Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Baking with Dorie: Cheese Puffers

It is Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops: A Baking Book that first made me fall in love with the cookbooks of Dorie Greenspan. I took a batch of her Sablés au Citron to a family get-together (back when we had such things) and I got a whole series of requests for my recipe. (My post about making Sablés au Citron is here.)

Now I'm enjoying Baking With Dorie: Sweet, Salty, & Simple. This book marks thirty years of cookbookery for Dorie. To make this cookbook, she spent three years working on the kinds of recipes she loves most: recipes that are simple, use basic ingredients, and have deep flavors and complex textures. She focused on creating recipes that are flexible, that allow the cook to play with them. And she built surprises into as many of the recipes as she could. 

Doesn't that sound fun? 

And here's a lovely quote from Dorie in her introduction to the book:

"This is my fourteenth cookbook, and it arrives exactly thirty years after my first. A lot has changed over those decades, but not the joy I get from baking. That's constant and unfailing. If you're a baker, you know exactly how I feel. If you're not, the sweetest thing I can wish you is that you become one. Bake something and share it. It might change your life. It changed mine."

Dorie shares recipes for what she calls The Daily Bread (a fairly simple white bread that can be made every day); brioche (her favorite bread, and mine); babka; biscuits; Lemony Yogurt Muffins (the next thing I'm trying from this cookbook); cakes; cobblers; French Riviera Lemon Tart (on my list to make soon); Peanut-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Paris Style (how can I resist that?); biscotti; pies...Let's just say that if you can bake it, there is probably some fresh version of it in this book.

The first thing I tried is Dorie's Cheese Puffers.

Cheese Puffers

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

A few grinds of black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

3 large eggs

1 cup milk, at room temperature

4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

3 scallions, trimmed and finely sliced or chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

If you have a cast-iron muffin tin, put it in the oven when you start to preheat it and melt the butter in the cups a minute before you’re ready to add the batter. Check puffers after 15 minutes in the oven.

Center a rack in the oven and position another rack just below it. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Have a baking sheet lined with foil or a baking mat and a muffin tin at hand. (If you’re using a cast-iron pan, put it into the oven now; see above.) Put the baking sheet on the lower rack — it will be your drip catcher.

Drop one piece of the butter into each muffin cup; set aside (see above if using a cast-iron pan).

Working in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne.

In another bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk the eggs and milk together. Using a flexible spatula, stir the liquid ingredients into the dry, then blend in the cheese and scallions. Be thorough, but don’t be overzealous.

Put the muffin tin into the oven and as soon as the butter has melted, remove it and brush the butter around the sides of each cup with a silicone or other pastry brush. Using a big cookie scoop or a spoon, divide the batter among the cups and immediately return the tin to the oven.

Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until the puffers are tall and golden. The butter will be bubbling around them and a tester inserted into the center of one will come out clean. Transfer the tin to a rack, run a table knife around the edges of each cup and pop the puffers out. Serve immediately.

Storing: These are meant to be eaten as soon as they’re baked, but if they must wait for a few hours, quickly reheat them in a hot oven.

For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative! It was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion and is now hosted at Elza Reads.

Weekend Cooking was created by Beth Fish Reads and is now hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader (and Baker). It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

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