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The BloggerAid Cookbook

Leek and Potato Soup (Soupe aux poireaux)

Dear Readers, immediately after I rejoiced blantantly to all that Spring is finally here in my post last Friday, winter slapped me hard on my face the next day with freezing cold below zero temperatures. As if that was not enough, winter threw in some snow on us last Sunday, as if to make sure that we understood that it was here to stay for a while longer and to stop dreaming about spring. Since last Sunday, the temperature stayed -3°C with snow fall now and then. On such cold days, the best way to warm ourselves up is to cook a pot of spicy hot curry like chicken curry or mutton curry or soup like tomato or leek & potato.

Leek & Potato Soup is one of the greatest classics of French homemade soups. I can easily understand why, for it is not only delicious, aromatic, nutritious but also inexpensive and filling. Leeks belongs to a vegetable family called the Allium vegetables like garlic and onions. Leeks are a very good source of manganese, vitamin C, iron, folate and vitamin B6.

How to choose Leeks?

Choose leeks that are firm, straight with dark green leaves and white necks. It should not be yellowed or wilted, nor have bulbs that have cracks or bruises. Buy only leeks with a diameter of 1 1/2 inch or less, as large leeks are generally more fibrous in texture. Store fresh leeks unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator in a loosely wrapped plastic bag : this will help to retain moisture and keep them fresh for 1 - 2 weeks. Cooked leeks will only stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 2 days.

Here's the simple version of the Leek & Potato soup that my mom-in-law and sis-in-law often cook at home. Hope you will like it as well. Enjoy!

Leek & Potato Soup (Soupe aux poireaux)
Ingredients
  • 1 big onion (chopped)
  • 4 leeks (washed and chopped)
  • 2 potatoes (peeled & diced)
  • 1 litre water or chicken stock (approx.)
  • salt & pepper
  • sour cream or crème fraîche or milk (optional - for serving)
Directions
  1. Trim the leeks and remove the top tough green leaves, leaving on the tender green parts. Slice each leek longwise twice (like a cross), wash it and chop the leeks from top to bottom.
  2. Heat a pot with some olive oil. When oil is hot, add in the chopped onions. Stir-fry it till fragrant & translucent.
  3. Add the chopped leeks and potatoes to the pot. Stir-fry the leeks until it is soft.
  4. Add in the water or chicken stock to the pot and bring it to a boil.
  5. Season it with salt & pepper. Lower the heat and let it simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
  6. Purée the soup using stick blender. Taste, adjust the seasoning accordingly.
  7. Serve hot plain or with a spoonful of crème fraîche or a bit of milk.
Leeks
The Verdict

This soup is simply delicious - creamy, full of flavour and tasty. Little One loves this soup, even Pierre who dislikes leeks likes it. It's an all occasion soup: as comfort soup or under the weather or just to warm us up on a cold day. It's simple, quick & easy to make and healthy too.

Leeks and potato soup
Notes

The above recipe is the base. You can add other herbs to it or any other ingredients like bacons, mushrooms, chicken or fish, etc if you want. You can also freeze the soup but it must not have milk or cream in it.

Leeks and potato soup
13 comments on this post.

Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay or sate, a very popular dish in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, etc. is made up of marinated meat (chicken, lamb, beef, pork, fish) skewered on wooden or bamboo sticks, barbecued and served with different types of spicy seasonings. Growing up in Singapore, I have eaten my fair share of satay in my life time and I'm still not tired of it. That gives you an idea just how good these satay are. LOL!

So when Daring Cooks January host, Cuppy of Cuppylicious announced that we are going to make Thai Satay this time around, I was thrilled. Although it isn't the first time I made home-made Satay, it is my first time making a Thai version - so it is still something new.

Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce

(Adapted from book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day)

Ingredients

Marinate for meats

  • ½ small onion (cut into half)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb size ginger (peeled, cut into several pieces)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 450 g meat (chicken, pork, lamb or beef)

Peanut Sauce

  • 250 - 300 ml coconut milk or milk
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 - 2 tsp chilli powder (reduce to ½ tsp if you are not used to spiciness)
  • 1 lemong grass, only the white portion - bruised (optional)
Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce
Directions
  1. Put all the meat marinate ingredients (of course not the meat) in the food processor and blend until you obtain roughly a smooth paste.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into small bite-size pieces.
  3. Mix and coat all the chicken pieces with the marinate in a bowl. Cover and let it chill at least 6 hours or over night in the refrigerator.
  4. Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in warm water for 30 minutes before using it so that they won't burn.
  5. Preheat oven at grill mode
  6. Skewer the marinated chicken pieces with the sticks, don't overcrowd it.
  7. Grill them on each sides for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the edges just start to char. Bast or brush the pieces with oil when you flip the skewers.
  8. Serve right out of grill with peanut sauce, some cucumbers, onions and ketupat(compressed rice cake).

