2012/11/14

Planetary Movements (French Fridays with Dorie: Goat Cheese Mini Puffs)

After a very vexing spell in the kitchen last week - I am looking at you munged up buttermilk biscuits and epic fail chocolate mousse, it was immensely relieving to step back into more comfortable territory - pate a choux.

Thank you, Universe.

Of course, Margaret has "learned me" that Mercury is in retrograde. I have also discovered that as a Virgo, I am exceptionally prone to the whims of this planet.

It is all becoming clear to me now.

It was not anything I did wrong - I was subject to a planetary phenomenon. Mercury has a reputation for being a jokester. I am sure that is why things were so messed up in the kitchen.

Yeah, I am SO running with that version of events...


It is probably a good thing that I am not hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year. This whole retrograde business lasts until the 26th.

I am making the turkey though. Should my family be concerned?

Probably.

After last week's disasters, I was certain that I was doomed to have burned pate a choux dough on the bottom of my pot.

Or that I would drop the whole tray of baked puffs on the floor.

Or that I would royally mess it up in some other way.

But I didn't.


I started out easy. One batch of brownies. Two batches of bar cookies. A loaf of bread. One pot of soup.

Things were going well.

The puff-making process went so smoothly that words fail me (okay, words don't really fail me, but it sounded like an appropriately hyperbolic description). This is probably the third or fourth time I have made the pate a choux from Around My French Table (non-hyperbolic statement). Each time with success. Savory. Sweet. It doesn't matter.


This time around, I crushed a tablespoon of pink peppercorns in my mortar and pestle and threw it into the choux dough. The slight bite from the pepper went nicely with the creamy herbed filling.

The peppered puff combined with the tangy goat cheese filling was like heaven in a bite. One perfect, heavenly bite. I am not sure if it was the lack of breakfast/ lunch or if they were really that good, but the Culinary Kid (formerly known as Karate Kid) and I scarfed a batch of these down like it was our J.O.B.

I think these need to make an appearance at a holiday event...

Which means we would have to restrain ourselves.

Maybe it's better if we don't take these out in public. It might not be a pretty sight.

Peace out.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.

26 comments:

  1. I may have to try harder to get these done. My husband signed me up to make "a few" pies for a thanksgiving dinner we're going to on saturday. I said, "what do you mean a few? I can't just make one?" He's all, "I told them you'd bring a few." Apparently he thinks a pie fairy conjures them in the night. GRRR. Anyway, my crankiness regarding the pie situation made me shove off these puffs. You've sold me on them, though. A few pies and some puffs, coming right up.

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  2. ooooh, pink peppercorns - I am impressed. Sounds good! I was relieved that my puffs puffed - when I made gougeres, they most definitely did not puff :(

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  3. These are impressive aren't they? But sssh - let's not tell people how easy they are!

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  4. Those look fantastic! And I'm totally stealing your crushed peppercorns idea - brilliant. :)

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  5. Yummy puffs!!! I am serving these pre-Thanksgiving meal- they are such a good appetizer!
    Like your bite from the crushed peppers idea;-)

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  6. mercury retrograde! that explains a lot! :) lovely puffs. i am not very familiar with pate a choux, but these look just about perfect!

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  7. Well Cher, they say two wrongs make a right, and these look just perfect, so they might be right! Really gorgeous puffs. Have a great weekend!

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  8. Gorgeous! I love how you piped the filling!!!

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  9. I would totally scrf them all down as well, I heart this kind of thing!

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  10. I had to struggle not to scarf down all of mine - I find them completely irresistible! This was my first time doing choux pastry, and I was surprised how easy it was. Will definitely be doing them again, in some form. Lovely job with these - they're so perfectly puffed and golden!

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  11. Love addition of the pink peppercorns to the choux pastry... sounds fab!

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  12. That sounds like one intense day of baking! Glad these were a success.

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  13. :-) I much prefer your version of events and I agree kitchen mishaps are neverr our fault. Looks like the stars aligned for theses puffs- They look perfect

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  14. I wish I could say I accomplished as much in the kitchen today but I was very lazy! Your puffs look incredibly perfect an absolute success!

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  15. Well look at you! Sounds like you've got your mojo back. Throwin in pink peppercorns and everything. Very impressive.

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  16. How many people would say the choux pastry is comfortable territory? I'm glad to hear you are back in the saddle. Pink peppercorns in the dough = totally brilliant! These definitely need to make an appearance at a holiday event. The puffs demand to be shared!

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  17. P.S. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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  18. The Culinary Kid! I like that!
    I also love your cheese puffs! They look perfect!

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  19. I think the other recipes which failed were simply "beneath you". Plus that mercury retrograde thing :) If pate choux is your no fail recipe it is time to acknowledge your kitchen prowess :) I am skimming through between kid stuff and the kitten by the skin of my teeth. Only got these done because Nana donated the herbed goat cheese (how pathetic am I ???). So cool to know you are in the greater Saratoga region- it was my first time ever recently and that place blew me away. Very cool. Sometime over the holidays I will try to get Nana up there and maybe we can meet for coffee and check out that Putnam Market together. Will keep you posted. And kudos on the NCAA- hope she was pleased. PS- just bought Smitten Kitchen myself and will be hopefully plowing through that over the holidays.......

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  20. Cher, I am glad to see that this recipe turned out so well (again) for you! The addition of crushed pink peppercorns to the choux pastry sounds intriguing and together with the goat cheese filling probably made a terrific pairing!

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  21. Culinary Queen Cher is back!!! Rejoice!! I totally understand the Mercury in retrograde debacle. My husband is a Virgo and he's been going through the same - thankfully not in the kitchen otherwise he would not have any fingers left- Great job with the choux puffs. You showed them who's boss - definitely not Mercury :)

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  22. Hopefully you've got your confidence back and you can do away with all this astronomical mumbo-jumbo (actually, I am a believer, wanting to have all bases covered). Your mini-puffs do look delicious and they are addictive. Hopefully you threw some in the freezer before inhaling them yourselves. Nice job. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Suspect your daughter will be home from college. Exciting and fun for you all.

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  23. Yay you are back and booming my friend, what an awesome recipe :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  24. Your puffs look lovely. I ate more than my share of these, too!

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  25. I have not tried making my puffs in savory forms and using goat cheese as their fillings seem delicious :D

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