Five Easy Bites for Holiday Entertaining Part 3 – Gougères
Just what the heck is a Gougère, you might be wondering. Answer – it’s simply a savory bite of choux paste (the same pastry used to make Profiteroles) with cheese mixed and baked into the dough.
Okay, it may be best to save this little hors d’ouevre for when you aren’t trying to finish a big turkey or roast, and need to reheat a lot of side dishes, because you will need an oven. And they should be served warm, right out of the oven. So maybe New Year’s Eve, which is perfect because, really, I can’t think of many easy little bites that go better with Champagne than these warm, cheesy puffs. And although you’ll need to bake them at the last minute, you can mix the dough, pipe them and wrap them well, then into the freezer they go. Then when you’re ready to serve them, pop them right out of the freezer and into the oven. Eh voilá – so how easy is that? And they are so très chic.
Gougères are traditionally made with Gruyere (my favorite) or Emmenthaler, but can be made with other Swiss type cheeses, like Jarlsberg, or with a Chèvre, Cheddar or blue cheese, as well. And I like to throw in a handful of herbs – chives work well with the Gruyere or a Chèvre, and rosemary or thyme with an aged Cheddar. So use your imagination. And enjoy!
Gruyère and Chive Gougères
- 1 cup water
- 4 ounces butter (or a combination of margarine and butter – one of the very few times I use margarine, as it results in a lighter product causing the puffs to “puff” more)
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese
- 3-4 tablespoons of chives
- 1 egg beaten with 3-4 tablespoons of water to brush piped puffs
- Combine the water, butter and salt in a large pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a boil remove it from the heat and dump the flour in all at once, stirring to combine.
- Return the pot to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste dries, leaving the side of the pan and forming a ball, and a slight skin forms on the bottom of the pot.
- Transfer the paste to the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat with the paddle attachment on first speed to cool the paste slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, and increase to second speed, continuing to beat until all of the eggs are absorbed. Add the Gruyere and chives.
- Place the paste in a piping bag fitted with a #4 tip for bite sized puffs, and pipe onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Use the moistened tip of your finger to smooth down the point of dough that forms when lifting the pastry bag. Brush with egg wash.
- Bake at 375 degrees until the rosettes puff up and brown, about 30 minutes (slightly longer if frozen).
Yield: @ 4 dozen bite sized puffs.