Preparing the peanut sauce

  1. Heat up a bit of oil in a wok.
  2. Once the oil is hot, stir-fry ground cumin, coriander, chilli powder and lemon grass for a minute. Then add in the ground peanuts, lemon juice, dark brown sugar, light soy sauce and lastly the coconut milk or milk, making sure they are well mixed.
  3. Cook it on medium fire, continue to stir from time to time.
  4. Once the sauce thickens, adjust the seasonings according to taste and turn off the heat.
  5. Can be served warm or room temperature. To heat up, just microwave it.
Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce
The Verdict

I was surprised that it turned out better than I expected - on its own, the satay doesn't really stands out much (perhaps I'm comparing too much to the satay I'm used to in Singapore) but when combined with the peanut sauce - it's very good, heightening all the aroma of the dish.

Satay can be served as aperitif, entrée or main course.

Notes

Instead of meats, some marinate tofu, fish, prawns, etc. Why not?:-)

If you don't have space in refrigerator, just put let your meat marinate with sauce in a ziplock bag.

Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce
9 comments on this post.

Carottes Râpées (Grated Carrot Salad)

Carrots - so many kids hate them with a passion. Even my hubby won't touch that stuff no matter how deliciously it has been cooked or presented to him. I think I know why. When Little One started on her first solid food - guess what was the first most recommended food to introduce to a baby? Carrots. Since they are sweet, babies love them and as it is full of nutrients it's a baby's classic along with other infamous spinach. Unfortunately my baby didn't get to eat much either because of digestion issues. Oh well!

Thankfully there are a few ways to serve carrots to people who don't enjoy them so much. Carrot cake is one. Another one is Carottes Râpées (Grated Carrot Salad) that I'm going to introduce today. It is a very popular side French dish that my mom-in-law often prepares at home. It's available at many café and bistro menus, even at charcuteries and supermarkets where it is often sold in small plastic boxes ready to go. It's pretty easily done, requires very little time to prepare and the best of all: it's healthy, fresh and delicious. This is perfect for those who are trying to get kids or adults to eat carrot, because the lemon flavor is dominant over the carrot one. A ninja got to be sneaky;-)

Carottes Râpées (Grated Carrot Salad)
Ingredients
  • 5 fresh carrot (medium size)
  • 1/2 organic lemon (home grown)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • parsley (chopped)
  • salt & pepper
  • 5 tbsp olive oil (approx.)
carottes rapees
Directions
  1. Grate the carrots and lemon together and put it in a big salad bowl.
  2. Throw in the chopped garlic and parsley. Season it with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour in about 5 tbsp olive oil, mix until everything is combined.
  4. Serve cold.
The Verdict

I'm so surprised by the taste and aroma of this simple salad. The fragrant lemon skin and juice dominates but doesn't overwhelm the sweet taste of the carrots, in fact the combination brings out the best of both fruit and vegetable. I'm not a big fan of carrots but this is really good. I went for a 2nd, 3rd and 4th helping without any guilt, as its so low in calories.:-)

Notes

Home-grown lemon has very thick skin which gives this salad a fantastic aroma and taste. If you are using a lemon from supermarket (it's preferable to buy an organic one as the skin is non-treated), use only 1/3 of it if the lemon is very juicy.

carottes rapees
11 comments on this post.

Souffle Au Fromage

Little One caught a bug after New Year and was sick for 3 days. It was no fun for her and me. You would think with her being so sick, she would be calling out 'mama' all the time .... oh no no no, the first word Miss Cheeky cried out while being so sick in bed in the middle of the night was Babar (the elephant) - her favourite story character. Each time she woke up, it's 'Babar' or 'mama, Babar' - meaning she wants to watch her favourite DVD Babar. Since then, it is always Babar, the first thing that is on her mind when she wakes up. I think we made a mistake when we introduced her to Babar.:-p

Back to cooking, today I'm going to share with you a very nice recipe that involves lots of eggs and cheese.:-D A Soufflé is easy to whip up yet delicate to bake. It's spectacular looking but must be eaten immediately after taken out of the oven or else it will crumble under its own weight (and that would be a pitty !).

