Sage Gruyere Gougeres
Gougères are kind of like bread biscuits but.. not at all like bread biscuits. They come out practically hollow, the interior being soft flaky goodness, similar to the inside of a well-made croissant. Meanwhile, the outside is a crunchy casing. Their whole appearance is completely deceiving because they look dense, but when you pick them up, they’re practically weightless. Also, gougere is an extremely mild cheese. There’s subtlety to these little guys, and I can’t help but feel like they’d make the perfect compliment to tomato soup. If you’d like, you could also use cheddar for a sharper taste, just add less salt.
I bought a frosting dispenser while in college because I frankly hate pastry bags. I used a fancy tip for the batter in this recipe, for shits and giggles, and I kinda love how they came out. My friend said they looked like macaroons and yeah, they kinda do perhaps. Also, funny fact, my oven sometimes sets off the smoke alarm just from being on (I’ve thoroughly cleaned the entire inside), so I’m extremely hesitant to set it to 400 degrees. Instead, I set it to 390 and open every window in the apartment. Yup. And now you know.
P.S. 3 hours later and it still smells like cooked cheese in here.
Sage Gruyere Gougeres
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
3 1/2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling
1 Tbsp finely chopped sage (optional)
Pinch of ground pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms; stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan, about 2 minutes.
Scrape the dough into a bowl; let cool for 1 minute. Beat the eggs into the dough, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. Add the cheese, sage, pepper and nutmeg.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
Sprinkle with cheese, I also sprinkled sea salt, and bake for 12 minutes; reduce heat to 250 and bake another 13, or until golden brown on all sides (removing too early can cause them to deflate). Serve hot.
Gougères freeze well. Store them in sturdy plastic bags for several months.
To reheat the baked cheese puffs, place in a low oven for 5-10 minutes before serving. Some folks split them and fill them with dry-aged ham or maybe goat cheese or something. I’d be interested to hear personal preferences. Peace 🙂