Monday, December 8, 2014

Glamorous Gougeres

Gougeres (goo-zhairs) are a classic French appetizer made with "pate a choux" dough (see Mon Petit Chou) and flavored with cheese, traditionally Gruyere, Comte, or Parmesan. Gougeres originated from the Burgundy region in France where they are frequently served at wine tastings. How posh! Although they may appear to be some feat of magic, they are quite simple to make. In addition, they can even be made ahead, refrigerated or frozen to be reheated just before serving. Perfect for the holidays! 

Feel free to play with the seasonings, e.g., Gruyere and a pinch of cayenne or finely chopped thyme, Roquefort and finely chopped toasted walnuts, Manchego and freshly ground black pepper, and following my Texan sensibilities, sharp cheddar and finely chopped green chiles! (I hear French people crying, "Oh la vache!") If you choose the traditional version, you can serve them alongside soup for an elegant accompaniment, cut them in half and fill them with salmon or foie gras mousse, or even make them larger and fill them with Waldorf salad, or serve them with steak as a holder for your steak sauce like bordelaise, hollandaise, or bernaise. The possibilities are truly endless! You must add these babies to your culinary repertoire! You can thank me later!


Makes approximately 50 bite-size gougeres or 8 large ones.

1 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup (4 ounces) grated Gruyere cheese


In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, butter, sugar, cayenne, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir in the flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon.

The mixture will become a big ball. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Transfer the blob to the bowl of a stand mixer, or large mixing bowl. Starting with the lowest setting, beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Don't add the next egg until the previous one has been incorporated. Beat until smooth and velvety. Stir in the Gruyere.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.

Using a pastry bag or two spoons, pipe or drop approximately 1" balls onto the sheet.

Using your finger dipped into a little milk, pat down the tips from piping, if necessary.

Bake for 25-30 minutes (or approximately 45 minutes for 8 large ones), or until puffed, medium-golden brown, and dry on the outside. (You need to keep and eye on them, and can check to make sure they are fully cooked by cutting one open.) When done, remove to a cooling rack and serve warm. (Some people recommend piercing each one with a skewer or toothpick to allow steam to escape.) 

*If making ahead, allow them to cool completely. Once cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, or even frozen. To reheat gougeres, bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or 15 minutes if unthawed frozen.

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