Whether you are going to a Michelin star restaurant or at a friend’s house in France, you will most likely be served gougères canapes to accompany your aperitif drinks (drinks served before a meal). Gougères are traditional cheese puffs made with either Emmenthal or Comté cheese. These little canapes luxuries are perfect with champagne or wine (they are often served during wine-tastings) – and so chic if you have them home-made. Originally from Burgundy, these puffs were invented in the 17th century in a patisserie called ‘Le ramequin de Bourgogne’. So next time you have guests, why don’t you dazzle them with these golden puffs.
Ingredients (makes about 40)
250 ml/ 1 cup water
100 g/ 3.5 ounce salted butter
150 g/ 1 1/4 cups plain flour
180 g/ 2 cups grated Emmenthal or Gruyère cheese
A dash of ground nutmeg
1 egg yolk for glazing
A dash of salt and pepper
Pre-heat the over 180°
In a saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil. Add the flour, stirring very fast and take immediately off the heat. By now the batter will be roughly in the form of a softball. Add the eggs, one by one and stir. It’s important to add the eggs slowly – don’t worry if it looks too thick, just continue to stir as it will eventually become a smooth batter. Finally add the cheese, salt & pepper and stir to a good dewy batter.
Prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper. You have two choices for preparing the gougères: either put the dough in a pastry bag with a standard tip and pipe walnut-sized mounds or spoon and shape with the help of two teaspoons and evenly shaped ball (again like the size of a walnut). Glaze with the egg yolk for a golden baked finish. Sprinkle the puffs lightly with grated cheese.
Leave adequate space between each gougère and bake for 25 minutes approx or until puffy and golden. Serve immediately.
ps: You can prepare these in advance and either refrigerate or freeze them. Just take them out again before serving and heat in a high-heat oven for 5-7 minutes.
Also, see the selection of my delicious hot canapes
by Chef Bertrand Munier