Gougères are a french ‘choux’ or pâte à choux pastry. A choux pastry uses the steam created during cooking to ‘rise’ the puffs. This pastry is used for eclairs, profiteroles and also (our family favorite) gougères. These are small cheese puffs and they are a beautiful, perfect accompaniment to stew. I sometimes put them out for parties and they go very quickly.
Pâte à choux pastry is quick to make and fairly easy. But it moves fast! Have everything ready to go before you start and these will come together in a matter of minutes. This particular recipe is my own and uses our local Beecher’s Reserve cheddar.
Beecher’s Reserve Cheddar Gougères
1 C Water
1/4 C (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp butter
1 C Flour
2 C Beecher’s Reserve Cheddar
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
Half teaspoon (to taste) fresh ground black pepper
Heat oven to 425. In large pan, heat water, butter and salt until your butter is completely melted. Turn heat off and quickly add flour – stirring vigorously. It will appear as a sticky mess and then suddenly pull together in a ball – it is then ready. Add eggs one at a time, stirring each time until egg is incorporated. Like the flour addition, each egg will seem “gloppy” as if it will not incorporate. Stir vigorously and it will ‘pull’ together suddenly. When all four eggs are added, you will have a semi-glossy and smooth ball of dough. Stir in the cheddar, the black pepper and about half the parmesan. Spoon into a pastry bag and pipe in about 2″ rounds onto a sil pad or well greased baking sheet. If you do not have a piping bag, you may easily make one from a ziploc bag. You can also spoon this, but take care it doesn’t spread too wide. Bake 425 for about 8 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 for 12 – 14 minutes or until golden brown.