The Farmplate Blog

Gougères (Baked Cheese Puffs)

FarmPlate Feb 04, 2011 Recipes 0 comments

from the FarmPlate Kitchen

Gougères are traditionally made with Swiss Gruyère or French Beaufort or Comté cheese. But there's a wealth of New England artisan cheeses that can be explored here. We like Spring Brook Farms' Tarentaise or Ascutney Mountain Cheese from Cobb Hill or any of Vermont's fine farmhouse Cheddars.

cheeseballs1 cup water
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of Aleppo pepper or ground black pepper
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably King Arthur
3 large eggs, beaten
4 ounces full-flavored hard cheese, finely diced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or other flavorful grating cheese
2 tablespoons snipped chives

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, butter, salt and pepper. When the water boils and the butter melts, add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring the mixture over the heat until it comes together into a ball, 4 to 5 minutes. The dough will get quite stiff, but don't stop stirring until it is smooth.

Turn off the heat. Stir in about two thirds of the beaten eggs. If the dough is still stiff, add a little more egg. Continue beating and adding a little more egg until the dough is a thick glossy paste. You might not need the full quantity of beaten eggs. Stir in the cheese and snipped chives.

Drop by generous teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the puffs about 1 inch apart.

Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Serve warm. You can also store in an airtight container in the freezer and warm in a 300ºF oven for 15 minutes before serving.

Makes about 3 dozen gougères