It's only fitting that my second Tartine recipe review be gougères, the savory version of choux pastry that I used for eclairs in my last post. They are hollow little herbed puffs that you can fill with ham and cheese or any other savory treats. My friend Amy joined in, who you may recognize from this post about Tartine Croissants and we had a blast in the kitchen making these as well.
Overall, this recipe was a breeze! It's just as easy as choux pastry, with the simple addition of gruyere cheese and thyme and is an easy but fancy-pants appetizer or munchie. Just knowing how to pronounce gougers will ... ya know... make you that friend who knows how to pronounce gougères. The recipe gives the option to make 1" or 4" versions, and we preferred the larger versions. They're so light and airy that you'll eat at least 4 of the little guys, and the 4" variety hold up better to making into a little sandwich.
It doesn't hurt that this Tartine recipe makes your kitchen smell like fresh herbs and melted butter.
Choux Pastry Method
After bringing milk and butter to a simmer, add the flour quickly and be vigilant on stirring! Some of the moisture evaporates and you're left with a wonderful consistency. You then add eggs one by one while the dough whips up in a kitchen aid, smoothing out the texture so it's easy to pipe.
The final step of making the dough is adding in the savory elements: salt, pepper, fresh thyme, and gruyere cheese. Just give it a few light stirs to make sure it's all incorporated.
Forming Tartine Gougères
To make the smaller 1" versions of gougères, I recommend using a piping bag or a ziplock with one point cut off. An easy way to fill a pastry bag without making a mess is to first fit it into a cup and fold the edges over the sides. This gives you something firm to hold on to, and lets you scrape down your spatula on the inside of the cup edge to make sure you get as much into the bag as possible. For the larger 4" pastries, we spooned the dough out into mounds, which I would definitely recommend more than piping for the big guys.
Both the small and large versions may fall a little bit after piping, but don't worry, they puff up like crazy in the oven! Before baking, top with egg wash and yes, more cheese.
As you can see, the larger gougères are more than twice the size of the smaller versions. The smaller bite sizes are perfect as a passed appetizer with the larger pastries more suited for breakfast.
Part of wanting to go through this book is motivated by wanting more recipes in my tool belt for hosting and catering and this recipe is just the ticket: hard to mess up, quick and attention grabbing. I highly recommend trying these out!