A choux pastry is a wonderful base for many sweet and savoury recipes. Thinkéclairs, religieuses, Saint-Honoré, some nice doughnuts, chouquettes, and gougères..
Everytime I move from one country to another I have to adjust my recipe according to 2 main elements:
The level of absorption of the flour used
The size of the eggs
However, there is a basic recipe which you can adjust by experiment. Once you get the knack of it, it will become your best friend.
Back to my gougères. If you are used to make them, you may notice that I have added some herbs and spices to the basic recipe. Feel free to do the same. You just need to make sure that your addition do not altere the balance between the dry and wet mass.
About that, you might need 4 small eggs, or 3 large eggs for this recipe, the fresher the better because the older the eggs are, their white part become more liquidy and less heavy.
Makes about 40 pieces
Prep 20 min – baking: 20 min
1/4 liter of water
100 g butter
150 g flour
1/2 tsp of salt
A pinch of baking powder (optional)
1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp of cayenne or chili pepper (optional)
1 tsp of any thyme or oreganon or chives (optional)
3 large eggs
100 g of gruyère or emmental, grated
40g of gruyere approx., grated
1 egg yolk for egg wash (some old french recipes do not use it)
In a saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil.
Away from the heat, add all at once flour, salt, baking powder if using. Stir until all is combined. Bring back the saucepan on the top of the heat. Keep stiring with a wooden spoon until the dough comes away alone from the edges of the pan and make a mass.
Set aside for a couple of minutes to cool slightly.
Steps of making the gougères
Add the eggs one at a time: add 1st egg and combine, using a spatula. Mix until complete absorption.
Add the other egg and combine until fully incorporated. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs (this can be done with an electric mixer).You want to get a texture that is sticky, soft, not to runny but that would drop from your spatula after a few seconds. If you run your finger through it will spring back. Did I explain it right? I tried..
Add the herbs, the spices you fancy and finish with the cheese.
Preheat the oven at 210 degrees C or 190 degrees C for a fan oven. Line minimum 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use either 2 spoons to make the gougeres masses or a pastry bag to dress them properly.
Egg wash and sprinkle with grated cheese before heading to the oven.
Bake for 10 min at 210 degrees C (190 degrees fan oven) for 10 min, then bring the temperature down to 190-180 degrees C ( 170- 160 fan) for another 10-15 min until they’re puffed and nicely coloured.
Once they’re baked, open the oven door and let the steam come out, bake for a few minutes to get a crispy skin while you can keep the pillowy texture.
Gougères are best served warm or with the hour.
However, I served mine like mini-sandwiches, filled with a cream cheese, green olive, provolove cubes and some mortadella cubes…
Note: Thanks Eric for rectifying my mistake about cougères being Gougères!