Quite simply, these are savory cream puff shells. I used half a cup of blue cheese and a teaspoon of fresh thyme in place of the Gruyère as they are what I had in the house.
Next time I make this recipe I will double the amount of cheese and salt I used as I found the gougères slightly lacking in flavor – but nothing a little salt and extra cheese couldn’t fix.
- ½ c. unsalted butter
- 1 c. water
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 c. finely grated Gruyère cheese
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard or 1 tsp. dry mustard
- ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan combine butter, water and salt over low heat, stirring until butter has melted. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat. Add flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wood spoon until dough comes together in a mass. Return pan to stove and, over medium heat, continue to beat dough another minute until a thin film appears on the bottom of the pan. (I wouldn’t exactly liken what forms on the bottom to a film. I’d say wait until it looks like the bottom is getting a bit dry and crusty.)
- Scrape dough into bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed one minute to cool it a bit. Before adding the beaten eggs reserve about 1 tablespoon for a glaze. Add eggs in four increments letting each addition absorb completely into dough before adding the next. Mixture may look sloppy but it will magically come together in a very thick batter.
- Add three-fourths a cup of the cheese, reserving the rest for garnish. Beat in cheese, mustard and pepper until well blended.
- Drop by tablespoons onto parchment paper about 1 inch apart or use a pastry bag to pipe 1-inch mounds onto the baking sheet. Using your fingertip or pastry brush, lightly coat top of each puff with some of the reserved egg.
- Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer until they are golden brown. Immediately top each gougere with a few strands of reserved cheese. Return pans to oven to ‘set’ the cheese; it should take less than a minute. Serve warm.
It’s not at all necessary to use a stand mixer when making this recipe. I don’t when making cream puffs and I didn’t when making this recipe. As I didn’t use Gruyère cheese, I didn’t reserve any of the blue cheese to sprinkle over the top after baking.
Don’t let the directions deter you. These are actually quite easy to make. I do think you could bump this recipe up by another apple by filling the middle with a cream cheese/blue cheese/bacon/thyme combo.