Oh my goodness gracious. I can't even pronounce Gougères, yet I am deeply in love.
Seriously. Make these right now.
I have been to exhausted every night after work to do any cooking, especially any cooking and photographing, so I decided to do some cooking at work, while my little friend takes his morning nap. I am so happy I did.
These are literally puffs of joy. Teeny, tiny, crunchy, fluffy (yea, at the same time), cheese filled puffs of joy. I used sharp cheddar and pecorino along with a heavy dose of thyme. Next time, I want gruyere and rosemary...yum yum yum.
I also got to try out using a freezer bag as a pastry bag, something I've been meaning to do and have been too lazy to bake a cake to try, and it worked great! Cheap and easy way to do some pastry work without buying a ton of extra equipment. Handy...since the Tiniest Kitchen could also be called the Destitute Kitchen on many occasions...
I didn't bring any home for Chako, whoops. Also, I didn't realize I was going to cook at work, so I didn't bring our camera, this was all shot on the iPhone.
Some warm, melty dough
Savory thyme and cheese!
Make some little blobs
Add some more cheese!!! Always more cheese.
Bake and enjoy! Eat warm..trust me.
Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)
Adapted from David Lebovitz
1/2 cup of water
3 tbsp salted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Dash of hot pepper flakes
1/2 cup of flour
2 large eggs
2 tsp thyme (fresh is best, I only had dried, still awesome)
1/4 cup of sharp cheddar, finely grated
1/2 cup of pecorino cheese, finely grated
Preheat your oven to 475 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a saucepan, heat the butter, water, pepper, hot pepper flakes and salt until the butter is fully melted. Add all the flour and mix quickly until you form a wet ball of dough that is not sticking to the sides of the pot. Remove from heat and transfer your dough into a bowl. Add the eggs (one at a time!) and mix quickly to prevent them from cooking in the hot dough. Keep mixing until both eggs are fully incorporated in the dough. Add the thyme and cheese (keep a few tbsp of cheese to sprinkle on top!) and mix well. Scrape your dough into a pastry bag, or a freezer bag. If using a freezer bag, cut the corner off...woo hoo!! Pipe little mounds of dough, for bigger puffs, make them about the size of golf balls, for perfect bite sized puffs, about the size of a cherry tomato. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 degrees and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown all around. Serve warm.
Tiny Notes: I experimented with Lebovitz's tip of poking a little hole in the side of your puff at the last 5 minutes of cooking to get super crispy crusts, I didn't notice too much of a difference, but I made tiny puffs and I do think it would make a noticeable difference for larger puffs. Also, experiment with other cheeses and herbs, rosemary or gruyere as I mentioned above. If you need to make these ahead of time, either wait until right before serving them to pipe and bake them, or just stick them back in a low heat oven for a minutes right before serving.