Nate Marsh Fall 2016 Blog
by Nate Marsh, December 16, 2016
Both of my parents are great home cooks, and both with their own specialties. My dad is like a mad-scientist while my mom is more of a traditionalist, but is also big on making canapés and hors d’oeuvres. At Everest, one of my jobs is to make and serve many different canapés and hors d’oeuvres, so I feel I have sort of fell into my mom’s shoes.
Now, my mom’s food isn’t nearly as elevated as the ones Everest does, but because of her, I’ve had a great appreciation for little, bite-sized morsels which had only grown. None of which I am more fond of than the gougère.
The gougère is basically a pâte à choux with gruyere cheese mixed in. Ideally they turn into airy, buttery, cheesy balls of deliciousness. And the recipe itself is not too difficult, but the technique is what makes them an art form in my eyes.
One of the first things I made, or helped make on my internship were gougère, so when it was time to make them again, I figured it would be a piece of cake, but they turned out too dry and someone else made them. The next time I tried making them again, and they turned out to be too runny. And the next time, too. I thought I was going crazy. There is only one way to measure these ingredients, and I made sure after the first time I messed up that it was perfect. That’s when I realized the technique is key.
When getting the liquid ready, you can’t let it get hot enough to evaporate. Once you add the flour, you have to cook it long enough for the flour to absorb the fat, but not long enough that the fat separates. And when adding the eggs, they have to be tempered so they don’t turn into scrambled eggs, which is easier said than done with how thick the batter gets.
Lucky for me, the fifth time was a charm, and just the other day I made a good batch on the first try. If nothing else during this internship, I have learned a new party treat to show off at home.