Gougeres are baked savory choux cheese pastries. The cheese is typically Gruyere and, as this was my first attempt at this pastry, I wanted to follow the recipe exactly. (I actually found them a little bland and will use a sharp cheddar next time.) I added a little flavor to them by piping some whipped cream inside, which, while bastardizing the savory gougere, did increase the flavor.
The recipe I used did not include the step to dry the choux after the bake. Typically, after the first bake at 425 F, each piece of pastry is punctured and returned to the over for another 30 min at 375 F. This lets the steam out of the inside of the pastry and gives them that little crispness usually found it cream puffs or eclairs.
- 1 cup water
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut up
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup cheese, Gruyere or sharp cheddar
- Boil: Heat water, salt and butter to a boil
- Mix: Dump in flour, all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon to a big soft lump that looks something like mashed potatoes. Stir another minute to cook the flour.
- Beat: Scrape dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium, slowly pouring in eggs. Sprinkle in ¾ cup cheese. Dough will look like vanilla pudding.
- Shape: Scrape dough into a piping bag fitted with a plain ½ inch tip. Pip about 48 1-inch diameter mounds onto parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle remaining cheese on the top of the little lumps
- Bake: Slide pans into a 400o oven, bake until gougeres are golden and puffed, about 20 minutes. Pull one out, break open and check. Inside should be steamy and creamy but not wet. If need be, bake another minute.
- NOTE: My correction would be to puncture each pastry and place back in the oven at reduced heat. The initial oven temperature should be 425 F then turned down to 375 F as soon as you put the pastries in.
- They are done when they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped with a fingernail.
- Puncture each pastry (I use a wooden chop stick) followed by another few min at 300 F. Break one open and check that the inside is dry.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve: Delightful plain, or use a paring knife to slip the bottom and stuff with any savory morsel – even a pistachio, chunk of brie or whip of salami.