Choux paste recipe:
30g gruyère cheese
Prep to Cook: Saucepan, spatula, wooden spoon, piping bag, plain nozzle, grater, non-stick baking paper, flat baking tray, round bladed knife, measuring jug.
Prep: Firstly prepare the choux paste.
Dice the butter and place in saucepan.
Add water and carefully bring to the boil.
Tip all the flour into the pan when the water boils.
Stir rapidly, beating out lumps until a thick smooth paste if formed.
Break the eggs and whisk in a jug.
When the paste has cooled a little gradually add the egg.
Beat in between additions of egg with a hand held mixer.
The paste must be thick, stop adding egg if it begins to go runny.
Scrape the paste into a piping bag (fitted with plain nozzle).
Or cut the tip of disposable piping bag to just under 1 cm wide.
Secured the ends and squeeze the paste circles.
Top tip: draw round 4cm cutter to mark circle on baking parchment.
Turn over the paper and pipe even circles.
Use a wet round bladed knife to cut the paste.
Use a wet finger to smooth the join in the circle.
Grate the gruyere lightly over the circles.
Bake for 15 minutes and turn down the oven to 180C or Gas mark 4.
Keep cooking until the gougères are really crisp and golden.
Sprinkle a little more cheese before the end of the cooking time.
Cool on a wire rack.
Eat as a savoury snack or dip into salsa.
Gruyère is a hard yellow cheese, named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland. It has a nutty mature flavour.
Cooks Know How: Choux pastry is an example of steam working with eggs to make a puffy, hollow pastry that can be enjoyed for its light texture.
In this recipe all the ingredients work together scientifically to make the paste. The fat (butter) melts in the boiling water, the flour starch is gelatinized, the eggs are whisked into the mix trapping lots of air and finally the thick paste is created. The thickness is vital so that it can be forced out through a piping bag. This gives the characteristic texture to the gougère.
During baking science gets into action. Water turns to steam making big uneven open pockets, egg proteins stretch and then set, the flour starch browns and the gluten sets. No chemical raising agent is used. The texture of the pastry relies on the preparation methods and ingredients used.
Pipe a different shape such as small straight éclairs and fill with cream cheese. A little dab of Marmite let down with water will add a salty tang and gloss.