French Cheese Puffs

Rethinking The Cheese Platter with Gougères

Posted on January 14, 2014

Cheese has a regular place on my table, especially when I’m sharing it with guests.

Unfortunately, the cheese platter can start getting a bit predictable. Don’t believe me? Let me guess what you’ve been doing…

You’ve been buying your go to favorites and showcasing them on a lovely tray.  And if you’re feeling fancy, you’re dressing it up a bit, drizzling it with a touch of honey or maybe pairing it with a rich fig jam. 

I know that’s what you’ve been doing because I’ve been doing the same thing. And you’ve probably kept it up because, well, it works. But if we really want to do something special, we need to get a little more adventurous.

I think my latest discovery will  bring a little delight back to our Champagne hour!

This week, I’ve been playing with a French cheese puff concept. But instead of grating in a hard cheese, like you would traditionally find in this recipe, I used a soft goat cheese, that is a Bijou-like Crottin with a light, delicate flavor from Vermont Creamery. 

I know you love that cheese is so quick and easy. Trust me, I’m not about to add stress to your packed schedule (or mine)! That’s one thing I love about this recipe: it’s only about 8 minutes of prep and 10 to 15 minutes of baking time.

Feel free to experiment with this recipe to suit your taste and your creativity. You might want to try different herbs or cheeses, to start.

These delicious little cheesy bites really shine when paired with a glass of sparkling rosé.
(I tested it for you . . . just to make sure.) You and your family and guests will love them. And they’re so much more interesting than tiers of cheese on a plate!

Gougeres: French Cheese Puffs
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (125ml) water
  2. 3 tablespoons (40g) salted butter cut into cubes
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. A few turns of freshly-ground black pepper
  5. 1/2 cup (70g) flour
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 3/4 cup of grated cheese, I like to use guyere (about 3 ounces, 90g) + more to sprinkle on top
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 425F (220C.)
  2. 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  3. 2. Heat the water, butter, salt, until the butter is melted.
  4. 3. Add the flour and stir vigorously until the mixture pulls away from the sides into a smooth ball. Remove from heat and put in another bowl. Let it rest for about 5 to 8 minutes so it's not hot when you add the eggs.
  5. 4. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring them in vigorously with a whisk to make sure the eggs don’t cook. At first it will appear lumpy then it will smooth out (See image below).
  6. 5. Add the grated cheese and stir until well-mixed.
  7. 6. Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip OR use a freezer bag and cut the corner off making a tip. Pipe the dough into small mounds evenly-spaced apart (See image below).
  8. 7. Top each puff with a bit of gruyere, then pop it in the oven to bake.
  9. 8. Bake for 10 minutes to 15 minutes until golden.
For The Feast http://forthefeast.com/
 

Cheese Mix Batter

Cheese Mix Batter

 

Mixture Piped onto a baking sheet

Mixture Piped onto a baking sheet

I’d love to hear how you make this recipe your own! Won’t you tell me in the comments?

 

 

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