Last October, Norm and I, along with Michelle and Kurt Winner explored a small portion of France. After our week of barginging with European Waterways on a canal in Lower Burgundy, we were picked up by Brendan Moore, a wine expert and guide who works with chef Katherine Frelon at La Ferme de la Lochere, Frelon’s Fabulous France. Traveling the road to our destination, we passed the many fields of grapes and stopped at private and small family vintners. As we learned about the different Burgundies, we also were shocked to learn that it is made from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes. As Brendan explains the terroir appellations and crus, he had something that had seemed complex easier.
When we arrived at La Ferme de la Lochere, a hour from Dijon or Paris, we were delighted with the totally remolded four hundred year-old farm building. The inside was so spacious, modern, and comfortable while keeping the outside with the charm of its original design. The kitchen is a dream, which you can see in the video.
Katherine, originally from the UK, greeted us with a glass of champagne. When you experience this fantastic adventure, you can have what you want. Most want her hands on cooking lessons, as well as visiting the market, having Brendan do an evening about wine, a visit to Semur en Auxois and enjoy chocolates from Alexandre Chocolatier, as well as the markets and other treasures. As a side note, this town is where the movie “Chocolate,” was filmed and the store front is in tact, but no reference to the movie.
While staying here, you will be sure to meet Katherine’s family, her French husband, and two children. The Frelon family reside next door. Their sense of life and enthusiasm are contagious. I could keep going, but I’ll stop for this post. Just know, I highly recommend the experience.
The recipe is below the video.
Pate a choux
250ml/10 fl oz water
250ml/10 fl oz milk
200g/8oz butter, diced
6g/1 tsp salt
6g/1 tsp sugar
300g/10oz plain flour, sifted twice onto greaseproof paper
8 medium eggs, brake into a bowl & whisk with a fork
2 tsp dijon mustard
60g/4 oz gruyere
Starter/lunch gougères- savoury base
50g/2 oz butter
50g/2 oz plain flour
1pt/1/2 l milk
2tsp dijon mustard
100g/4 oz gruyere, grated
1 onion finely chopped
100g/ 4oz smoked lardons
S & P
handful of fresh herbs
omit the lardons and use green & black olives
Preheat oven to 220°C, 425°F, Gas7
Melt the butter in a saucepan with the milk, water, salt & sugar.
Bring to a boil for just a minute then take off the heat and tip in the flour, which has been sifted onto the greaseproof paper.
Mix slowly together with a wooden spoon and return on a low heat to dry out the mixture. It should be smooth and just pull away from the sides when dry enough, approx 1 minute.
Turn the pastry into a large mixing bowl.
Steady the bowl on a tea towel and start adding the eggs, approx 1 at a time and beat really well in between times.
You are trying to incorporate as much air into them as possible.
It should be a dig and lift motion and you will hear a gluppy ploof sort of sound as the air is trapped in the mixture.
*Top tip! I find holding the bowl almost sideways under the crook of my air a good angle to dig and lift _ hold the wooden spoon with the back facing you!
If making Canapé gougères add in the cheese & mustard.
Stir! do not beat.
Spoon into a piping bag and pipe really small dots onto a baking tray.
Glaze with egg glaze and bake in the oven, opening the door after 5 mins, leave ajar slightly to dry out.
Serve warm with drinks
Starter/summer lunch gougères
Spoon out the choux pastry mixture onto a baking tray into a round.
Make up the sauce to fill the middle.
Soften the onions in a frying pan with a little oil, then add the lardoons and cook thorough for 5 mins, set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, and then add the four mixing until it is smooth.
Then add the milk, stirring until thick.
Season with s & p and add the cheese and lardoons or olives.
Spoon onto the choux pastry circle and bake slowly in the oven until risen and golden brown.
it can take up to 40 mins, depending on the oven.
Serve warm with salad.
Sweet choux pastry
Make up a recipe of basic mix omitting the ½ the salt and bake as for the canapé gougères, let them cool.
Whip up the double cream or churn your ice-cream.
Either with a sharp knife or the end of a pointed piping nozzle make a hole in the base of each choux puff, or just slice them in half.
Pipe in the cream or spoon in the ice-cream.
Serve with fresh strawberries and drizzle with the melted chocolate!
If you are making them with ice-cream they can then be frozen and used when required.
Serving them frozen with strawberries and a chocolate fountain is pretty delicious!