Gougeres (cheese puffs)
Gougeres are one of my favourite things to serve as an appetizer. They are light, airy, full of cheesy flavour, can be served plain or filled with a variety of fillings. In short, they are very versatile.
To go with that, they are a little tricky to make and if you have never made them before it may take you once or twice to master them, but once you do I am sure they remain in your repertoire forever.
You make them by melting butter and water together in a pan, then add flour all at once and cook stirring with a wooden spoon until the moisture has evaporated and flour forms a ball.
From here you can continue by hand or with a mixer, adding eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated back into the batter. You then add the cheese and fold it into the batter.
When it’s ready, you scoop the batter into a piping bag and pipe onto a baking sheet for baking. The little mounds will puff up nicely, dry a bit on the inside and create a structure that will hold their shape when cooled.
This is the same recipe you would use for profiteroles. eclairs etc., but of course you will omit the cheese and add sugar.
Gougeres (cheese puffs)
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 oz grated hard cheese (gruyere, comte)
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Bring the water, salt and butter to a boil.
- When the butter has melted add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture binds together and pulls away from the sides of the pan. You should see a thin film forming on the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from the heat and continue mixing with a wooden spoon to cool it off.
- When the pastry has cooled somewhat place it in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or you can proceed by hand). Begin adding the eggs, one at a time, beating well until each is completely incorporated into the dough. The dough will first break down and as you add the eggs and will come together again as you continue mixing.
- Continue adding the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.
- Add the cheese and mix until incorporated, but do not overmix.
- Spoon the dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/3 inch plain tip.
- Pipe the dough onto the parchment lined baking sheets about 1 inch apart. The mounds should be about the size of a walnut. You can wet your hand and smooth the tops of the gougeres with your fingers.
- Bake in the preheated oven 30 min or until golden and done. Do not underbake as they may collapse when taken out of the oven.
- If you bake them ahead they can be reheated briefly in a hot oven before serving, or served at room temperature.
- If you wish to fill them cut the gougeres 1/3 from the top, pipe or spoon in a filling and place the top back on.
- Ideas for filling savoury gougeres: pate, vegan nut pate, goat cheese, smoked salmon mousse, mushrooms etc.