One of the first things my friend and mentor, chef Richmond Edes, taught me was how to make proper pâté d choux dough. I remember him telling me that if mastered, this is an incredibly versatile dough with sweet, savory, and some other helpful applications. Because of the versatility, this has become one of my go-to techniques events of all kinds.
For this post, I am going to share with you my favorite savory application of this dough. I promise I will share more applications over time.
As in all kitchen techniques, and life in general, practice makes perfect!!
Plain Pâte d choux dough
140 g flour
120 g butter
1 ¼ cup whole milk
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp herbs de Provence
2/3 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
1 ½ cups grated Gruyere cheese
8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese (or goat cheese)
1 cup finely chopped roasted and salted almonds
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp onion powder
1 garlic clove zested
Zest of one lemon
Salt to taste
You can make this a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge.
*This recipe is easiest made in a food processor but can be made manually with a bit of chopping and mixing.
Using a food processor chop your almonds into small pieces and set aside. Put the garlic in the processor and pulse the machine a few times. Next add the room temp cream, goat cheese, or mixture of both, add the almonds back in with remaining ingredients and mix. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
*If you make it ahead of time, make sure to leave at least an hour for your filling to soften at room temperature.
Choux dough / Gougéres
Combine milk, butter, herbs de Provence, and salt in a medium saucepot. Heat slowly until the butter is melted and the milk is just about to boil. At this point add the flour to the milk mixture and stir, over medium-low heat, for the next five to ten minutes. When the dough resembles slightly shiny pasta dough and forms a ball it is ready to be removed from the heat.
Place the dough into a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment begin to mix the dough on low, adding one egg at a time. With the addition of each egg, the dough will seem to separate. Take a deep breath, this is normal. The dough will come back together I promise! When the dough comes back together, add the next egg and repeat until you have added all the eggs.
At this point add the grated cheese and fresh thyme and mix a little more to incorporate. Taste a tiny piece of the dough to check for seasoning and adjust accordingly
Transfer your dough into piping bags and set aside. * I would suggest using a 1/2 inch piping tip. If you don't have a piping tip don't worry. You can just cut the tip off your bag and pipe directly from the bag.
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and begin piping 2 inches wide and 1 ½ inch high circular mounds. Once your baking sheets are full, wet your fingertips and pat down any peaks on the top of your mounds.
Bake for 10-15 minutes rotating once halfway through. Once they are done transfer to a wire rack and allow them to fully cool.
Filling them up
Put your filling into a piping bag fitted with a 1/3 inch tip. Pierce the bottom of your cooled gougéres with the tip and squeeze until filled.
Check back for a post on helpful piping techniques. I'll be sure to put one together soon!