Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)

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Ingredients

  • 125ml Milk
  • 125ml Water
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 110g Unsalted Butter (cut into cubes)
  • 1cup or 128g flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 150g Parmesan (finely grated)
  • 1tsp Nutmeg (freshly grated)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Line two large baking sheets/pan with non-stick parchment paper.
  2. Place your milk, water , sugar, salt, and butter into a pan and cook under medium high heat until the mixture boils and the butter is thoroughly dissolved.
  3. Turn down your heat to low.  Add all your flour in one go, and stir vigorously with a sturdy wooden spoon until the mixture cooks into a paste and easily pulls away from the pan.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly before incorporating your eggs (4 total).  Add one egg at a time and vigorously mix with a whisk until fully incorporated before adding your next egg.
  5. Add 100g of your grated Parmesan and nutmeg to your mix, and whisk thoroughly.
  6. Fill your mix into a piping bag with the mix and pipe out 1¼inch diameter mounds, spacing each mound about an inch and a half apart.
  7. In a small bowl, fill with cold water and wet your hands in water.  Lightly tap down the little tip/tail of each individual gougere mound, wetting your hands every 5-6 mound you tap down.
  8. With your remaining egg, crack and whisk in a small bowl with a little salt to form a egg wash and brush the top of each individual gougere.  Lightly sprinkle the top of your gougeres with your remaining Parmesan cheese.
  9. Place your gougeres into your oven and bake at 425°F for 5-8mins till well puffed and lightly brown, turn down the temperature to 350°F and cook for another 20-25mins.  After 10mins at 350°F, rotate your pans, so that your gougeres cook more evenly.
  10. When well puffed and nicely golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

  • These make a great light snack for a dinner or cocktail party.  Their light, airy and delicious!
  • Another variation to these is to fill them with Mornay Sauce (Cheese sauce), which is bechamel sauce mixed with cheese. Keep in mind though that if you do decide to go this route, you’ll have to fill them last minute, otherwise they go soggy.
  • In most Choux pastry recipes, they use all water and don’t include any sugar.  I find that using an equal quantity of milk and water makes gives the Choux pastry a lot more flavour and complexity.  While the addition of sugar, rounds out the flavour and helps to provide better caramelization and even browning during baking.
  • You can substitute the Parmesan with another variety of cheese, such as  Parmigiano Reggiano, Gruyere, etc.  The best ones to use are the firmer, drier and full flavoured varieties.
  • The egg wash isn’t really necessary, but provides a nice sheen to your finished product and helps the parmesan adhere to your choux pastry better.
  • The water acts as a protective film when you tap down your gougeres, to prevent them from choux pastry mix from sticking to your hands.  And by tapping down your gougeres, the shapes will be more even and round.

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