more salt if you like your maple ice cream to be less sweet. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer and cool over the ice bath.

Spin according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.

Sample dishes:

Recipe: Celeriac Purée

Celeriac or celery root or celery knob = all the same thing. Celeriac purée is something I like to have on hands at all times, in case of emergencies. It has such a mild flavor and works well with almost anything. I like food that act like blank canvases so that I can build and pair with that flavor to make something more complex.

  • Celery root
  • Heavy cream, as needed
  • Whole milk, as needed
  • Salt

Peel and cut celery root to bite-sized pieces. Place in a saucepan and cover with heavy cream. If you don’t have enough cream, add in milk to cover.

Place on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Cover with a parchment paper lid and cook until tender, approximately 20 minutes.

Turn off heat, strain through a fine mesh chinois and  reserve liquid. Place celery root into a VitaMix blender and add enough liquid to blend. Add salt and taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary. Add more or less liquid to your liking for purée consistency.

Sample dishes:

Recipe: Corn Purée

In the culinary world, we make a lot of purées and it’s basically baby food. So why does restaurant baby food taste so good?

  • 5 ears of corn, kernels removed, cobs scraped of all “milk”
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup whole milk, more if needed
  • Butter, as needed
  • Salt

Sweat leeks and shallots in butter with thyme until aromatic. Add corn and cook out some of the starch. Then add the cream and milk, and cook until creamy. Season and taste. Remove thyme sprigs and blend in a VitaMix (blender).

Sample dishes: