Despite the fact that I really like to cook and bake, and despite the fact that I am trying new recipes all the time (hence the existence of this blog), I wouldn’t consider myself an extremely adventurous cook,because I tend to opt for recipes that I’m pretty certain are going to turn out just fine. Since the entire point of this project was to push myself to try new things and master new techniques, I decided it was time for a little foray out of my comfort zone.
I have absolutely no experience with French pastries whatsoever, and this was a good first attempt. Gougeres are essentially a savory version of the same type of dough that is used to make eclairs and cream puffs, both of which I am interested in trying after my success with these. The moistness of the dough creates steam while it bakes, which makes for a light and fluffy end result. (Wikipedia was smart enough to include a photo of the inside of one, I was not). That sounded good enough on it’s own, but add cheese, and I am beyond sold.
I read a couple of recipes and the main advice that everyone has is the same: do all your prep ahead of time (have your cheese per-shredded instead of trying to hurry up and shred it while the butter melts), make sure you use large (versus extra-large) eggs, and mix like you mean it.
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- large pinch of chili powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup grated cheese (I used 1/2 cup Gruyere, 1/4 cup Parmesan)
- 1-2 tablespoons chives
- Grate cheese ahead of time and have other ingredients read on hand in reach of your workspace
- Preheat the oven to 425, line baking sheet with parchment paper
- Heat water, butter, salt and chili powder over medium heat until butter is melted
- Remove from heat and vigorously stir in flour. Keep stirring until dough pulls away from the sides of the saucepan and a soft ball forms around your spoon
- Allow to cool for a minute or two and stir in eggs. The batter will be lumpy – keep stirring until it is very smooth
- Add in most of the cheese and chives, reserving a small amount to sprinkle on top before baking
- Use a piping bag or a spoon to place small mounds of evenly spaced dough on the parchment paper. Top each mound with remaining cheese and chives
- Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and bake for 20-25 additional minutes, until puffs are browned on tops and sides