Souffle Au Fromage

Michèle's recipe

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g grated emmental cheese
  • 50 g butter
  • 40 g plain flour
  • ¼ litre milk
  • salt, pepper & ground nutmeg
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven at 190°C (375 °F).
  2. Melt the butter in a pot and stir in the flour.
  3. Cook it for 1 or 2 minutes before adding slowly the milk. Stir the mixture vigorously to dissolve it. Make sure that there is no lumps.
  4. Season it with salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.
  5. Bring it to boil and let it cook until the mixture becomes firm or thickens.
  6. Take it off the heat. Mix in rapidly the egg yolk one by one using an electric beater or by hand. Set it aside to let it cool.
  7. Beat the egg white until it is stiff. Delicately incorporate the grated cheese. Fold this into the mixture in the pot.
  8. Grease the soufflé mould with butter and sprinkle grated cheese on the base and sides of the mould.
  9. Pour the mixture into the mould. It should not fill up more than 2/3 of the mold.
  10. Once the mould is put into the oven, reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake it for 30 minutes. Do not be tempted to open the oven during baking. This will cause the soufflé to collapse.
  11. Serve it immediately in its mould or you can remove it from the mould and serve it on a plate.
The Verdict

It turns out very beautifully even when we removed it from the mould. For me, the taste is a bit like scrambled eggs with cheese. I simply love it. The texture is like soft bread that melts in your mouth. Little One who doesn't like cheese nor eggs was tugging in her share mouthful after mouthful.

One warning though, this soufflé is more nourishing and filling than it looks. After a few mouthful, I was already full. Given the ingredient list, it's not entirely surprising, eh ?;-)

Notes

Soufflé goes very well with white wine like Bourgogne or Alsace. Other cheese than emmental should work, it might be interesting to experiment here.

Soufflé
17 comments on this post.

Foie Gras en Terrine

HAPPY NEW YEAR !

How was everybody's Christmas and New Year? Hope all of you had a wonderful time!

Little One had a great time with lots of gifts from Santa... a rocking horse and a toy bus before Christmas, then on Christmas day, a tricycle, lots of books, and more toys. Santa was very generous with her ... he knows she has been a very good girl through out the whole year (obviously he was not watching during her lunch and dinner;-) )

This Christmas, we had a big roasted turkey with stuffings and chestnuts - which as usual took a few days to finish:-p . But some things remain a tradition in the family like having a home-made foie gras on the table. Every year, a few days before Christmas, we will be out hunting for the perfect looking raw foie gras in supermarkets, and then try to cook this delicate dish to perfection.

Foie gras, a luxury (and somewhat controversial) dish, is one of the most popular delicacies in French cuisine and traditionally consumed as a cold entrée, usually eaten with crusty or toasted bread. Foie Gras can be from duck or goose liver, however duck liver is easier to find in supermarkets and cheaper than goose liver. It's also easier to bake. Finding a proper raw liver outside of France might be a challenge, but it helps a bit that frozen ones also exists and can give great results.

Foie Gras en Terrine

Michèle's Recipe

Preparing a foie gras isn't complicated at all, in fact it's a very simple recipe. The real difficulty is in baking : too much or too hot and the liver will melt and you'll just get a big chunk of fat. But you want it to be cooked enough as well...

Ingredients

Foie grasfoie gras ingredients
Directions
  1. Leave the foie gras in the room till it reaches room temperature (the foie gras feels supple when touched).
  2. Delicately remove the nerve veins.
  3. Make sure to lay the foie gras flat in a baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle it with paprika, salt and pepper. Then pour the Port wine all over the foie gras.
  5. Cover it and put it on the lower section of the refrigerator for 1 night. If possible, spoon the marinate over the foie gras once or twice.
  6. Preheat the oven at 140°C.
  7. Take the foie gras out of the baking dish and put it a rectangular terrine (about the size of the foie gras). Press lightly on the foie gras a little bit all around so that it is fits nicely and compact into the dish.
  8. Pour a little bit of the marinate on the foie gras to moisten it and throw away the rest.
  9. Cover it with aluminum foil and press it well all around.
  10. Put the terrine in a bain-marie with very hot water (but not boiling hot). Bake the whole thing for about 35 minutes.
  11. After 35 minutes, take the terrine out of the bain-marie. Put some weight (like stones or something heavy) on top of the aluminum foil to let the liquid fat solidify cleanly.
  12. Once the terrine of foie gras has cooled down, remove the aluminum foil and leave the covered foie gras in the refrigerator for 2 days (this is to allow the taste and flavour of the foie gras to heighten) before savouring it.
foie gras
Conclusion

