Gougères

I was preparing a big French meal for my son’s 15th Birthday Party, and came across this recipe for gougères. They are a classic French cheese puff. I didn’t use the traditional $18/lb Gruyère, instead opted for a $5/lb Jarlsberg. While I have never even heard of them before, so wasn’t sure how they are supposed to taste, they turned out delicious and kept my guests satisfied while the kids ate their dinner. 4-stars.

Serve while still warm

Serve while still warm

Comments:

  1. If not using immediately, transfer paste to medium bowl, press sheet of plastic wrap that has been sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray directly on surface, and store at room temperature for up to 2 hours.)
  2. After cooling, Gougères can be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Or you can freeze them in zip-lock bag for up to 1 month. However, they are best served warm, so crisp room-temperature gougères in 300-degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes; or crisp frozen gougères for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. I didn’t have a plain tip; only a star-tip for making churros. But I was able to smooth them out using the back of a wet spoon technique in Step 7. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougère , dropping the dough from a spoon onto baking sheet.

Cost: $2.50
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Dinner time 6:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared them today are given below:

2 large eggs, plus 1 extra egg white
6 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces), sifted
3 ounces Gruyère, Emmentaler, or Swiss cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
Pinch cayenne pepper

  1. Allow butter to soften on the counter-top and cut into 10 pieces. In a Pyrex measuring cup, use a fork to beat eggs and whites. Discard any extra beyond 1/2 cup. Set aside. Spray large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, then line with parchment paper; set aside for Step 7.
  2. Add water, butter, milk, and salt to small saucepan set over medium burner. Stir a few times while it is coming up to a boil; about 5 minutes. By the time it reaches a full boil the butter should be melted; immediately remove the pan from heat and use a heat-proof spatula to stir in the flour.
  3. Turn down the burner to low, and cook for 3 minutes; constantly stirring using a smearing motion. The mixture will become shiny; like wet sand; and small beads of fat should appear on the bottom of the pan. The temperature of the paste will be between 175-and-180 degrees.
  4. Immediately empty the paste into the bowl of a food processor and process for 10 seconds with the feed tube open; which will slightly cool the mixture. With the food processor running, gradually pour the eggs through the open feed tube in a steady stream. After you’ve added all the eggs, use a spatula to scrape down the sides and add shredded cheese and your pinch of cayenne pepper.
  5. Process for 30 seconds. You should be left with a thick, sticky paste.
  6. Put a 1/2″ plain tip on a large pastry bag. Fold down the top about 1/3 of the way to form a cuff. Add the paste as far down into the pastry bag as you can. Unfold the cuff, lay it flat on the counter-top and push the paste towards the tip.
  7. Twist the top of the bag to pipe the paste onto parchment-lined baking sheet into 15 to 16 two-inch mounds. Dip the back of a spoon in cold water to even and smooth the mounds.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes at 425-degrees, then (without opening the oven door) reduce to 375-degrees. Continue baking for 12 to 14 minutes, until they become golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and use a paring knife to cut a 3/4″ slit into the side of each puff. This will release any steam.
  10. Turn off the oven, return puffs to oven, and prop the door open using a wooden spoon. Allow to sit in warm oven for 10 minutes, before moving to a wire rack. Serve while still warm.
Forms a shiny paste

Forms a shiny paste

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5 Responses to Gougères

  1. Sonya says:

    These look delicious, and it was a relief to see that they are pretty easy to make. Hope your French dinner turned out nice too.

  2. Sarah says:

    I would love to know what else was on the menu! Not in your magical and informative posts but maybe list form?

    • Haha. I am writing up the Modern Beef Burgundy post for the next few days. Also French Onion Soup. For the kids, I made Stovetop Roast Chicken with Lemon-Herb Sauce and Mac and Cheese. Lastly I made a cookie-dough ice cream cake, which I will also post in the next week or so.

      Thanks for asking,
      Mark

      • Sarah says:

        Ok… I changed my mind. I would like to read your magically informative posts about all the dishes on that menu. Btw. Thanks for writing this blog. It is always a highlight to my day when you do a new recipe. Having a full time job and a two year old makes cooking extinct. I live through your cooking!

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