… for a dinner or party! Or a rainy day snack behind a window (scroll down photo101 people!). So imagine you’ve been climbing in the mountains four days and when you return a group of climbing friends come to your house for a little party! Oops. This happened last week and inviting them wasn’t perhaps the wisest idea but I had a cake plan that included gougères which are fast and easy to make. No really, this time I mean it! In case you’re not acquainted with them they’re naked profiteroles with no cream or chocolate – choux puffs with grated cheese folded in and sprinkled on top! And I’ve added some cumin and cayenne pepper to give them a subtle kick though freshly ground black pepper is lovely too. Great alone or with cured ham, olives or other bits and pieces. My aunt’s been making them for years as an apéritif at family meals or parties over in France and sometimes they turn up at the table with a snail tucked into each little puff! We’ll leave that for another day as funnily enough I have no snails handy. Later I’ll tell you her little gougères disaster story. Meanwhile, have a look at these little cuteys!
ODE TO CHEESE PUFFS
So dinky and handy dandy
Freeze and save for a rainy day
Or nibble on them straight away!
Cheesy smile. How to incorporate the photo101 ‘glass’ homework into a recipe blog! I modified the photo with PicMonkey so the drops stand out. It’s grate isn’t it? Grated cheese to be precise… hee hee! Can’t take it anymore? Juvenile humour too much? Quick, to the kitchen batman!
And don’t let the terrible puns drive you over the edge! Yes, the photo101 ‘edge’ coursework!
Those are my photos and now back to the cheese puffs! I’ve whipped up a new batch of gougères with cumin and cayenne pepper! Hand them round while they’re warm! Though they’re fine when they’ve cooled down too. Talk amongst yourselves, drink, nibble…
Aha, some of you want to know the recipe. Why it’s our old friend Mr Choux with some cheese and spices added!
Ingredients and method
1. Weigh in separate small bowls:
- 87g plain flour (sieved) with spices whisked in:
- quarter teaspoon ground cumin seeds (or ground cumin) and a quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper (very slightly spicy and my favourite) or
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (also delicious but more neutral) or
- spices of your choice or add extra cayenne pepper for a spicier gougère!
- 180 to 185g beaten egg (around 3 medium-large eggs) – the quantity varies so be flexible
- 50g grated hard cheese (gruyère, emmental, mild cheddar or comté) to fold into the choux pastry
- 25g piece of hard cheese to grate on top of the choux
2. Put the following ingredients in a small heavy-based saucepan on low heat so the butter melts. Note: Some recipes use only water (125g) resulting in drier gougères but I prefer them with some milk and a bit softer inside.
- 62g water
- 63g semi-skimmed milk
- 50g unsalted butter
- 3g salt
3. Bring the water, milk, butter and salt to the boil on medium heat, boil hard for 1 minute then take off heat.
Now mix 50g of grated cheese into the choux pastry!
You can also do this with a spoon if you don’t have a piping bag.
12. Grate the 25g of cheese directly over the cheese puffs.
Taking care of your little puffs
They can be served warm or at room temperature. Let them dry and cool in the open (not in a field but the kitchen). Keeps in an airtight tin container for a few days. Otherwise store in the freezer for up to a few months. Defrost at room temperature then you can refresh them 5-10 minutes in the oven at medium temperature.
You can see more tips on a What’s Cooking America post: Gruyère cheese gougères, in the final notes section.
A little story
Now about my aunt’s little gougère story. Well, as I said before she’s been making them for years then suddenly, disaster! What was happening? Have a guess!
1 hour later
Okay, I’ll put you out of your misery. Apparently she’d switched to a new butter a few weeks before. She eventually realised the new brand was to blame for her flat little gougères – three times in a row! (mais c’est pas possible! surely not!). So she switched back to her trusty ole’ brand and tada! Her gougères are back as family favourites. So sometimes it really isn’t you… it’s your ingredients! Watch out for flour and eggs too!
Anyway, nice to see you again my imaginary party friends/real savoury readers! Hope to bump into some of you at the Fiesta Friday party organised by Angie! Cheese puff anyone? Have a happy rest of the week with not much rain but lots of cheery cheesiness!!! Au revoir mes p’tits choux!!! 🙂
P.S. Mes petits choux = term of endearment. Literal translation: ‘my little cabbages’ (or choux pastries if you prefer!)