Nov 08

Gorgeous Gougères




It’s Thursday … or is it Wednesday?? See, it’s been that kind of a day for me. It’s been really slow going and it feels like I am about to lose my mind doing not very much. Woke up today, made the usual ham and cheese sandwiches for the boyfriend’s office lunch, then walked the dog and I did a couple of small house chores here and there. This week we have been working hard on my housekeeping skills, as in do small stuff round the house everyday so that it doesn’t pile up into one HUUUUGE mess at the end of the week ~ and so far I think this method is working for me.



All my life, since leaving home, I have been a fully employed individual. I believe that when you work outside somewhere you have less opportunity to mess up your house. Now I find myself here in Amsterdam and a full-time live at home gal, with my trusty pal Doopey, our four year old Bernese.  I never knew keeping a house squeaky clean took so much effort. Sheeesh! Having a heavily shedding pet doesn’t help matters either. Some days I just want to wrap him up in duct tape!



Anyway, small chunk of home cleaning done I sat down to watch YouTube vids for new food ideas. I also like to watch old vids from chef John’s FoodWishes channel. I like his cheesey humour. Looking at all the wonderful stuff he has online I decided to try my hand at cheese puffs, or Gougères as the French call it. As with most chef John recipes, this one was super easy plus, I had all the necessary ingredients in my pantry. I tweaked his recipe a bit to spice things up and suit my palatte by adding a hint of paprika to the mix.



If you have made How to buy norvasc in Baltimore or éclairs before then you should have no problems making these as the technique is exactly the same, just that these are savoury versions. These took no time at all to do from start to finish, and it helps if you have an electric mixer to do most of the work for you.



First you will need to line a cookie sheet with parchment or a baking mat. Then preheat your oven to 190ºc – 200ºc. Then gather these ingredients : unsalted butter, water, flour, eggs, dried thyme, paprika, salt, black pepper, grated sharp cheese (like Gruyeres, aged Cheddar or aged Gouda). Equipment list is basic : a saucepan, a rubber spatula, a wire whisk, electric mixer and a small ice cream scoop.





First I placed the butter in the saucepan and added the paprika along with it to infuse flavour. Then I added the water, salt, pepper, dried thyme. Give this a stir and bring it up to the boil.



When its boiling add in the flour all at once and immediately whisk everything together to form a ball of dough. It should pull away cleanly from the sides. Switch to a rubber spatula and cook the dough for a few minutes to take the rawness off.





Now tip everything into the bowl of an electric mixer and turn on to medium speed to cool down the mixture quickly.





When the mixture has cooled drop in one egg at a time, waiting for it to be fully incorporated before adding the second egg. You should now have a glossy, soft and sticky dough. Add in the cheese after you have added the last egg.



Now you may proceed to drop balls of dough onto your cookie sheet with the help of a mini ice cream scoop. This recipe got me about eighteen pieces of cheese puffs.  Top the ballsof dough with shavings of cheese.





Then pop it into the very hot oven. It is important that once they are in there you DO NOT open the oven door at any time during the cooking process. The dough needs steam to puff up and create their signature hollow centers. If you open the oven door while they are still cooking you risk deflating them altogether. These will need about 15 – 20 mins in the oven.






If you do them right then you will have nice puffed balls of cheesey goodness which hold their shape once they come out of the oven. The secret is to wind down the oven temp once they reach maximum expansion to allow the steam to evaporate and crisp up the outter shells.





My only mistake was not adding enough salt to my recipe. Perhaps in future I would consider using salted butter from the begining to avoid under seasoned gougeres in future. These were great by the way ~  they came out perfect on my first go. I remember making cream puffs some months back and I failed so many times, I was ready to cry.



I really feel like I should send chef John a Tweet accompanied by a photo of these perfect babies. I feel like I have accomplished something today, and as a reward I think I shall take my dog out for a second walk just for kicks. He’ll get his third walk again later tonight just before bed. If you intend on attempting this recipe, head on over to Foodwishes.com for a video demo by chef John himself or simply follow the recipe here.




Gougères  (makes 18)

  • 1/2 cup water or milk
  • 60g butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • handful of grated cheese




This basic recipe can be turned into fancy-schmancy hors d’œuvre by adding an appropriate filling inside each casing, like a fish mousse or cream cheese. The next time I host a dinner party I will definitely try this out.




~ Enjoy! ~




Permanent link to this article: http://foodflurries.com/savoury/gorgeous-gougeres

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