Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

Joelen’s Culinary Adventures is hosting what I think is an AWESOME idea for a blog event. She is dubbing it “Tasty Tools” and this month’s focus is on graters and microplanes. Hmm, well my room mate did just buy a grater…so I’m in!

I decided to make gougeres…aka French cheesepuffs. I had never made them before and, well, they are cheese puffs! How bad could they be? Oh, and they use a ton of cheese which you need to grate. Perfect.

I ended up using a recipe from Nook and Pantry for its ease and the fact that it included spices. The other recipes just seemed bland.

Issues I had: knowing when to take the dough off the heat. After the 30 sec to a minute back on the stove, I didn’t see any difference. After a minute 30 sec I just gave up and took it off the heat. I also had an issue with the flavor. I ended up doubling some of the spices because I felt the flavor as listed was still flat.

I ended up having to add the fourth egg…but it was hard to figure out! The mixture kind of drooped from the beaters…so I am pretty sure I was right in adding it. Next issue was sizing. These babies poof up a lot when baking, so don’t make your scoops too big or they won’t be bite size, but meal size.

Finally, to up the cheesyness, I added the cheese on top as directed, but then, in the last 2 min of baking, added a little more cheese to melt on top.

Turned out deliciously. Would be great to serve with a dip or filling at a cocktail party. And, they are so airy, you don’t mind eating a whole bunch of them. But remember, serve warm and fresh. They lose crispyness when they sit for a while.

Gruyere Gougeres
1 C water
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 C AP flour
3/4 C + 2 Tbsp grated Gruyere (I ended up using a combo of swiss and parmesan since my store didn’t sell gruyere) (will need extra for the extra top cheese)
1/8 tsp black pepper (I used ¼ tsp)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional (I used about ¼ tsp)

(I added ¼ tsp garlic powder)
3 to 4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Add the water, butter, and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Take off heat and add the flour all at once. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon for 30 to a minute.

Put the pan back on heat and stir for 30 seconds to a minute to evaporate excess moisture.

Scoop the mixture into a mixing bowl and let cool for a bit.

Add the Gruyere, black pepper, (garlic powder) and cayenne pepper. Beat in 3 eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each egg. It is easiest to do this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. After the third egg, see if the mixture falls from the beaters. If the mixture still clings to the beaters, add the fourth egg.

Pipe or spoon 1 Tbsp (cookie scoops are pretty handy for this task) of the mixture onto a parchment sheet lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.

Add a small pinch of cheese of the remaining 2 tbsp of cheese on top of each puff.Bake at 425ºF for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature down to 375ºF and bake for another 15 minutes, until puffs are golden brown. In the last 2 minutes you can add extra cheese on top, but try not to open the oven very much during baking.

They're delicious fresh out of the oven. You can store them in the fridge or freezer but reheat them in an oven to crisp them up. You can also fill them.

Yield approximately 30+ puffs.

1 comment:

Psychgrad said...

Saw your entry on Joelene's blog. These gougeres looks very tasty. I've been meaning to try making them for a while now.