There is something very satisfying about making choux pastry and it definitely impresses. It's not hard to make, though it does need a strong arm for the wooden spoon! In this recipe it is flavoured with Gruyère cheese and baked with lots of delicious vegetables and beans.
Lynn Lewis and Joachim Wahnschaffe
FOR THE CHOUX PASTRY
60 g (1/4 cup) butter
85 g (2/3 cup) plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
55 g (1/2 cup) finely grated Gruyère cheese
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
FOR THE FILLING
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 2 cm chunks
2 zucchini, cut into 2 cm chunks
1 red and 1 green capsicum, seeds removed, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
420g tinned pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
400g (1 2/3 cups) chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
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Preheat oven to 220°C. Use a large roasting tin for the filling and a greased 1.25-litre round or oval oven-proof dish for the gougère.
First make the filling. Drizzle the oil over the bottom of the roasting tin. Add eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, onion and garlic; toss them in the oil. Cook for 35–40 minutes or until golden brown and tender; toss the vegetables again after 20 minutes.
For the pastry, place butter and 125 ml water in a saucepan. Heat gently until butter has melted, then bring to the boil. As soon as mixture boils, remove pan from heat; quickly tip in all the flour. Beat very vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball and the base of the pan is coated with a white film. Cool for 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time to make a stiff, smooth paste. Beat in cheese and cayenne pepper.
Spoon pastry evenly around the edge of the greased dish. Place in the oven (the same temperature as before) and bake for 25 minutes until well risen and golden brown. (Do not open the oven door while choux pastry is cooking.)
When the gougère are almost done, put the borlotti beans in a saucepan. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the parsley and thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over a low heat, stirring from time to time, until heated through.
Add roasted vegetables to the bean mixture and stir gently to combine. Spoon into the centre of the freshly baked gougère to serve.