It's simply delicious as it should! If you get it right, it must be smooth and firm like cold butter, and have a very slight bitterness. The preparation might gross you out a bit, but rest assured that the result is mouthwatering;-)

Note

It's sometimes served with a sort of cold sweet onion confit, which goes very well with it.

As for wine, it goes well with sweet white wine (vin moelleux) like sauternes or champagne.

foie gras
12 comments on this post.

Taboulé à la Française

Our mini summer vacation at Pierre's grandparent's house up in Brittany was great - love the big old house and the vast green for our little ninja to run about and explore on her own, not forgetting the trips to the seaside: she loves running after the waves and refused to return home even though she was turning blue from cold. She also had a great time playing ball with her 96 year old great grandmother and was up to non-stop mischiefs around the house - climbing on the chairs and the stairs (I had a little heart-attack-moment when I found her half way up the stairs to the 1st level looking for her grandmother). Little ninja enjoyed herself thoroughly, can't say the same for her parents. We were suffering terribly from IWS (Internet Withdrawal Syndrome). As much as we were enjoying ourselves with the slow and tranquil pace of life in Brittany, I don't know if we could have survived 1 more week of surfing via a telephone line. Gosh! It's great to be back in civilization - first thing I did when I got back (after unpacking all the stuff of course) is kiss my ADSL modem. Man, I miss it so much. All I need is just switch on my PC and all the pages flow so fast, pulled out of thin air through the magic of Wifi.

Now, back to the kitchen... today I'm going to introduce a wonderful appetizer called Taboulé - a North African appetizer that consists of herbs mixed together with tomatoes, cucumber and couscous. The original recipe is made up mainly of parsley and mint and Bulgur instead of couscous, however the dish has become popular in France in a slightly modified form.

My very first taste of taboulé was at Michèle's house. It was very sunny that day - a perfect day for BBQ (that's what we had) and we were all withering under the summer heat till Michèle brought out this lovely and cold delicious looking bowl full of fresh veggies and some sort of wheat in it. I was rather intrigued by it. At first mouthful, I fell totally in love with this dish.

Taboulé à la Française
Ingredients
  • 500 g couscous grains, semolina (medium or fine)
  • 1 big cucumber (peeled, cored and diced in small pieces)
  • 4 or 5 big tomatoes (skinned, seeded and diced in small pieces)
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lemons
  • 3 big sweet onions
  • a bunch of parsley and mint leaves
  • a few black or green olives (chopped, optional)
  • a dash or two of Tabasco sauce or cayenne chili powder (optional)
  • salt & pepper
Taboulé ingredients
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the olive oil and lemon juice with the couscous. Set aside.
  2. Make a cross (X) on the bottom of the tomatoes. Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop the tomatoes into the pot and count to 10. Scoop it out with a slotted spoon and plunge them in ice cold water for a second or two. Take them out and peel the skin off using a sharp knife or your fingers. Remove the seeds and cut the tomatoes into small cubes. Put all of them in the couscous mixture.
  3. Peel the cucumber, remove the core and cut it into small cubes. Mix them together with the tomatoes and the coucous.
  4. In a mixer, pulse a bunch of parsley, mint leaves and sweet onions. Add this chopped herb mixture into the taboulé.
  5. Mix in the chopped olives and season it with salt and pepper, a dash or two Tabasco sauce or cayenne chili powder.
  6. Cover it with a plastic film and refrigerated it for at least 6 hours.
  7. Check the taboulé. The couscous should taste soft and moist. If it is a bit dry, add a bit of water and adjust the seasoning if needed. Repeat the adding of water till the couscous is soft to taste.
  8. Serve it cold as appetizer.
taboulé
Conclusions

It's a very refreshing appetizer with a minty-parsley-lemony aroma, the crunchiness (and coolness) of cucumber and the lovely flavour of tomatoes all mixed into one. I like how all the herbs and vegetables complement each other so lovely together. The dash of Tabasco gives it a very light kick. It's great dish for summer.

