Have you ever made cream puffs? Well if you have you will recognize this recipe, as it is the base for any cream puff, but with a twist. If you hold the cheese and herbs, you would have a basic recipe for making the choux pastry, which is what you pipe onto baking sheets to make cream puffs. The twist is adding savoury ingredients like cheese and herbs.
What I love about this recipe is that you can get as creative as you want by using a variety of different cheeses and herbs to flavour the Gougeres. The combinations of different cheeses and herbs are endless, as long as you remember 1 important thing. You can only use semisoft melting cheese such as Gruye`re, cheddar, or Fontina with any hard cheese such as Asiago, Parmesan, or Manchego.
I know this from experience. I made the mistake of using a soft cheese (garlic & herb havarti) when I was testing out this recipe and the Gougeres did not puff up as they are suppose to…I ended up having wonderful tasting flat pancake looking Gougeres. In any case, make sure you use hard and semi hard cheese when experimenting with different combinations of cheeses.
To make this recipe a bit healthier than the original recipe, I switched out the butter with margarine (cutting down the saturated fat content), which makes these tasty delights better for your heart with minimal taste difference. There wasn’t anything else that I was able to alter, but to make these a bit healthier you can use low fat cheeses (that are hard & semi-hard), like old cheddar & low fat parmesan. The key with low fat cheese is to look for the milk fat % on the package. It is going to be low fat if it states 15-20% m.f. (milk fat). Most cheeses are 30-40% m.f.
When all is said and done, the final product makes wonderful tasting light and airy savory puffs that are easily frozen and reheated.
Hope you enjoy!
What is a Gougères (From Wikipedia): A gougère, in French cuisine, is a baked savory choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese. There are many variants. The cheese is commonly grated Gruyère, Comté, or Emmentaler,but there are many variants using other cheeses or other ingredients. Gougères are said to come from Burgundy, specifically Sens. Gougères can be made as small pastries, 3-4 cm. in diameter; aperitif gougères; 10-12 cm.; individual gougères; or in a ring. Sometimes they are filled with ingredients such as mushrooms, beef, or ham; in this case the gougère is usually made using a ring or pie tin. In Burgundy, they are generally served cold when tasting wine in cellars, but are also served warm as an appetizer.
“These taste yummy” ~Sydney
Yield: Makes about 42 gougères
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Large pinch of cayenne pepper
- Large pinch of low sodium salt
- 1 cup plus 3 tbsp grated Gruyère
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons fresh or dried chives plus more for garnish
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring margarine and 1 cup water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Take off heat. Add flour, chives, cayenne, and salt; stir vigorously to blend. Put back on heat and stir vigorously over medium heat until mixture forms a ball and a thin, dry film forms on bottom and sides of pan, about 1 minute.
- Using a hand mixer on low, add 4 eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each egg between additions, and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add cheeses and mix until incorporated.
- Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2″ tip or a plastic bag with 1/2″ cut diagonally from 1 corner. Pipe dough onto prepared baking sheets in 1″–1 1/4″ rounds, spacing 1″ apart. Sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons Gruyère. Garnish each with a few thyme leaves.
4. Bake gougères on bottom rack of oven until puffed and golden brown and centers are cooked through but still moist, 20-25 minutes.
5. Let cool slightly and serve. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. Let cool completely. Store airtight in freezer. Rewarm in 325°F oven until hot, 10-15 minutes
Note: Severely altered /revised recipe from Epicurious.com