Gougères are light and airy cheese flavored puffs, that frankly couldn’t be simpler to make. They are scrumptious right out of the oven, but freeze well and can be quickly reheated just before serving. Gougères make a perfect savory pairing to a glass of red wine or an elegant addition to any cheese plate. You can make the dough in advance, then pipe them onto a cookie sheet and bake just before serving. I don’t own a pastry bag, and even though I’d like to, I can’t keep running to Sur La Table every time I want to try a new recipe. Part of great cooking is the power of improvisation. So like many before me, I gently stuffed my dough into a ziplock bag, ceremoniously cut off the tip, and began piping my first gougères.
What these really make me want to create is some sort of double chocolate eclair. Do those exist already? What I’m dreaming of is an eclair with a dark chocolate dipped top, then filled with a dark chocolate pastry cream. Because why would you bother with regular pastry cream when it could be chocolate? I don’t even want to eat these alleged eclairs, I just want to photograph them because in my head, they are beautiful. So it’s another give away Tuesday. Do you want a double chocolate eclair? If so, post a comment and you might be the lucky winner. Unfortunately, it’s August and I live in Texas, so I don’t think I can mail chocolate without creating a giant mess. You’ll have to be in the DFW area to win or willing to drive to me to pick them up.
As for beautiful gougerès, I went ahead and made some with just an egg wash and some with grated Gruyère over the egg wash. I think the ones without the additional grated cheese turned out so much prettier since they are so glossy, but weigh in, and let me know your thoughts. Or try out the recipe and let me know what your taste buds tell you. Here’s a picture of the gougerès with the additional grated cheese topping.
adapted from Recipe in Barefoot in Paris
1 c. 1% milk
1 stick salted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
5 turns fresh ground pepper
2 shakes cayenne pepper
1 c. all purpose flour
5 large eggs
1/2 c. fresh grated Gruyère cheese
1/4 c. fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano
1 tsp water
This goes very quickly – so make sure you have your cheese grated and your eggs out, then preheat oven to 425. In a medium saucepan, add milk, butter, salt, and peppers over medium heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spatula, until mixture just begins to bubble. Add flour and stir continuously with wooden spatula until combined, then keep stirring, reduce heat to low and cook another 2 and 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and place in food processor with blade attachment.
Add all five eggs and cheeses, then use pulse button to incorporate. Use spatula to stuff your dough in a ziplock bag, squeezing out as much air as you can, then sealing the bag. I’m partial to the slider lock bags, myself. Use your hands to work dough into one of the bottom corners, then clip the end to just open the corner. Squish into spheres just slightly larger than a quarter spaced evenly on a cookie sheet. Wet your index finger under the faucet, then push down any pointed peaks to make a smooth sphere. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg with the teaspoon of water. Use a brush to gently coat the tops of each sphere. Bake 15 minutes.