Notes

What I like best about this dish is :

  • I can make a big bowl of it and keep it in the fridge for a few days. (A great dish to have for those days when I just prefer a light lunch or dinner - a good alternative to having salad).
  • You can adjust the mixture of taboulé to your preference - more parsley or minty taste; add more or less cucumber or tomatoes to your liking, more lemon juice or less etc.
  • You can never go wrong with it because you can always add water bit by bit to it if the taboulé is a bit dry.
taboule
26 comments on this post.

Quiche Lorraine

A quiche is a pie made up mainly of eggs, milk or cream in a pastry crust with other ingredients added such as meats, vegetables or cheese. The great thing about quiches is that they are simple and quick to prepare, and offer an almost unlimited number of variations. The most well known, if not canonical form of quiche is the quiche Lorraine, a French classic from the region of (you'll never guess!) Lorraine, located along the German border. It's a nice entrée, but can also constitute a light meal served alongside some salad (and in fact busy French people in search of a simple lunch can find them in snack shops, bakeries, cafés, butchers, etc.)

Quiche Lorraine

Preparation: 5 minutes (yay!)
Baking : 35 minutes
Serves: 6 (as an entrée)

Ingredients
  • 1 shortcrust pastry (pate brisée)
  • 3 eggs
  • 30 cl cream (crème fraîche)
  • 150 g bacon (diced)
  • salt, pepper & nutmeg
quiche lorraine ingredients
Directions
  1. Preheat oven at 180°C
  2. Place the pastry crust in a pie dish and with a fork, gently prickle the base of the crust.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs with the cream. Season it with salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg.
  4. Sprinkle the bacon bits on the pie dish and pour the cream mixture on top of it.
  5. Bake it for about 35 minutes.
Conclusion

Unless you don't like bacon (and who doesn't like bacon?), it's hard not to enjoy this pie. When I first made this dish, I was surprised how simple it is to make and remembered how much I used pay for this in Singapore.:-)

Note

As I was saying earlier, there are many possible variations to this dish, including:

  • Using flaky pastry crust instead of shortcrust pastry.
  • Replacing some of the cream with fromage blanc.
  • Using salmon (smoked or fresh), surimi, diced cheese, mushrooms, spinach, leek, etc (alone or combined) instead of bacon.
quiche lorraine
18 comments on this post.

Glass Noodles Salad

My search for this recipe started about 5 years ago when I had a similar dish at my friend's place. I meant to ask her for the recipe but forgot about it by the end of the evening. Then one day I stumbled upon this recipe by accident : I do not know if it is exactly the same as my friend's but when I did it, it had a similar taste and fragrance.:-) I hadn't made this for 3 years but after my green Thai curry, I had a sudden craving for Thai food and since Pierre didn't recall ever having it, I decided to have another go at it:-)

Glass Noodles Salad

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Makes: 4

Ingredients
  • 80 g glass noodles (soaked in water to soften)
  • 60 g chicken (finely minced)
  • 20 g black fungus/wood ear (cut into fine strips)
  • ½ medium onion (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Chinese celery (chopped)
  • 1 tsp Chinese parsley/coriander (chopped)
  • 12 fresh prawns (shelled and devined)
  • 1 tsp chili oil

Sauce

  • 3 red and green Bird's eye chili (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1½ tbsp sugar
Directions
  1. Boil the glass noodles in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute.
  2. Add in black fungus, minced chicken and prawns and boil it for another minute, stirring it often. Then drain well.
  3. Pour the sauce and chili oil over glass noodle salad together with the sliced onions and toss it well.
  4. Serve it with some chopped celery and parsley.
Glass Noodle Salad ingredients
The verdict

This salad is very refreshing and aromatic. I love the aroma of freshly squeezed lime juice mixed with fish sauce with a tint of spicy sourness. The coriander and the onions enhance the taste of this salad further. Pierre likes it almost cold, so I ran it through cold tap water after step 2, before adding the sauce to cool it down.

For the vegetarians, I think this dish would be wonderful also with tofu, enoki (Japanese mushrooms) and bean sprouts - that's all I can think of at the moment.

