To Begin: Pâte à Choux, aka Choux Pastry
I first learned how to make Shoe Pastry when I was living in New Zealand, dating the ChefBoy, and learning all kinds of neat-o Real Chef Things. Things such as: It’s actually spelled choux pastry. It took me more time that I care to admit to figure that one out.
Choux pastry is what profiteroles, cream puffs, croquembouches, and eclairs are all made of. Add some cheese et voila! you got gougères. Unlike puff pastry, choux pastry is a CINCH to make! Imagine the sheer delight upon your guests’ faces when you pull a hot tray of steaming, golden, cheesy puffs from the oven. These are easy and so impressive!
- • 1/2 cup water
- • 3 tablespoons butter
- • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- • 2 eggs
- • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, about 2 ounces
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Combine water, butter, and cayenne pepper in a sauce pot and put over medium-high heat until the butter melts.
- Dump the flour in all at once and stir quickly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes to cool.
- Add one egg and beat again until incorporated, by hand or with a mixer.
- Once fully incorporated and smooth, add the other egg and mix again.
- Add all but 2 tablespoons of the cheese and mix.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use two spoons or a pastry bag to make cherry-tomato-sized balls of dough, spaced 1 inch apart. You should get about 30 balls.
- Top each with a pinch of the remaining cheese
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425 then reduce heat to 375 and bake another 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool on racks.
The LEARN TO COOK Book is Here!
By popular demand, Learn to Cook is now available in print! Over 300 pages of knowledge between two soft covers.
Learn To Cook is designed to get you cooking for yourself like a civilized human being! Drawing from a lifetime of cooking and over two years experience making instructional cooking videos, author Hilah Johnson has produced a beginners’ cookbook for today’s young adults. The casual, straightforward style will appeal to anyone with a sense of humor and the focus on fresh, simple recipes will appeal to anyone who loves to eat. The book includes chapters on menu planning, knife skills, grocery shopping and more, plus a comprehensive spice chart and over 150 recipes from breakfast to dinner to snacks in between.