Easy, Elegant Gougères

Easy, elegant, make ahead Gougères are the perfect party appetizer.  I avoided  them for years because I thought they were difficult to make – NOT SO!

If you can run a mix master you can make gougères.  And, as in all-things-French,  you get a party show stopper with just a few simple ingredients.

Again, as in the all-things-French philosophy, use the best possible ingredients.  For this recipe it means using the best cheese possible. The best cheeses for gougères are older, dry cheeses like Gruyère,  Asiago, Gran Padano, Parmesan, Manchego, Pecorino Romano, Blue cheese, old Cheddar.  You can really have fun with this if you have a good variety of cheeses in your area.

So with just butter (unsalted), flour, water, salt and cheese you can whip up a couple of dozen ‘amuse-bouches’.  Chances are you may have the right ingredients on hand at any point in time which makes these a life saver if you need to prepare something last minute or with limited access to a fancy deli!

But…the other great thing is these freeze beautifully!  So you can prep a batch or 2 (because they also don’t take up much space!) to have on hand.  And…it gets better!!  You can bake them from frozen.  Vary the cheese and you vary the style – Italian, French, Canadian, Spanish….

Uncooked Gougères on baking sheet

 

It is important to note that plain gougères are best served warm right after they come out of the oven. The texture is crisp on the outside, slightly hollow and creamy on the inside.  The next day they become softer, almost the texture of a croissant.

This is not a problem if you are going to use them as a base for a filling. You can also slice room temperature gougères open and fill with chicken or egg salad or a flavoured cream cheese. (here is my recipe for basic egg salad)  They would make an interesting addition to a tea table, a picnic or buffet.  Just fill as close to serving time as possible so they don’t get soggy.

Gourgères filled with chicken salad and egg salad on a plate

Think Gruyere  Gougères with ham salad filling,  a pinch of dill in the gougère dough with egg salad filling, Parmesan gougères with chicken salad or eggplant filling…..

Gougères- where have you been all my life????

baked gougeres

 

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Easy, Elegant Gougères
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Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
gougères
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water (Or sub 1/2 cup white wine and 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into 8 squares
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard optional
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups old cheese, grated about 6 oz (ex Gruyère, Parmesan, Manchego)
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
gougères
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water (Or sub 1/2 cup white wine and 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into 8 squares
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard optional
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups old cheese, grated about 6 oz (ex Gruyère, Parmesan, Manchego)
Easy, Elegant Gougères
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. If serving immediately preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange racks in upper 1/3 and lower 1/3 of the oven.
  2. Assemble all your ingredients so you can mix them quickly as needed.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt and mustard, if using. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and stir to melt the butter. Reduce the heat to medium low.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon until mixture is well blended.
  5. Return the sauce pan to the burner (now on medium low) and stir for 3-5 minutes until the dough pulls away from the sides of the sauce pan and a film forms on the bottom of the pot. It should be shiny and stiff enough for the spoon to stand up in.
  6. Take the sauce pan off the heat. Beat the dough with an electric hand mixer for about a minute until it stops steaming.
  7. While beating add in the eggs in 4 stages. Beat after each addition until the egg is absorbed and the dough is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the pot periodically with a spatula. After the last addition the dough should be very smooth and creamy looking. Add the cheese and beat til well incorporated.
  8. To Serve Immediately - With a Tablespoon, scoop out the dough and drop as a rounded mound onto the parchment paper lined baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 and bake another 20 minutes. Rotate baking sheets top to bottom and front to back half way through. They will feel light and hollow when they are done. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.
  9. To Freeze- With a Tablespoon, scoop out the dough and mound on parchment lined baking sheets. Place them close together but not touching. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze until solid. (about 4 hours). Transfer frozen gougères to a sealed container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve heat oven to 450 degrees. Position racks in top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 of the oven. Place frozen gougères on parchment lined baking pans about 1 inch apart. Bake 5 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 25 minutes. Rotate sheets top to bottom and front to back half way through. They will feel light and hollow when they are done. Allow gougères to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

Baked gougères,  at room temperature, can be cut open and filled with egg salad, chicken salad or flavoured cream cheese fillings for light bites.

Per gougère, based on water and parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts
Easy, Elegant Gougères
Amount Per Serving
Calories 91 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 120mg 5%
Potassium 26mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1%
Sugars 0.1g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 4%
Calcium 7%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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