I know what you’re thinking. First beef bourguignon and now this? Another recipe for fussy French food? What happened to this idea of “close enough” cooking?
I know gougeres seem more like fine dining but hear me out. First, I these one-bite wonders pair two of my favorite things: bread and cheese. I’ll make pretty much anything that includes them whether they’re French, Italian or Polynesian. Except maybe tuna melts. Those things are foul.
Second? Come close, I need to tell you a secret. Come closer. Closer. Woah, too close. One step back.
Okay, here is my secret: these gougeres may look intimidating but they’re actually relatively easy to make. If you can grate cheese and stir things in a pot then you can make these gougeres. I swear. (And it’s super fun to watch them puff up in the oven and think “I made that. I’m a badass.” Or maybe that’s just me.)
Plus, this is a great recipe to have in your back pocket. Gourgeres are a perfect appetizer or as something to nibble with a glass of wine. Make a batch and stash them in freezer and then pull them out to bake whenever you’re in the mood. You’ll thank me later.
They also work as a side dish with dinner. They’re even good the next morning for breakfast. Not that I’ve ever done that. Nope. Not me.
If garlic and thyme aren’t you’re thing I won’t judge. Ok, I probably will but you can modify this recipe in an endless number of ways to suit you. Here’s some variations: garlic & rosemary, rosemary & thyme, just thyme, just rosemary, just garlic, keep it simple and leave out flavorings entirely . . . you get the idea. Think about what you like with cheese and let your imagination take over.
My only warning with these? These little guys are dangerous. I’d highly recommend making them at someone else’s house. Otherwise it easy to pop one in your mouth every time you walk by the kitchen. You could end up realizing that you’ve eaten over a dozen over the course of the day. Not that I’ve ever done that.
You can count on these cheesy puffs to be a crowd pleaser. They’re little but pack a big flavor punch pairing gruyere cheese with roasted garlic and fresh thyme. Plus, they’re surprisingly simple to make. Make them once and you’ll wonder what took you so long.
*look for a post soon about roasting garlic. Until then here’s one easy method.
Prepare two half pan baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Bring water, butter and salt to boil in a medium saucepan.
Remove from heat and add flour.
Return to medium-high heat and cook until dough pulls away from side of the pan stirring regularly (approx 3-5 minutes).
Place dough in stand mixer with paddle attachment and mix at low speed for approx. 1 minute to cool dough.
With the mixer on a low speed add 6 eggs one-by-one mixing between each. Once all the eggs are in, continue to mix until fully incorporated.
Add grated cheeses, mashed garlic and thyme leaves. Mix until fully incorporated.
Using a pastry bag pipe half-dollar size rounds of dough onto baking sheets. Leave approx. 1 inch between each on all sides. Alternatively, you may also use a spoon to scoop mounds of dough onto the baking sheets.
Place baking sheets in the freezer and allow dough to freeze completely (approx. 1 hour).
While baking sheets are in the freezer, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk remaining egg with a tbsp. of water to make an egg wash.
Remove baking sheets from freezer and immediately brush gougeres with egg wash.
Place sheets on middle shelf of oven. Cook for 10 minutes and then rotate baking sheets. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook for another 5 minutes until golden brown.