Gougéres are basically cheese puffs made with a classic choux pastry but with the addition of cheese and baked to a gorgeous crispy golden brown with a slightly gooey centre. Traditionally these are served with the wines in Bordeaux hot straight from the oven, their salty crisp cheesy tang goes perfectly with a glass of red wine.
Traditionally the puffs are made purely with gruyere cheese and I love them like this but I also like (as in the recipe below) a blend of gruyere or comté with cheddar and parmesan although this is definitely not traditional.
All the principles of making good choux pastry need to be followed, the ingredients need to be carefully measured and its essential that the liquid boils as all the butter has melted. This ensures that the flour cooks out quickly to a paste and that the butter has mixed in thoroughly. Cool slightly before adding one of the eggs and beat in well. After the second egg has been beaten in the cheese is added in one go. The paste should be shiny and drop off the beater in a heavy dollop when the beater is shaken. Pipe the blobs into even pieces and dab the tops with beaten egg to glaze.
I like to add a little grated cheese on the top to get a crunchy cheesy top. Take care to bake carefully, place into a hot oven and gradually drop the temperature but do not open the oven door too early or a flat puff will result. The trick is to bake hot then dry out in a falling oven. I open the door about 10 minutes before the end of baking time to release the steam from the oven, be careful as the steam escaping is very hot, never lean over the open door as you open it.
Gougéres are best served straight from the oven piping hot and crisp.
Make plenty they can be frozen and reheated in a very hot oven.
50g whole milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch smoked paprika (optional)
60g unsalted butter
70g plain flour
2 medium eggs
30g grated cheddar
20g grated parmesan
20g grated gruyere
1. Place the milk, butter, water, salt and paprika (if used) into a pan.
2. Bring up to the boil then add the flour in one go.
3. Cook out briefly until a paste is formed.
4. Place the mixture into a bowl for a stand mixer.
5. Beat until slightly cooled.
6. Add the eggs one at a time until smooth.
7. Add the grated cheese and mix in well.
8. Pipe the mixture in bulbs onto a paper-lined tray 3cm wide.
9. Egg wash the tops and add a little parmesan if desired.
10. Bake at 200°c for 10-12 minutes then reduce the oven to 180°c.
11. Bake until golden and well puffed.
12. Serve hot from the oven with a glass of red wine.