The classic amuse-bouche from Burgundy, gougeres, is not very complicated, and even better, it can be prepared in advance and frozen. When it’s time to entertain just heat the oven and bake them straight from the freezer. This recipe from Dorie Greenspan‘s masterpiece, “Around my French Table,” brings fond memories of Paris with every page. Her love for French food and culture echoes my own feelings.
(adapted from Around my French Table)
1/4 cup water (2 oz)
1/4 cup whole milk (2 oz)
1/2 stick butter (4 T / 2 oz)
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour (2.2 oz)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese (3 ounces)
Heat the oven to 425 F.
Place the water, milk, butter, salt and pepper to a boil in a heavy saucepan. When boiling and the butter is fully dissolved, add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon until the whole mass is homogeneous. Keep over medium heat, stirring often, until you notice a light coating forming on the pan as you move the dough around.
Remove from heat, transfer the dough to a bowl and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Have a hand held mixer ready, and add the first egg to the dough, beating well. Once the egg is incorporated, add the second egg and continue beating until a very smooth dough forms. Add the grated cheese and mix well. Drop tablespoons on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silicone mat), and bake for 12 minutes, reducing the oven temperature to 375 F as soon as you place them in. After 12 minutes, switch the tray position in case of uneven browning, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes more, until they are well puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.
(makes 18 gougeres)
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The original recipe makes a double batch, with 3 eggs. When I halved the recipe, I tried to use two and a half eggs (admittedly, it is tricky), but the consistency of the dough was too soft. Instead, 2 large eggs will be perfect, so that’s how I wrote it down. Since my dough wasn’t dense enough I used a mini-muffin tin and placed 1 tablespoon of dough in each spot. It worked great: the gougeres baked as nice, well formed balls, airy inside and gooey with melted cheese. Pure heaven!
Because I’m cooking in a small kitchen, I made them early in the morning, froze and baked them right before our Christmas dinner. That’s definitely the way I’ll make them in the future.
Around my French Table goes on my list of all-time favorite cookbooks! Not only do the recipes fit our cooking style, but her presentation, with comments and stories about her time in France, makes this book ultra special. If you’re on the fence about buying it, jump over to the sunny side and GET IT right away! You won’t be disappointed.
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