A little while back I was goofing off on pintrest, avoiding writing, or doing laundry, or whatever. As everyone knows helping you avoid things you should be doing is Pintrest’s #1 function. Anyhow, I came across a recipe for gougère. I first wondered, gou-jer, gouger, gow-j-ère, how on Earth do you pronounce that word? (BTW it’s actually goo/zhehr. You can click here to actually hear the pronunciation.) The next thing that came to mind was, what exactly are these little things? They look perfectly appetizer sized. I like appetizer sized things. I wonder… I discovered gougère are a lovely French appetizer, based off the same pastry dough, Choux, that cream puffs are made from. But, rather then going the sweet cream filling route, these babies have cheese mixed into the dough, yielding a savory little morsel with the texture of a cream puff. Obviously my next thought: we must get this cheesy goodness going on around here as soon as possible.
Much to my delight, I discovered that gougère are extremely easy to make, and I happen to keep all of the ingredients on hand. I promptly set about making a batch. They came out absolutely perfect the first time around. I sniched one to try right out of the oven. Just like a cream puff, a crisp exterior was followed by a soft interior. And the wonderful cheese flavor…oh. I was instantly in love. I ate 8 more.
My older son Aiden wandered in to taste, and announced, “These taste better then frosting mommy.” That was pretty much the clincher, I knew gougère would become a staple recipe at my house. How convenient to have such a quick, easy and delicious appetizer on hand. (I should also mention that these freeze incredibly well, so you can make them ahead and pop em in to bake when you want em.)
I was happily plotting various flavor combinations, when abruptly I was stricken. My younger son Tristan, absolutely can not eat dairy. It makes him extremely sick. I just couldn’t serve these without a dairy free alternative for him. So, as weird as dairy free gougère sounds, I seriously hoped they could be made sans butter, milk, and cheese. After some mad googling, much to my delight, I found a good looking possibility for dairy free gougère. Recipe testing commenced, to much success; and now I can now make gougère, happily, whenever I like. (If you also need the dairy free alternative check out this post from Kitchen Vignettes! I might post my own adaptation somewhere down the line if anyone is interested.)
Now that I have multiple versions everyone in my household can eat, Gougère will be making their official debut as a Christmas eve appetizer. I highly recommend you whip up a batch as well! They’ll serve you well as a holiday appetizer, quick to make party snack, or a just because I-want-to-snack-snack.
Parmesan and Asiago Gougère
Yields about 50 Gougère.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 cup fresh grated asiago cheese
- 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 4 large eggs
1. In a small sauce pot heat milk, water, and butter to a simmer over medium low heat. Stir in the onion powder, garlic powder, rosemary, and red pepper.
2. Add the flour and stir quickly in one direction. The flour will absorb into the liquid and form a dough. It will look lumpy at first but smooth out. Stir until the dough pulls away from the pot, about two minutes.
3. Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and allow to cool slightly. Or if you prefer to finish in the pot, pull the pot off the heat and allow to cool slightly. However, be prepared to stir vigorously!
4. Add the eggs one at a time mixing until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. If you are finishing the dough in the pot, do the same thing, just stir vigorously to incorporate the egg. After all the egg has been added stir in the cheese.
5. Transfer dough to a pastry bag and pipe out tablespoon sized balls spaced about an inch apart. Or, use a scoop to do the same. Bake at 425* for 10 minutes and reduce the temperature to 375* for an additional 10-15. The gougère are done when golden brown on top and puffed up. Serve hot.