Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Baked Potato" Gougères

"Baked Potato" Gougères
by Sarah K
Makes 12 large-ish gougères, or 18 smaller ones depending on your preference

4 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
1 large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup bread flour
Pinch of white pepper
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
5/8 cup grated old cheddar
Sour cream
8 chives, minced

Bacon Bits:
Fry bacon in a pan until the fat is rendered out and the bacon is browned and crispy. Drain, cool and crumble.

Mashed Potatoes:
Put potatoes in a pot and cover with water; bring to a boil, covered, until potatoes fall apart when pierced with a fork.

Mix in butter and cream; add salt and pepper to taste. The potatoes should be a smooth and pipeable consistency - if they aren't, add more cream.

Keep warm.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a bowl, combine bread flour and white pepper.

Combine water, butter and salt in a saucepan; cover and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and dump in flour/white pepper mixture; stir to combine.

Return to low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until dough dries out enough to pull together into a smooth ball. This is very important - drying out the dough ensures there won't be excess moisture in the dough, and will keep the gougères from deflating after baking.

Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, with an electric mixer, ensuring to mix thoroughly.

Mix in the cheese.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag and pipe elongated mounds, or scoop large quenelles with tablespoons onto a baking sheet fitted with Mrs. Anderson's Silicone Baking Mat.

Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375°F and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the gougères are a deep golden brown.

Turn off the oven, open the door and let the gougères cool for 5 minutes.

To assemble:
With a sharp knife, slice each gougère in half lengthwise, keeping the bottoms intact.

Scoop the mashed potatoes into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip.

Gently pry the halves apart and pipe in mashed potatoes.

Add a small dollop of sour cream, then sprinkle over top with crumbled bacon and chives.

Serve immediately.

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