These tasty little cheesy puffs are a perfect canapé to serve with drinks.
Choux pastry is so easy to make and less likely to go wrong – like some other types of pastry I could mention!
I suppose some people are put off by having to use a piping bag, but if you buy a supply of disposable piping bags, it makes it so easy. I got mine from Amazon – they come on a big roll and will last for ages. However, you can also use two spoons or a small ice cream scoop if you don’t want to bother with a piping bag.
This is a savoury recipe for cheese choux puffs that are absolutely wonderful on their own, served warm with drinks, but so good when filled with something creamy and delicious.
The gougères themselves are made with a generous amount of good quality cheese and a little cayenne and nutmeg, which I think makes all the difference to the taste.
The gougères can easily be made ahead, frozen and warmed through before you want to serve them.
4 large eggs
150g Plain/all-purpose flour
160g grated Gruyère cheese, plus extra for the top
110g butter – diced
¼tsp cayenne pepper
¼tsp grated fresh nutmeg
1 egg plus a little milk to make an egg wash
Pre-heat the oven to 200°/400°F and prepare a lined baking sheet
Add the water and butter together in the pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and dump in the four all in one go.
Beat together until fully incorporated and coming away from the sides of the pan.
Empty the mixture into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Beat for a minute to cool the mixture slightly before adding the eggs.
Add the eggs one at a time, madding sure each one is fully mixed in before adding the next one.
Add the cayenne and nutmeg and then the cheese, mixing until smooth.
Put the dough into a piping bag with a wide tip, or you can just cut the end off the disposable bag.
Pipe little mounds onto the lined baking sheet, using a wet fingertip to smooth away any points. For bite-sized gougères, they should be about the size of a cherry tomato, but you can make any size you like! Leave a gap of around 2 inches between each one to allow them space to puff up and out.
Very lightly brush each one with a little of the egg wash and top with extra cheese that has been finely grated. I use a microplane to grate a little cheese for the top, so it is super fine.
Bake for around 20 minutes, or until they are golden, well puffed up and light to the touch. They will deflate again if they are not cooked enough and need a few more minutes.
Serve warm from the oven with drinks.