I love having little bites of food available when we have company over for drinks. Gougères are the perfect nibbly bit to accompany cocktails, wine, or beer. Gougères are basically a fancy cheese puff, nice and crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, packed with cheesy goodness. And don’t ask me how to pronounce gougères because I have no idea.
The typical cheese you see in Gougères is Gruyere, one of my favorite cheeses. But since I had blue cheese in the fridge, I thought it would make a nice substitute. And, I mean, who doesn’t love blue cheese? The method to make these little puffs is basically the same method to make cream puffs or profiteroles (minus the cheese, of course). This type of pastry is called pate a choux. The dough is mixed together on the stove, weird, I know. In the beginning it seems like you have a big mess, but the dough comes together into a nice smooth paste. Then the dough is piped out onto a baking sheet, where they puff in the oven. And don’t be deterred if you don’t have a piping bag (like me), I used a zip-top plastic bag that I cut the corner off.
The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make the dough and pipe the Gougères onto baking sheets ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them before baking to make for easy entertaining. So make them next time company is coming over, you and your guests will not be disappointed. BLUE CHEESE!
Blue Cheese Gougères
Adapted from Serious Eats
Makes about 4 1/2 dozen
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- About 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bread flour
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 6 oz blue cheese
- Sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt, and pepper to a boil. When the mixture has reached a boil, turn off the heat and quickly stir in the flour (it is easiest to do this with a wooden spoon, the mixture will be too thick to stir with a whisk). Beat in the eggs one at a time until the dough is smooth. Mix in the cheese until well blended and the dough is thick. Place the dough in a pastry bag (or zip-top plastic bag with the corner cut off) fitted with a medium plain tip.
Pipe the dough into small mounds (about 3/4 in. diameter) on the lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt and more blue cheese, if desired. (The Gougères can be baked right away or you can refrigerate or freeze them at this point.)
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake until golden brown, another 20-25 minutes. Serve fresh out of the oven!!