Photo courtesy CBC
We may not know who is going to take the crown in CBC’s Great Canadian Baking Show but Kwantlen Polytechnic University Physics (KPU) professor James Hoyland offers Sentinel readers his recipe for Mushroom Gougere, a crown of cheesy pastry puffs that encircle a rich mushroom and almond savoury filling.
“This is a Christmas dish we do for our veggie Christmas dinner instead of turkey,” he says.
Choux (“shue”) pastry, while looking impressive in the finished item, is pretty easy to make, Hoyland says.
It’s the same base as the shells for cream puffs and profiteroles.
Your arms get a work-out in the mixing phase but it really does turn out if you follow the recipe.
Hint: Where Hoyland suggests parchment paper, you can use wax paper instead.
Gougere is basically choux pastry with cheese. We have made this a few times as the centerpiece for a vegetarian Christmas dinner. The pastry is made into a crown shape with the filling inside. We make it with a creamy, herby mushroom filling but you could try others as well.
Choux pastry can seem a bit intimidating but once you have the knack you’ll find it pretty easy to get right.
The key is to work quickly and be ready for a workout!
The Gougere Crown:
200g all-purpose flour
100g butter, chopped into small cubes
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
6 large eggs
1 tbsp of wholegrain Dijon mustard (adjust to taste!)
175g Gruyere cheese (grated)
About a dozen large portobello mushrooms
1 medium onion
3 Tbsp butter
Small bunch of parsley
3 cloves garlic
½ cup raw unsalted almonds
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 450F.
To make the pastry, sift the flour onto a large sheet of baking parchment.
Put the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt in a pan, and heat gently until the butter has completely melted.
Increase the heat and bring the liquid to the boil.
When bubbling, remove quickly from the heat and tip in the flour all at once. That’s why we put it on parchment, you can pick up the parchment and swish it in all at once.
Immediately beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a dough that leaves the side of the pan clean. Remove from the heat.
Cool for a few minutes.. This is important—if you add the egg while it’s too hot the egg will curdle.
Gradually add the beaten egg to the dough, beating well between each addition, until the dough is smooth and glossy. The dough is going to be heavy and you have to stir fast.
This is where you get your workout! Once it’s lovely and shiny stir in the mustard and about 125g of the cheese.
Now divide the dough into eight rough balls and dollop them onto a papered baking sheet in a circle leaving a space in the middle. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over. Pop into the oven and right away drop the temperature to 425F. After 10 min drop the temperature to 375F and bake for around 20 minutes.
While the crown is baking, make the filling.
Melt butter in a frying pan on medium low heat. Chop the onion fairly finely and crush the garlic and sauté for a few minutes.
Slice the mushrooms thickly and toss them in the pan making sure they are well coated.
Add the chopped parsley and cook slowly until the mushrooms have sweated down well.
Blend the nuts with the oil, soy sauce and lemon juice and pour into the mushroom mix.
Continue cooking until the sauce thickens.
When the pastry is done, take it out of the oven, let it cool slightly and transfer to a serving dish.
When ready, spoon the filling into the middle of the crown.