Gougères {Gruyere Cheese Puffs}

Gougere Cheese PUff

 

There are some meals where dinner rolls or a simple baguette just won’t do. You want something impressive – but it would be GREAT if it was also easy. These Gougères are both.

“Gougère” {pronounced goo-zhehr} is the French word for “cheese puff.” Whatever you call them, they’re addictive. Every time I serve these, someone tries to hoard the bread basket. Those that have had them before know enough to take {at least} two when said basket goes by.

I had tried other versions in the past. They weren’t that easy, and I certainly couldn’t do the work ahead of time. A few years ago, the LA Times ran a recipe that wasn’t only simple, but made it possible to have hot-out-of-the-oven Gougères at a moment’s notice.

Pulling these together takes maybe 10 minutes. The mixture is then placed into a plastic zip-top bag with a corner snipped off {or pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip if you’re that fancy} and squeezed into mounds onto a cookie sheet. {Even simpler, drop generous spoonfuls – say a tablespoon or so.} Freeze them – raw. Then bake whenever you need a slam-dunk appetizer or melt-in-your-mouth bread to go with dinner.

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Gougères
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Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 7 tablespoons (3½ ounces) butter
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1¼ cups (5 ounces) flour
  • 4 to 5 eggs
  • 1¼ cups grated Gruyère (5 ounces), divided
  • Freshly ground white pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Add all the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball and the excess moisture has evaporated (if the ball forms more quickly, continue to cook and stir for a full 2 minutes).
  3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and beat for about 30 seconds at medium speed to cool slightly. Add 4 eggs and continue to mix until completely combined and the batter has a smooth, silky texture. Stop the machine and lift up the beater to check the consistency of the batter. It should form a peak with a tip that falls over. If it is too stiff, beat in the white of the remaining egg. Check again and, if necessary, add the yolk. Finally, mix in three-fourths cup of Gruyère and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a three-eighths-inch plain pastry tip with the gougères batter. Pipe the batter into 1-tablespoon mounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the gougères, as the mixture will spread during baking. {Alternatively you can drop the dough by spoonfuls onto your sheet.} Sprinkle the top of each gougère with about one-half teaspoon of the remaining grated cheese. (At this point, the gougères can be frozen on the baking sheets until solid, then stored in the freezer in a tightly sealed container.)
  5. When almost ready to serve, transfer the frozen gougères back onto the lined baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees until they puff and hold their shape, 7 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until they are a light golden brown color, an additional 20 to 25 minutes. When you think the gougères are done, break one open; it should be hollow and the inside should be cooked but still slightly moist.
  6. Remove the pans from the oven and serve the gougères while hot.
Here’s a note about the picture. This past Christmas, our dear friends Doug & Lorrie stopped by to deliver some very special gifts. Lorrie gave me the spoon and the blueberry jam you see in the photograph, hoping they’d inspire a Raisin & Fig post. First, could she BE more thoughtful??! Second, I knew right away that both the spoon and the jam were perfect co-stars with these tasty little morsels.

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4 Responses to Gougères {Gruyere Cheese Puffs}

  1. Marge January 14, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    I first discovered these little wonders on a visit to a winery in the South of France.
    They are great with anything, but perfect with a glass of wine.
    Enjoy and Cheers!

  2. Karen January 29, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

    These beauties look delicious, but furthermore I must say your photography really does the job in inspiring me to make these as soon as possible. Well done!

    • Morgan Wood January 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

      Awwww, thank you!!!

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