Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)
The holidays are here, and the food fest has begun! I have company in and out throughout Christmas and the New Year almost constantly. With such big meals being served and decadent desserts around the house at all times, I like to welcome my guests with an hors d’oeuvre that is light, yet elegant. For me, nothing is a celebratory as a glass of champagne accompanied by these light and melt-in-your mouth Gougeres (cheese puffs). Make them ahead of time and freeze them, and you have a wonderful hors d’oeuvre at a moment’s notice.
Happy Holidays…see you in the New Year!
Makes approximately 32
- 1 Cup whole milk
- 1 Stick unsalted butter
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- 1 Cup flour
- 5 Extra large eggs
- 1 Cup Gruyere Cheese (grated)
To Make the Gougeres (cheese puffs)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 375
In a small saucepan, bring the milk, butter and salt to a boil over high heat.
Add the flour, and immediately turn the heat to medium low and whisk vigorously. The dough will begin to form and pull away from the pan. Keep whisking for another minute until the flour has cooked, and the mixture smells slightly nutty.
Remove the pan from the heat, and pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Let it cool for about five minutes.
Using a paddle attachment mix the dough on medium high speed, adding one egg at a time. Be sure that each egg is incorporated before adding the next. By the time all five eggs have been added the dough should be smooth and shiny.
Turn the mixer to a low speed and add the cheese. Mix only until the cheese is incorporated, and then stop the mixer.
Drop one tablespoon of dough onto the cookie sheet (or use a piping bag to make the gougere look especially pretty). Be sure to leave approximately two inches between each one.
Place the gougere in a 375 degree oven bake for 15-17 minutes (until golden).
The Elegant Occasion Note: The gougere can be made in advance. Simply place the uncooked gougere on cookie sheets in the freezer for two hours until frozen. Remove them from the cookie sheets to a freezer bag. The gougere will keep for one month. When ready to cook, simply take them from the freezer, place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and cook as noted above.
For herb gougere, simply add one teaspoon of Herb de’ Provence, thyme or rosemary to the dough when it is in the mixer.
The Elegant Occasion Wine Pairing: Champagne or White Wine