Note

Bird's eye chili are very hot, hotter than fresh cayenne pepper. So if you are not used to that amount of spiciness, substitute it with cayenne chili or some other chili that is milder. Also dried chillies are hotter than fresh ones.

Cellophane noodles salad
28 comments on this post.

Gougères - French Cheese Puffs

Gougères [goozhair] are savory choux pastry with cheese - a specialty from Burgundy (France), traditionally made with Gruyère. These are mainly served as aperitifs.

My first taste of gougères was made by my mom-in-law who is quite a great cook. At the first bite, I fell in love with it immediately. It is so rich in flavour and I love that crunchy cheese toppings with the softness inside. It is very hard to stop eating it after the first one - which is probably a tragedy for your diet. Ever since then, I have always wanted to try making some myself but I didn't have the time and also I thought it was very difficult to do. Surprisingly it wasn't as complicated as I thought. In fact, it is very simple and easy to do and it doesn't take very long to get the batter ready for baking. If I can do it pretty quickly even with my baby girl clinging to my legs all the time, you can do it in a shorter time than me.:-)

This recipe is taken from my mother-in-law's favourite cook book which is an old classic : Cuisine et Vins de France by the famous Curnonsky.

Gougères

(taken from Cuisine et Vins de France - Curnonsky)

Ingredients
  • 8 eggs (for the dough)
  • 1 egg (for glazing, optional)
  • 500 ml milk
  • 120 g butter
  • 250 g flour
  • 200 g gruyère or comté or any strong flavoured cheese (I guess old cheddar would do)
  • 2 tbsp thick cream (crème fraîche, optional)
  • 5 g salt
  • A pinch of pepper
Directions
  1. Cut the cheese in small cubes/dice.
  2. Put the butter, milk, salt, pepper in a pot and bring it to boil.
  3. Once boiled, remove pan from the heat and add in the flour. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon till the mixture is smooth and satiny.
  4. Put the pot back on heat (hot), stir it vigorously till the dough doesn't stick to the pot or the wooden spoon. This is to dry the mixture.
  5. Take it off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Stir in the eggs one at the time without stopping. Make sure that each egg is well incorporated into the dough before adding the next.
  7. Mix in 125 g cheese to the dough mixture and stir till it is well blended.
  8. Add in the cream and mix it well.
  9. Drop one level of tablespoon of mixture at the time (spaced them out) onto the baking paper on a baking tray and brush a bit of battered egg on top of each ball. Then sprinkle some diced cheese on top of it.
  10. Bake in over at 200°C (400°F - gas mark 6) for approximately 20 minutes.
  11. The gougères should be gold brown, crunchy yet soft on the outside and moist on the inside. It can be taken warm or room temperature but always freshly baked. Be careful not to overcook them !
Gougères cheese puffs ingredientsGougères dough mixtureGougères
The Verdict

My mom-in-law said : "wow! Ils sont beaux. Mmm...félicitations. Ils sont bons et très bien réussi. Bravo!" (translation : wow! They turned out so beautifully. Mmm...congraulations. They are very good and perfectly done.) Didn't get any complaint and the whole batch disappeared in a rather short time, so I guess it was a success:-)

Pierre and I felt that it would have tasted even better if we had added more cheese. And that the last batch of gougères baked with grated cheese on top tasted best as it had a very nice cheese aroma and crispy top.

Note

Be warned: making these puffs using a wooden spoon needs a lot of muscle work. I did it like my MIL - use an electric mixer. I was tempted to do it manually but my MIL warned me that I will have a sore arm if I went down this road. Thank goodness, I listened to her: I could literally feel the pain of my poor hand held mixer - it was going fast at first and then laboured with great pain. My arms got tired just holding on to it !

Cheese: any type of strong cheese would do. We used cantal for our gougères because of its somewhat strong flavor, but you can experiment with whatever you have around (old blue cheese is also an option). The cheese can also be grated instead of cutting it into small cubes, making the puffs more homogenous but loosing the chunks of melted cubes.

Regarding eggs, my MIL used 6 big eggs whereas I used 8 medium size eggs. And the beating of the eggs, I followed my MIL advice - beat them all together at once. Glazing of the gougères is optional. My mom-in-law (MIL)and I baked ours without glazing and it still tasted very good. As for the thick cream, my mom-in-law always bakes hers without it. I baked mine with it just to see if there is any differences but I found none.

Gougères puffGougères
35 comments on this post.