|Andrew mans the Piping bag|
Makes 30 -40 Gougeres. Takes 30 minutes tops.
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (about 7 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup freshly grated Emmenthal, Gruyère, Cantal or Cheddar cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese.
Lightly grease two baking sheets and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, combine one cup water, butter and salt. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until butter melts. Add flour all at once and cook, stirring constantly, until dough holds together in a ball, 5 minutes or less. Dough will get stiffer as you stir; keep stirring until dough is smooth. Transfer batter to a large mixing bowl or the workbowl of a standing mixer.
Add eggs one at a time, beating hard after each addition (this is a little bit of work; a hand mixer will probably not be powerful enough). Stop beating when mixture is glossy. Stir in the cheeses.
Pipe onto baking sheet and bake until puffed and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Makes 2 – 4 dozen depending on size. Takes 60 minutes to make.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus a little more for greasing the baking sheet
1 cup flour
Heat oven to 400 and grease a baking sheet with butter. Put the butter and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over high heat; add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and add all the flour at once; stir constantly until the mixture pulls away from the pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the eggs one at a time; use an electric mixer if you like, and beat until the mixture is smooth. (At this point, you can cover the dough and refrigerate it for up to two days.)
Scoop the dough into a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch tip, or a plastic freezer bag with a corner cut off. Pipe the pastry onto the baking sheet. Eclairs should be 3-to-4-inch fingers, about 1 inch wide.
Bake until the pastries are golden brown, nicely puffed up and sound hollow when you tap on them, about 40 minutes for éclairs. Use a skewer to prick one or two holes in each one to allow the steam to escape; transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature.
To fill the pastries using a pastry bag, poke a hole into the pastry and pipe the filling into it, or cut off the top caps of each pastry, spoon in the filling, and close it up like a sandwich. Serve as is, or dip in chocolate glaze. Recipe for Filling and Glaze follows.
Recipe for Pastry Cream Filling for Eclairs
2 cups whole milk
1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cake flour
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, vanilla bean and seeds just to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the cake flour and salt. Whisk in the egg and egg yolks. Slowly add the hot milk, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly. Continue to boil the pastry cream, whisking constantly, until thick, about 30 seconds longer. Immediately strain the pastry cream through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until cool.
In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Whisk the pastry cream, then fold in the whipped cream until blended.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate in a microwave oven. Whisk in the butter until smooth.