#CookBlogShare, #ThePastryChallenge, baking, baking choux pastry, chive gougeres, chives, choux pastry, classic French recipes, classic gougere recipe, Cooking with Herbs, culinary school memories, French cheese puff recipe, gruyere cheese, gruyere cheese gougeres, herb gougere recipe, hors d'oeuvres, pastry school gougeres, savoury baking, Simply Eggcellent, The Biscuit Barrel
I have been wanting to blog this recipe for a long time. I have very fond memories of making gougeres at pastry school. They were a form of recreation for us. Whenever we had been learning recipes that called for choux paste, we would pool our leftover dough at the end of class, throw in whatever cheese, herbs, etc. that were on hand, and make a batch of these scruptiously elegant cheese puffs.
I have made them occasionally since then (though not as often as I should have liked), and this last time I prepared a batch I decided it was about time I got down to photographing them and posting the recipe.
I’ve heard that they are quite the thing to serve at cocktail parties, but I think they taste best when you are perched on scuffed-up wooden stools gathered around stainless-steel worktables, with the fans in the convection oven humming in the background and piles of just-cleaned tools waiting to be packed back into your knife kit.
I am also submitting them to Belleau Kitchen’s new challenge “Simply Eggscellent.” Choux pastry is, with the exception perhaps of meringue or a soufflé, the recipe that most dramatically shows off the incredible power of eggs as a leavening agent.
And finally, I am linking up with Supergolden Bakes #CookBlogShare.
4 tablespoons (60 g.) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
½ cup (120 ml) water
¾ cup (110 g.) all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon English mustard
3 ½ oz. gruyere, shredded
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Milk for glazing
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the butter and water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a full boil. Have the flour measured out and ready at hand.
- Once the liquid is boiling, remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.
- As soon as the flour is fully incorporated, place the pan back over low heat, stirring constantly. Keep the pan on the heat for 30 seconds to a minute, until a film covers the bottom of the pan and the paste has become stiff enough to break apart when brushed with the spoon. (See the picture above.)
- Transfer the paste (the proper term is “panade”—so much better than paste, don’t you think?) to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until it has cooled slightly, and then mix in the eggs, one at a time.
- The dough should now be smooth, elastic, and shiny. To test the consistency of the dough, lift the paddle up out of it: the dough should break away in a smooth v-shape, but should not be so loose that it drops from the paddle. If the dough is too stiff, add extra water to bring it to the correct consistency.
- Beat in the salt, mustard, gruyere, and chives.
- Using a size 50 (1-½ tablespoon capacity) cookie scoop, portion half of the dough onto the first of the lined baking sheets. Keep the rest of the dough covered with a damp towel while you bake the first tray.
- With a pastry brush, glaze the portions with a little milk, and then draw the tines of a fork across each gougere, scoring them both horizontally and vertically.
- Place in the oven and bake until the gougeres are puffed and deep gold all over, about 30 minutes. Do not open the oven door while they are baking! The loss of heat will cause them to fall. If the gougeres are colouring unevenly, you can probably open the door after 25 minutes and rotate the pan for the last few minutes of baking, but don’t open the door any earlier than that.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough—you might have to loosen the dough with some more water if it has stiffened up too much.
- Serve the gougeres hot or at room temperature.
Yield: about 2 dozen gougeres