Classic gourgères, the cheesy, buttery Gruyere filled puffs of baked bready goodness awaken palates across the world from commercial ovens in patisseries and bistros in Paris to kitchens of at home cooks around the world. Usually made with classic Gruyere, the melty cheese also used in fondue as well, that adds great creaminess but often not a lot of flavor, and if I am indulging in the calories I want a big punch of flavor. While on our recent trip to Hawaii we hosted a group of friends on the Big Island to a wild mushroom risotto and caprese salad dinner. Tasty, right from the oven hot cheese puffs and toasty, brioche and almond filled bubbly seemed like an ideal way to start the evening. I opted for flavor filled smoked Gouda and a touch of nicely aged Parmesan instead of Gruyere, and mixed in a bit of fresh rosemary and thyme. Not traditional, but certainly delicious.
Smoked Gouda Gourgères
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped very fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
4 large eggs at room temperature
8oz smoked gouda cheese, grated
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Have everything prepped when you start because everything comes together very fast after you do. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Add the milk, herbs, spices, garlic, water and butter to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil, whisking often to make sure it doesn’t stick. Slowly whisk in the flour, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes to cook some of the raw flour taste out. Pour the dough into a medium sized mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer beat the eggs individually into the dough, mixing until smooth. Repeat with each egg then fold in the cheese, making sure the dough is mixed through, but not over-mixed, as the puffs won’t rise if it is overly mixed.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls (either teaspoon or tablespoon depending on how big you want your puffs) on the sheet tray. Will make about 2 dozen tablespoon sized puffs. Place in the oven. Immediately reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. (Keep an eye on them at the end to make sure they don’t get too toasted.) Serve right out of the oven immediately.
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