Parmesan Gougeres

by Joseph Erdos
Print Email

ImageOne of the simplest yet most rewarding pastry doughs in French cuisine is pâte à choux. Invented by an Italian chef who accompanied Catherine de' Medici to the French court on her marriage to the king, the recipe for pâte à choux has transformed many times over the centuries, but it now consists of milk or water, butter, flour, and eggs. The resulting multipurpose paste-like dough can be turned into many different treats, such as cream-filled profiteroles and eclairs, fried beignets, and gougères among many others. Gougères are the savory version made with cheese, traditionally gruyère. So it's simply a very French cheese puff that's light and airy-hollow on the inside and crisp and cheesy on the outside.

The best part about gougères, and pâte à choux in general, is that the dough can be made in just a few minutes. The key is to have a strong arm to beat the dough into a paste-like consistency. A food processor or mixer fitted with the paddle attachment can be used if preferred. The dough is then piped onto baking sheets using a pastry bag and tip, but if unavailable, a resealable plastic bag with a corner snipped off works just as well. The puffs are perfect for large gatherings and parties. I made them ahead of time for this New Year's Eve and will rewarm them in the oven once the evening festivities begin. The puffs are a very nice hors d'oeuvre before a holiday meal or a New Year's cocktail party. You will want to bake up many batches, because they disappear too quickly.

Parmesan Gougères

Note: For a richer puff, I use milk, but water can be substituted. Puffs can be reheated for a few minutes in an oven set to 350 degrees F.

1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
cayenne pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

Combine milk, butter, and salt in a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring liquid to a simmer. Once butter has melted, add pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne, to taste. Off from heat, add flour all at once, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Add the eggs, one at a time, and stir vigorously until a paste forms. Fold in three-quarters of the cheese.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip with the dough. Pipe 1-inch diameter balls onto the prepared baking sheets no more than an inch apart. Use a finger moistened with water to knock down any peaks. Sprinkle each ball with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 30 cheese puffs.

 

Joseph Erdos is a New York–based writer and editor, but above all a gastronomer and oenophile. He shares his passion for food on his blog, Gastronomer's Guide , which features unique recipes and restaurant reviews among many other musings on the all-encompassing topic of food.  

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

 

restaurant news

The Bazaar
Los Angeles
by David Latt

bazaarcaviarcones.jpgTo great acclaim, José Andrés recently opened four restaurants (Rojo, Blanco, Saam, & Patisserie) and a bar (Bar Centro) on the ground floor of the SLS Hotel (465 S. La Cienega, Los Angeles, CA 90048;...

Read more...
Boston Bakery and Restaurant - Area Four
Boston
by Kitty Kaufman

area four 4It's inauguration Monday. Neither bison nor lobster's on our Cambridge menu but we're celebrating. The first place is "not doing lunch today," so around the corner we go to the second where I'm...

Read more...
Rivera
Los Angeles
by Maia Harari

pch.jpgI love food. And I love going out to eat and trying new places. And I love talking about food. In fact, I love food so much that whenever I'm eating I actually try not to get too full so that...

Read more...
Sous Rising: Eating Underground in Chicago
Chicago
by Jessica Dixon

sousrisingjakeUnderground dinners. Do you know about them?  Probably. I'm new to this: paprika still confuses me.

I first heard of this scene when eating at Elizabeth --an up and coming Chicago "farm to table"...

Read more...