Recipe of the Week: Gougères

Gougères (pronounced "goo ZHERR") are French cheese puffs. They're made with pâte à choux, the sticky dough that, when sugar is added, makes éclairs, profiteroles and cream puffs. In this case, there is no sugar; salt and grated cheese are added.

In the recipe, which is adapted from Alton Brown's pâte à choux recipe, the cheese called for is local to Southern California. Winchester Cheese in Temecula makes an excellent old-style Dutch boerekaas (like Gouda) in several sharpnesses and sells it at the local farmers' markets. If that is unavailable, use any sharp Gouda cheese.

Serve them as the French do, as a small bite to be had with a glass of really great red wine. Santé.

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 tsp. salt
5 3/4 oz. (165 g) flour
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 oz. Winchester sharp boerekaas (Gouda), grated

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment, if desired for easier cleanup.
  3. Bring the water, milk, butter and salt to a boil in a saucepan.
  4. Dump the flour in all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Remove to the bowl of a stand mixer and let stand for 5 minutes.
  6. Beat the eggs in on low speed, one at a time.
  7. Beat the cheese in.
  8. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip.
  9. Pipe tall mounds of dough, about 2 inches across, onto the pan, leaving 1 inch space between.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 375°F and bake 12 minutes further.
  11. Turn the oven off but leave the gougères in for at least 10 minutes.
  12. Serve hot (reheat in an oven if need be).

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