Gougere is a classic savoury French pastry, said to have originated in the village of Sens. We call it choux pastry and most eat it sweet in éclairs.
This savoury adaptation uses up left-over cooked turkey or chicken, any small pieces of cheese (from the cheese board) and lots of green vegetables for their colour and nutrients.
You can make one large Gougere or 4 smaller ones in ramekin dishes and freeze them for later. It’s also a great ‘all in one meal’ for a hearty winter lunch or dinner.
Preparation time is approximately 30 minutes as is the cooking time. The dish makes use of your microwave oven and your conventional oven, as choux pastry needs dry heat to cook it, make it rise and become crispy and golden brown on top.
The wattage of the microwave oven used is 900 watts (see the conversion chart on the front home page of the Microwave Technologies Association website - www.microwaveassociation.org.uk) if your oven has a different wattage.
Ingredients – pastry:
150 ml water
65g plain flour
2 large eggs, beaten
30g plain flour
1 teaspn prepared mustard
black pepper to taste
250g cooked turkey or chicken, roughly chopped
250g hard cheese, grated e.g. cheddar
150g broccoli, washed and divided into small florets
1 leek, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices, well washed
Make the pastry first to allow it to stand.
Put the water and butter into a saucepan. Heat together until the butter melts and the water boils. Remove the pan from the stove and tip in the flour. Beat briskly until the mixture forms a soft ball and leaves the sides of the pan clean.
Add the beaten eggs gradually until the mixture is smooth and glossy and firm enough to stand in soft peaks when lifted with a spoon. Leave to stand while the remaining parts of the dish are assembled.
Next make the sauce: Place the milk, 30g flour, 30g butter, the mustard and a little black pepper in a 1 litre oven proof jug. Heat in the microwave oven for 3 minutes, stirring well after every 1 minute to prevent any lumps from forming. When the sauce has thickened and come to the boil, stir in most of the grated cheese and the cooked turkey or chicken.
Lastly, cook the vegetables: put the prepared broccoli and leeks into a microwave proof dish. Rinse well under cold running water. Cover with a well-fitting lid and cook in the microwave oven for 3 minutes, until just cooked through.
Stir the vegetables into the cheese sauce mixture, adjust seasonings to taste if necessary.
Line the base and sides of a large shallow oven-proof dish (20 – 25 cms) in diameter or 2 or 4 smaller ones. Spoon the choux pastry mixture into the dish(es), pushing it up the sides of the dish as much as possible, as well as covering the base. Spoon the turkey sauce mixture into the centre of the pastry. Top with remaining grated cheese and cook in a hot oven - 200oC for 30 minutes until the sauce and pastry is golden brown and the pastry is cooked through.
Cook smaller ones for 15 minutes, then test to ensure the pastry is thoroughly cooked.
Serve immediately with some carrots or sweet potatoes to give that extra bit of colour.
Drain the pears, reserving the juice, then cut the fruit into small pieces. Split the trifle sponges in half and sandwich together with the strawberry jam. Measure the sherry into a jug and make up to 150ml with the reserved pear juice. If you don’t wish to have sherry in your trifle then use all of the pear juice – about 150ml.
Put half the chopped pears into the base of a glass serving dish of about 20cm in diameter and 6cm deep. Arrange half the trifle sponges on top, then add the remaining pears and finally the remaining sponges. Scatter the ratafias on top and pour the sherry and pear juice mixture over evenly.
Carefully pour the custard over the top. Lightly whip the cream until it just holds its shape and spoon carefully over the custard. Smooth or fluff the surface. Serve chilled. Sprinkle with the toasted flaked almonds just before serving.
TIP - Flaked almonds can now be bought ready toasted but, if you do need to toast them yourself, put them in a dry pan over a medium heat on the hob. Move them around with a wooden spoon and watch them like a hawk as they can quickly burn. PREPARING AHEAD - This is an ideal dessert to make a day ahead as the flavours have time to mingle. Keep in the fridge. Scatter over the almonds just before serving.
This recipe is from: Mary Berry's Christmas Collection (Headline) (but we say a trifle is for life, not just for Christmas)
First of all melt the butter in a large thick-based saucepan, then add the prepared leeks, potato and watercress and stir them around so that they're coated with the melted butter. Next sprinkle in some salt then cover with a lid and let the vegetables sweat over a very gentle heat for about 20 minutes, giving the mixture a good stir about halfway through.
After that, add the stock, bring everything up to simmering point and simmer, covered, for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are quite tender. Then remove the pan from the heat and when it's cooled a little liquidise the soup – you'll need to do this in batches.
Then return it all to the saucepan, swirl in three tablespoons of crème fraîche, season to taste and reheat very gently. Then serve in hot soup bowls and garnish each one with a little extra crème fraîche and some watercress leaves.
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s How to Cook Book Three and Delia's Vegetarian Collection.
