Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ale and Stilton Gougères

Ale and Stilton Gougères

These are basically the same as the Gruyère Gougères I made last time, but with ale replacing the water and Stilton cheese replacing the Gruyère. I recommend using a milder Stilton, because the cheese tends to really take over the flavor of these puffs. I made these with bacon in them (as per a friend's request), but that can easily be left out. Recipe is from the same 2005 issue of Gourmet as the last ones, and can be found at Epicurious. I doubled the recipe and ended up with about four dozen puffs.

* 1/2 cup ale such as Bass (pour beer slowly into measuring cup; do not measure foam)
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* Rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 large eggs
* 1/2 cup crumbled Stilton cheese (from a 4-oz piece; rind discarded)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the bacon until it's crispy (I put it in the oven in a shallow baking dish at 400 degrees for fifteen to twenty minutes), blot on paper towels, and crumble.

Combine beer, butter, and salt in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to moderate and add flour all at once, then cook, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan, about 30 seconds. Continue to cook, stirring and flattening batter against bottom of pan, until excess moisture is evaporated and a film forms on bottom of pan. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.

Beat in eggs one at a time. (Batter will appear to separate initially but will become smooth once beaten.) Add cheese and bacon bits and stir until combined well.

Drop small spoonfuls onto a sprayed or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until puffed, golden, and crisp, 12 to 18 minutes. The puffs will get a bit foamy while baking, due to the beer. Cool slightly before serving.

I don't love these as much as I love the Gruyère ones, but they're pretty delicious when you're craving stinky cheese.

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