White Cheddar Gougeres – Cheese Puffs

I seem to have been on a French food kick, lately, but this little recipe was inspired by one of my favorite movies, Dean Spanley (now on Netflix.) Mrs. Brimley, the cook, in deciding what to make for a dinner, mentions her Choux Pastry, “too good to be eaten,” she says. That reminded me of Gougeres, made from pâte à choux.

Gourgere with White Cheddar
Gourgere with White Cheddar

Dean Spanley starts out with Young Fisk stating, “I’ve heard it said that remarkable events often have ordinary beginnings.” And so it is true with these Gougere. Remarkable, but they’ve started out with ordinary beginnings, as well.

Choux Pastry, or pâte à choux is simply a mixture of butter, water, and flour cooked until shiny. Eggs are added, one at a time and beaten in. Cheese is folded in and then they’re baked to a lovely golden brown, crispy, airy deliciousness. The pastry is easy to make and super inexpensive! I love “Gourmet” on a budget, and nothing seems fancier than when called be a French name.

Here, I’ve used a good White Cheddar, but any relatively dry cheese works very well. Softer cheese may produce a bit too much moisture, so offset that by slightly reducing the amount of egg. Not only can you vary the cheese, you can add herbs, spices, various flavorings and vary the liquids, too. Jalapeno Beer Gougeres, anyone?

These White Cheddar Gougere are presented on their own, but Gougere are awesome filled. You’re only limited by your imagination (and hopefully) good taste! I often see crab, tuna or lobster salad, but the variety of fillings is almost endless. Goat cheese, cream cheese mixtures, caramelized onions, caviar, chorizo and cheese and on and on.

While a traditionalist may bemoan the degeneration of a French classic, as Fisk, the Senior, says in the movie, often in his most stentorian tone: “There is no point in regretting things that have gone to the trouble of happening.”

So I recommend you make these lovely little cheese puffs, and perhaps watch Dean Spanley as you munch on them. Put on the closed captions, the speech runs fast with several different accents, and it would be a shame to miss any of the terribly subtle, dry humor. And don’t wait too long; we are, after all, all of us, in the “anteroom of eternity.”

Fiesta Friday Badge Button I party @I already bought a dish to Fiesta Friday, but I couldn’t decide and had made two, so I figure why not post a second! Thank you Hilda and Julianna for co-hosting! We are, after all, coming up to the Superbowl, when it seems everyone is looking for a new appetizer recipe.

White Cheddar Gougeres - Cheese Puffs

  • Servings: 50 gougere
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder or cayenne (optional)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 ounces white cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
    Heat the oven to 425°F if you will be baking the gougères right away. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, if desired, for easier clean-up.
    Bring the water, butter, salt and cayenne or mustard to a boil in a small saucepan. Dump flour in, all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook 2 to five minutes, stirring, until dough becomes shiny and leaves the side of the pan in a mass. It’s normal for a film to form on the bottom.
    Remove from heat, and using an electric mixer, stand mixer or sturdy spoon and a lot of muscle, let cool for several minutes, until the steam dissipates. Working quickly, beat in the eggs one at a time until the dough is smooth. The mixture may appear curdled at first, but should smooth out after an egg or two is added. Mix in cheese.
    Place mixture in a piping bag with a plain tip, if desired, and pipe small mounds of about 3/4 inch, or alternatively use a tablespoon scoop to transfer dough to the cookie sheet. Mounds of dough should be about 2 inches apart, and it is best, if all are to be baked, to use two cookie sheets. (The oven will be turned down after the sheets are placed inside, so to avoid a wait and another preheating, it’s best not to have more cookie sheets than oven racks.)
    If desired, add a small amount of cheese to the top of each puff.
    The dough may be baked immediately, or may be refrigerated or frozen.
    Place in oven and turn down immediately to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and puffed, and feel firm when pressed gently on the top. Do not open the oven door until the puffs have expanded and set, about halfway through cooking time. If cooking unevenly, after that point oven can be opened and the trays rotated top to bottom, back to front, very carefully. Cool for several minutes on the baking sheet to minimize the risk of deflation.
    Eat at once, or cool to room temperature. May be reheated for several minutes in a hot oven.

