Anyway, Carol's blog. The first post I saw there was about making gougères. Mmmmm, gougèrrrrrrrrres. Steamy cheesy bites of goodness. "I can do that," I thought. "I may not be able to make anything else in the book, but these look doable."
Simple ingredients: Gruyère, eggs, flour, butter, water, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.
You're supposed to pipe the dough with a pastry bag, which I don't have. But I have a cookie press! Same thing, but with hard sides, right?
So here's the "grrrrr" part: They didn't puff! You put them in the oven at 450 for a few minutes until they puff, then lower the heat and bake for another 20-25 minutes. But the first batch just came out tough and not puffy, and the second batch (pictured below) was a little puffier, but still nothing like the book.
Was it the smaller tip? The altitude? Did I beat the dough too long? Is my flour not fresh enough? I have no idea. I will have to Google around for other gougères recipes and see what variables there are.
Also? These were too salty for me. The cheese is salty to start with, and adding a tablespoon of kosher was too much. I think you could get away with just a pinch.
I want to make these for a party, so I'm glad I decided to do a test batch first! I don't regret the time spent, as it's fun just to muck about in the kitchen and learn something.