If you like cheese and popovers I think you’ll like these cheese gougeres. I came across gougeres while searching different techniques for making eclairs. The dough you make for eclairs, pate a choux, is the same dough used here but with cheese added. It is delicious! The French name might sound intimidating (I mean I’ve tried macarons many times and never quite gotten it right) but these are actually fairly simple.
Gougeres and popovers are not the same thing but the first time I had a gougere that is what I immediately thought of. Popovers are actually comprised of fewer steps but similar ingredients. Also the way in which you bake them is very similar: start them off in a 450 degree F oven for a short amount of time and then decrease temperature to 350 degrees F for a longer amount of time. Both do rise and have light, airy centers.
Personally I like to make these large enough to make small sandwiches out of. One night I made them for a side/ appetizer with a marinated pork dinner. I planned for extra gougeres and extra pork and it made terrific sandwiches for lunches then next couple days, just add a nice sauce (I used an aioli) and the cheese is already in the gougere.
- 1 cup water
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs large
- 1 1/2 cup gruyere or cheddar cheese shredded
Boil water and butter: In a medium saucepan combine the water, butter, salt, and mustard and bring to a boil.
Make the dough: Remove saucepan from the heat once all the butter has melted. Add all of the flour at once and using a sturdy spoon stir vigorously until it all comes together. It will look similar to mashed potatoes.
Cook the dough: Cook and stir the dough over low medium heat until it dries out, about 3-5 minutes. The dough will glisten and thicken (enough to hold your spoon up). I did have some residue on the bottom of the pan despite stirring and that's perfectly fine.
Beat in the eggs: Remove the dough from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the dough on low medium until it stops steaming and it just warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Break the eggs into a different bowl and lightly beat them. Turn the mixer on and add the eggs in 4 batches, beating fully between each. You'll know to add the next egg when the previous is completely mixed in and the dough is smooth. Scrape the sides as needed to keep mixed. In the end it will be more like a creamy batter than a dough. Beat in the shredded cheese.
Bake the gougeres: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the batter onto the sheets. I made 18 in total with my batter which were medium sized. You can make them any size you like but just check them more frequently while baking. Bake them for 5 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes. You will know they are done with they are dry, puffed up and feel light and airy.
Cool the gougeres: Once finished baking put the baking sheets on cooking racks. These are great warm but can be cooled and then any leftovers refrigerated. If you do refrigerate I like to give them a quick refresh in the oven before eating (350 degrees for a few minutes).