Joanne Chang’s Baking Demonstration of Gougere

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As a foodie, I was excited to meet Joanne Chang today at TAGS Kitchen Hardware store. She is the chef and owner of my favorite bakery/café, Flour and a co-owner/chef of Myers and Chang Restaurant with her husband, Christopher Myers.  She just came out with a new cookbook, Flour Two, a sequel to her first book, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Café.  Unlike the first book, Flour Two focuses more on savory dishes and less on desserts. During the event at TAGS, Joanne said she decided to write this book because of two reasons. One, she originally wanted to have a savory foods chapter in the first Flour book but the publisher said she did not have enough room. Two, a lot of people have been emailing her requesting that she comes out with Flour book including savory recipes.

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At TAGS Kitchen Hardware store, she did a cooking demonstration of baking Gougeres based on the French pastry pate a choux.  The recipe consists of eggs, flour, water, salt, sugar and the main ingredient, gruyere cheese.  You first mix the flour, water, salt and sugar up in a low heat pan before putting it in a mixer with the eggs. Once the ingredients are well-mixed, you transfer the ingredients to a piping bag and pipe them into a baking sheet. If you don’t have a piping bag, Joanne suggests using an ice-cream scooper.

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During the demonstration, Joanne gave some helpful cooking tips such as measuring all needed ingredients for a recipe and storing them in Tupperware so you would have them ready beforehand when you start cooking/baking. She also suggests when baking the gougeres, to bake them ahead of time and freeze them and warm them up in the oven before the party. Furthermore, Joanne announced that she is writing a third cookbook focusing on low-sugar desserts!

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After the demonstration, me and the other spectators got to taste the gougeres (they were delicious and I ate three!). She also signed her new cookbooks and took some pictures. I ecstatically told Joanne how I love Flour Bakery, her sticky buns, her appearance on Food Network, and how she cleverly uses her math degree to create a math equation for the right stickyness for a sticky bun!

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Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery – Delicious Lunches + Tasty Desserts

On Friday, I ate delicious lunch with my friend, Lesley at our favorite lunch spot, Flour Bakery and Café on Washington Street in the South End of Boston. She ordered the apple-wood smoked bacon sandwich with a freshly squeezed orange juice. I ate the breakfast egg and cheese sandwich with guacamole and no meat with a raspberry seltzer drink (It was amazing!). We both bought rice-krispy treats to go ( Flour has a way of luring you in displaying their beautiful baked goods right in front of you on the counter).

Flour bakery and café is founded by Joanne Chang. She owns two other bakeries in addition to the one on Washington street. Joanne also owns Myers-Chang Asian fusion restaurant with her husband, Chris. I came to learn of Joanne when she appeared on the Food Network (of course!) on Throwndown with Bobby Flay. She and Bobby competed on who can create the best sticky bun (Joanne totally out-witted Bobby).

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Joanne is a Harvard graduate with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics. After spending years in management consulting, she decided to utilize her degree in a unique way and enter the food world and eventually open her own bakeshop and fulfill her love of baking pastries and cooking.  Joanne developed a mathematical equation to calculate the right amount of stickiness in a sticky bun. As a result, it has certainly paid off! (her sticky buns are scrumptious!). Every time I go to Flour, I try to order a sticky bun and get ecstatic when I get one (they’re always sold out by the afternoon). They are just so delightful!  If you are ever in Boston, I totally recommend going to Flour Bakery and taste Joanne’s incredible desserts. Aside from the sticky buns, I also love the apple snacking cake, the lemon ginger scones and banana bread pudding are fabulous!