I had the pleasure of doing a cooking demo for a special group of ladies this past weekend. I showed the group how to make Gougeres (goo-zhehr), savory cheese puffs made from Pate a Choux (pot a shoo), a pastry dough that puffs up when baked. Gougeres are excellent served warm or at room temperature. They can be eaten alone, but we enjoyed them filled with Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Craisins.
Black Pepper and Chive Gougeres (Savory Cheese Puffs)
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion (or onion powder)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped chives
- 2 ounces grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (or Gruyere)
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Line a half sheet pan with a silpat liner.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, butter, salt, and granulated onion; heat until mixture starts to bubble.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add flour, stirring vigorously until a smooth paste forms and pulls away from the sides of the pan; continue stirring for a minute or two more.
- Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly before using a whisk to incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until no sign of egg remains. (for best results, be sure to use a whisk during this step)
- Stir in pepper, chives, and cheese.
- Use a #50 scoop (or 1 tablespoon) to portion about 15 choux puffs spaced evenly on the sheet pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until deep golden brown.
- Serve warm or cool before filling with chicken salad.
Note: Pastry dough should be baked immediately. Do not double recipe. Dough can be frozen in individual portions and baked from directly from freezer (just increase baking time by a minute or two). Gougeres can also be frozen after baking if wrapped very well.
To make a sweet version that you can turn into cream puffs:
- omit granulated onion, black pepper, chives, and cheese
- reduce salt to a pinch
- add 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- cool puffs completely and fill with homemade whipped cream