Apr 30, 2013

Downton Abbey Cheese Puffs

Week after week I would watch Downton Abbey. Mrs. Patmore would cook up the most elaborate meals that I have ever seen. It must be so complicated to make such elaborate meals. I've never made a souffle or made beef wellington, the thought of cooking either of these dishes is daunting. I once read that if you can read, then you can cook.  Some of us have the knack for taking the time to learn about techniques and others don't want to be bothered.  A recipe is not written in stone but should be looked at as a guide only. After all, you know your own palate. If you don't think that you will like the amount of spice in a recipe, then tone it down. When I look at things like eclairs, cheese puffs and similar edibles, my first thought is that I cannot make it like a pro. Who cares. Try it and you may find a new "favorite" thing to make. Most of the time the recipe is very simple, really it is.  This recipe is from Pamela Foster's E-book called Abbey Cooks Entertain.

Ingredients: Makes about 30 cheese puffs

1/2 cup of water
3 tbs, unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chili powder or cayenne 
1/2 cup of plain flower
2  large eggs
3/4 cup of grated gruyere cheese or grated cheese of your choice. 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place a sauce pan on medium heat and add the butter.  As it begins to melt add the salt, water, and chili powder.  Then add the flour all at once, using a whisk to mix it all together.  Keep mixing it until it is a smooth ball.  Take off the heat and let it rest for a couple of minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, stirring the mixture quickly. The batter may be lumpy, keep stirring until it is smooth. Then add the grated cheese and stir until well combined. 

Wet a teaspoon and drop thumbnail-sized spoonfuls onto the parchment paper about an inch apart.  You can experiment with the size of the puff by adjusting the size of the dollops.  Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.  Serve them warm with creamy cheese or serve plain. These make a great snack with hot tea.  Enjoy!