When I was a little girl my mother made the most amazing cream puffs. I can remember biting into them and a delicious vanilla pudding came pouring out. I loved the soft airy dough they were made from. My mom has always been a great baker!
For the cocktail party I wanted something a little light with a consistency of a cream puff, but
without the filling, and something that tasted a bit more savory. I found a recipe for Cheese Gougeres. These are airy French cheese puffs flavored with Gruyere cheese. Great little tidbits for cocktail parties.
At first I was a bit intimidated, but when I thought of Mom's cream puffs and read the directions, I realized the dough requires basically the same preparation.
Makes approx. 24
1 cup water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut small
1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup grated cheese, Gruyere or Cheddar
Combine water, butter, salt and mustard in a 2-4 quart saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Once the butter is all melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes. (#1 Photo)
Return the pan to medium-low heat and stir for 3-5 minutes. The dough will glisten and is thick enough to hold a spoon upright. (#2 Photo)
Transfer the dough to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hooks. (This step can be done with a hand mixer or by hand with a stiff spatula.) Beat the dough on a medium-low speed for one minute until it stops steaming and is just warm to the touch. (#3 Photo)
Continue beating in eggs one at a time. Wait for each to be absorbed prior to adding another. In the end, the dough should come together in a very smooth, creamy batter. (#6 Photo)
Add cheese. (#4 Photo)
Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough (#5 Photo) on to sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
Space them at least one inch apart. You may make them any size you prefer.
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Bake the Gougeres for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 20-25 minutes, rotating half way thru the baking process. The finished Gougeres will be puffed, golden brown and dry to the touch. They should feel light when picked up.
Gougeres may be frozen in their shape unbaked. Keep them stored in an air tight container. Bake them directly from the freezer while still frozen, and let them bake for the longer end of the time range given.
As I took the first tray from the oven, I was quite smitten, they looked so beautiful........just like Mom's cream puffs, golden and light. Our guests certainly loved them at the Cocktail Party!
If you have never made Cheese Gougeres before, give it a try.......I guarantee it is so easy and
quite impressive to your family and friends!
****Recipe from Emma Christensen