One clear mark of an elegant woman is her ability to whip out her cooking skills when necessary and create something mouthwatering delicious, and perhaps a bit unique.
I first discovered Gougères when taking a French cooking class, but have made them in place of dinner rolls ever since. If you are looking for a refined Cheez-It flavor that is light, fluffy, and without all the processed ingredients, look no further than this accompaniment at your next dinner party! Bon Appetite!
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
dash of nutmeg
pinch of ground pepper
1 cup gruyere cheese, or 3.5 oz, shredded (plus more - about 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top)
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
In a medium saucepan, heat the water, salt, and butter over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and the butter has melted. Then temporarily remove the pan from the heat and stir in the all-purpose flour. Stir the flour in until it's completely incorporated. Move the pan back to low heat and stir over the heat for a minute and a half, as the mixture pulls away from the sides and bottom of the saucepan.
Let the pate a choux cool for about 5 minutes before adding in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Add the nutmeg and ground pepper, then stir. Follow with the cup of shredded cheese and mix until blended in well.
Grab a pastry bag with a 1 inch wide opening, or a freezer bag with the corner snipped to create a 1 inch wide opening, and fill with the pate a choux dough. Pipe out 1 inch wide mounds of the pate a choux onto your baking sheet. Allow about 1 and a half inches of room between each mound. Sprinkle some more shredded cheese on top of each mound.
Bake the gougères for 10 minutes before lowering the oven temperature to 375F and baking for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're puffed up and a rich golden color. Do not open the oven until you're sure they're ready (at least until about the 15 minute mark, if your oven bakes pretty fast) or else they can deflate. Turn off the oven, then pierce each with the tip of a sharp knife to let out steam. Leave them in the oven once they’re done with the oven turned off and the door slightly open for another 15 minutes.
Recipe originally discovered by Mon Petit Four but added a Swish Twist.