(French Cheese Puffs)
These charming, little hors d’oeuvres are the perfect complement to a bottle of wine for a stay-at-home New Year’s Eve celebration. In Burgundy, where Gougeres (say goo-SHARE) originated, they are served warm or at room temperature, sometimes with soup or salad. Think of them as miniature popovers.
Gougeres are easy and inexpensive to make. I follow this recipe clipped in the 1990s from an early issue of Saveur, a food and travel magazine.
- 8 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup flour
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1½ cups grated Gruyere cheese
Combine butter, ½ cup of the milk, and the ½ cup of water in a medium saucepan over high heat.
Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; bring the mixture to a boil. When the butter is melted, remove the pan from heat.
Add the flour all at once, then stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a thick dough and pulls away from the sides of the pan. (1-2 minutes)
Return the pan to heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and let dough cool to room temperature.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is completely incorporated into the mixture and the dough is smooth after each addition. (Tip: Use large, not extra large, eggs. In this case bigger is not better.)
The batter will be slippery and a little hard to beat, but it will eventually absorb the eggs and become a thick, smooth, shiny dough.
Add one cup of the cheese and beat in until well combined.
Spoon tablespoon-size mounds of dough (I use a cookie scoop for uniformity.) on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, 1” apart.
Brush tops with the remaining ¼ cup milk, then sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of cheese.
Bake in 400’ preheated oven until Gougeres have doubled in size and are golden, 20-25 minutes.
Yield: 2-3 dozen, depending on the size.
Note: The recipe can be halved to make a smaller batch. Gougeres keep for days refrigerated.