The scone dough is quite deep to cut, so flour the cutter well between each cutting to prevent the dough sticking. The large scone made from the trimmings is perfect sliced for the family.
Preheat oven 220C/200Fan/Gas 7
Measure the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
Break the eggs and set aside 2 tablespoons for glazing later. Stir the remaining egg and milk into the flour, and mix to a soft but not sticky dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, knead lightly and roll out to a rectangle about 2cm ( ¾ inch) thick.
Cut into as many rounds as possible with a fluted 6cm (2 1/2 inch) cutter and place them on the prepared baking trays. Gently push the trimmings together to form one large scone, score the top with a sharp knife. Brush the tops of the scones with the reserved extra egg..
Makes about 20 small scones
Taken from Mary Berry at Home, BBC books
Makes 1 x 23cm (9 inch) cake
"Remember to allow 3 days for marinating the fruit in sherry. This is essential to plump up and flavour the fruit. If you cut the soaking time, there will be surplus liquid which will alter the texture of the cake. (If you don’t want to use alcohol, you could use the same quantity of orange juice.) You should make this cake at least 3 weeks ahead of Christmas, for if eaten too early it is crumbly. Decorate as you wish with ribbon, animals or stars. This is not a very deep cake."
Grease and line a 23cm (9 in) deep round tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 140ºC / Fan 120ºC / Gas 1.
STEP 1 Put all the dried fruit in a container, pour over the sherry and stir in the orange zest. Cover with a lid, and leave to soak for 3 days, stirring daily.
STEP 2 Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a very large bowl and beat well. Add the flours and mixed spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
STEP 3 Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 4–4½ hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown. Check after 2 hours, and, if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
STEP 4 When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra sherry. Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, feeding at intervals with more sherry. (Don’t remove the lining paper when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist.)
STEP 5 Mary has decorated her cake with almond paste and royal icing. You can find out how in her new book 'Mary Berry's Christmas Collection' on page 203.
aga I always cook my Christmas cake in the Aga, mixing it a day ahead, then baking it the next day. I put it in the Simmering Oven first thing in the morning, then watch it during the day. Cook on the grid shelf on the floor of the Simmering Oven for 5–15 hours. Simmering Ovens do vary a great deal, hence the time difference. If your Aga is old and the Simmering Oven exceedingly cool, start the cake off in the Roasting Oven on the grid shelf on the floor with the cold plain shelf above on the second set of runners. Allow to become pale golden, then carefully transfer to the Simmering Oven to bake until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.
tip Instead of covering with almond paste and royal icing, you could simply brush sieved warmed apricot jam over the top of the cake, then arrange glacé fruits and nuts over the jam. Brush again with jam.
preparing ahead Prepare the fruit and soak in sherry 3 days ahead. Make the cake and wrap as in step 4. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months, following step 4. You could also freeze the cake before decorating, for up to 3 months; defrost at room temperature.
Credits:Photograph of Mary Berry by Robin Matthews.Mary Berry's Christmas Collection is published by Headline, rrp £20.
Taken by kind permission from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible
Once you've made this you will stop making apple pie! Serve warm with cream and or custard. It is an excellent way of using up windfall apples. If preferred you can use a little grated lemon rind instead of the almond essence.
Preheat oven 160C/140 Fan/Gas 3. Grease and base line a 20cm (8”) deep loose bottomed cake tin with non stick paper.
Measure the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl. Stir in the eggs, almond essence and butter. Beat well until smooth.
Spoon half the mixture into the base of the cake tin. Arrange the apple slices on top and spoon over the remaining cake mixture in blobs over the top of the apples. Sprinkle with almonds.
Bake in preheated oven for about 1 ½ hours until golden brown and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.
Release from the sides of the tin and leave to cool for about 15 mins, turn out and serve warm.
Serves 6 generously.
The spa town of Bath is famous for its buns, distinguised by the coarse sugar topping. They are said to have been created in the eighteenth century. This recipe makes about 18 buns.
450g (1lb) strong white flour
7g sachet fast-action yeast
1 level teaspoon salt
50g (2oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) butter, melted and cooled
150ml (1/4 pint) tepid milk
175g (6oz) sultanas
50g (2oz) chopped candied peel
1 large egg, to glaze
Nibbed sugar or coarsely crushed sugar cubes
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5
1. Measure the flour, yeast, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted, cooled butter, eggs and milk, adding the sultanas and chopped peel last. Mix to a smooth, soft dough.
2. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm, or put the bowl inside a large polythene bag. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour in a warm room.
3. Lightly grease two baking trays. Turn the risen dough out of the bowl and knead well until the dough is again smooth and elastic. Divide into 18 equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a bun and place on the prepared baking trays. Cover again with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
4. Brush the buns with beaten egg and sprinkle with nibbed sugar. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and sound hollow when the base is tapped. Lift on to a wire rack to cool. Serve buttered.
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