 

From the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com

50 thoughts on “White Cheddar Gougeres – Cheese Puffs”

  1. How gorgeous! You may just have demystified gougeres enough for me to try making some, especially since we have a bit of a cheese glut here. Truffle pecorino should work with your recipe, mmmmm. Thanks! Am also going to look for Dean Spanley, that looks wonderful! Happy FF anniversary!

        1. Ha ha! I know exactly what you mean. They seem a little “sophisticated” but they have a rich cheesy taste – I would imagine that anyone who would eat a box of “Cheez-Its” would enjoy them.

          I’ve also noticed that sometimes at parties there are so many fancy foods, so many complicated foods or so many foods that are full of all kinds of gooey, cheesy stuff that a few simple items go over really well.

    1. Thanks, Johanne! Ethereal is the perfect word to describe them!

      Dean Spanley starts out slowly; it’s a tale, and it unfolds and wraps itself around you until you find yourself in just the right mood to suspend all disbelief. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the trailer. Had not heard of that movie, but will watch out for it. Your cheese gougeres are fantastic. I know they are not that difficult to make, except when they totally flop, which happens inexplicably and makes me timid. Well done!

    1. I love it! Inexplicably! I suspect that when ovens are on they cycle up and down in temperature a bit, and when a flop happens it’s because the temperature is at it’s lowest in the cycle when the puffs are put in.

      I bet if you try this method with the higher initial heat there will be less chance of biscuits, more chance of poufs! 🙂

      Now, what I want to know is why I’ll have a tray of gorgeous gougeres and 3 flat ones?! Are those three just underachievers?

  3. Wow, these cheese puffs look just wonderful – I can only dream of what they must taste like. I don’t think I could stop at just one? So hopefully you’ve brought a few dozen to go around? Happy FF, so glad I found you after you popped in on my blog 🙂

        1. Yes I am – I’ve been watching the posts and a follower for awhile and then, with a little encouragement from Ginger&Bread, finally decided to jump in last week!

          I wish I would have joined in the fun sooner! I often wished that wordpress had a better way to find food bloggers, but then, here it is! All these fantastic bloggers from across the globe, all with their own food perspectives, gathered together! 🙂

          1. Oh, in that case welcome 🙂 Which part of the world do you hail from? Yes, I too had been watching for a while, and then jumped in and have never looked back. I must say it feels so real at times 🙂 You’ll definitely enjoy this gathering 🙂

  4. Wonderful! Your Gougeres speak Party! I am just so impressed that yours are 3 Dementional! The only time I tried to make them, mine turned out flat! Imagine trying to fill flat Gougeres with cheese? Not too pretty! Thanks so much for bringing your beauties to the celebration!

    1. Thanks much! I do always have a few flat ones and promptly eat the evidence.! I can never figure out why. I read a post by a cookbook author who said he/she had seen PLENTY of flat ones in France!

      I think the higher initial temperature gets them going better!

  5. I’ve made gougeres in the past, usually for special occasions, but they’re actually a fast little app to whip up and fill any time. I’m too lazy to pipe the dough so I use 2 teaspoons and my recipe is enough to make exactly 12 2 inch puffs. The last time I made them I used blue cheese and they were delicious, as always. Thanks for reminding me of this great little snack.

    1. I don’t really care to pipe, either, although towards the end, I was thinking I should have! LOL – my hands were tired!

      I know you read my caramelized galette post, and if you look at the photo of the meat pate shaped like a pineapple, right in front I spied a few Gougeres! 🙂 That was AFTER I had made these, though!

        1. I’m laughing because I think I should have been clearer – it wasn’t mine, but came from a buzzfeed link of the most horrible retro recipes! And that meat pineapple = it’s covered with AMERICAN cheese, that’s probably why you didn’t recognize it!

          1. You referred to ‘making the gougeres in the picture’ so I somehow assumed you make the entire menu there. I did see the holes in the picture so it was a bit confusing.

            I don’t care for olives but the cheese cubes on the pretzel were not bad looking so I wouldn’t have said EVERYTHING in the picture was HORRIBLE even if it was retro. 🙂 I guessed about the American cheese by the way but wasn’t sure and was curious.

              1. I buy a package on a regular basis to make grilled cheese sandwiches but I’m not a ketchup dipper. I also use it to do fast nacho and cheese snacks with some salsa on top. 🙂

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