Cracked Pepper Gougeres (Addictive Little Cheese Puffs)

I LOVE GOUGERES.  I also loving saying gougeres, but I realize that I’m typing this and you can’t hear me.  Otherwise you might hear me scream “GOUGERES GOUGERES GOUGERES!” over and over again for 3 hours.  Or actually, only 1 hour, because that’s about how long these last in my house.  These are delectable little hollow, crispy and golden brown cheese puffs and they really are addictive.  Gougeres are made from pate a choux dough but instead of being baked and filled with cream, you mix in tons of gruyere cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.  YUM!  There’s a reason I call myself “Gruyere Monster” on my Twitter description.  I love Gruyere, and these are some of my favorite little things to eat. Here’s the recipe:

1 cup water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp butter, cubed
4.5 oz all purpose flour, sifted (3/4 cup+2 tbsp)
4 extra large eggs, beaten
2.5 oz Gruyere, grated (1 cup)
freshly cracked black pepper
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water, salt, sugar, and butter to a boil, and check to make sure the butter is completely melted.  Take the pan off the heat, dump in all the flour, and beat it in quickly and forcefully with a wooden spoon.  Woooo work that bicep!  Put the pot back on the heat, and keep beating until the dough forms a smooth solid mass and has pulled away from the sides of the saucepan:

Remove the pot from the heat and scrape the dough into a clean mixing bowl.  Add in the beaten eggs only a little bit at a time (I did 4 installations) and beat vigorously in between each addition, until the dough is smooth.  Here’s what it will look like when you add the egg:

And it should look nice and smooth like this when you’re done beating:

Stir in the grated gruyere and add freshly cracked black pepper to taste (I put in a lot, because I love black pepper).

Now, usually pate a choux is piped out into little rounds, but I don’t see why one should go through the trouble.  Piping bags are irritating and I’ve tested piped gougeres vs. dished gougeres and they taste the same.  So just use a small #60 2 tsp disher to portion out little balls:
Brush them with the beaten egg to give them a nice golden brown sheen, and bake on a parchment paper lined sheet pan for 25 minutes, until golden brown and puffed.  Devour and enjoy!

Click here for the printable recipe.

Pate a choux recipe adapted from Food Network.

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9 Responses to Cracked Pepper Gougeres (Addictive Little Cheese Puffs)

  1. YUM! I could eat so many of these. I love how light and airy they look. I bet these go fast!

  2. Oh my…I can easily handle a dozen tonight with a few glasses of wine…LOL

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. I love Gourgeres too! I havent gained the courage to try to make a choux yet, your step by step photos and tutorial is great. I might have to suck it up and try soon!!

    • Joanne says:

      The first time I made a pate a choux I was scared too. But it is very easy. Seriously. I felt the same way about puff pastry, and I think that’s really easy to make by hand too. I don’t know how these foods get so hyped up with a bad reputation, but you should definitely give these a try because I think they are relatively foolproof, and they’re soooooo good! I’m so glad my step by step photos help. That’s why I love the food blogging world!

  4. These look so perfect to take to a party!

  5. BestOodles says:

    Yum! I could eat these in one sitting, since my oven is not good for delicate puff pastry.

  6. These look delicious! And yes, I sit in my living room and talk as I type as well!

  7. Meg says:

    Oh boy, these would have me weeping with joy! Anything cheese is all right by me.

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