Gougères (French Cheese Puffs) for Superbowl
Don’t let the fancy name fool you. These French cheese puffs are actually quite easy to make and a contender for my Superbowl day menu.
Superbowl is this Sunday and I’m excited. Not because I love football or care who is playing, but because of the food of course! Gathering with friends and family and munching on tons of unhealthy carb-loaded snacks is my idea of a good time. Food is so much more enjoyable when it is shared with others.
I’ve been testing out some savory recipes for my Superbowl menu. I definitely plan on making the easy pepperoni pizza puffs I made last month. I’m also thinking of making some popovers. And maybe these gougeres, which sound really fancy and taste as good as they sound, but are also quite easy to make.
Gougère is a savory choux pastry (think cream puff pastry shell) mixed with cheese. I love the slight crispy texture and the pastry dough taste. These are light and bite-sized, the perfect snack for Superbowl.
A few months ago I had gougères at a restaurant. While I had never had a gougère, I knew from one bite that the ones I was eating were just not right. The pastry dough was soft and soggy and the cheese didn’t have enough flavor. The deflated puffs were a huge disappointment to me. BF on the other hand, loves almost anything sprinkled with cheese. Having never experienced a better gougère, he gobbled them up. As I stared disappointingly at the gougère, I vowed that I could do better.
I searched food blogs and found a couple of good recipes. But before I got a chance to try them out, I found a recipe by Chef Ludo of the famous Ludo Bites, whose culinary creations I’ve yet to try, but I badly want to do so.
The article gives a recipe and shows step by step photos on how Chef Ludo makes gourgere. You can view it here. So I went ahead and made some this weekend. Most of the recipes I’ve seen (including this one) call for Gruyere cheese. But I didn’t have any on me and I didn’t want to go out and buy some and grate it just to make these. So instead, I substituted for some shredded monterey jack and cheddar. They still tasted scrumptious.
These didn’t take very long to prepare and they came out so well! I thought they would only taste good warm, but I ate a bunch of them cold the next day and they still tasted good and the pastry shell remained its crispy exterior. I gave some to BF and told him this is what a gougere should taste like. He loved it.
I followed Chef Ludo’s recipe exactly except for the cheese substitution. I also chose to pipe mine because I think they look better piped. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can just use a sandwich bag or freezer sandwich bag and cut a hole at one end. I did two swirls for each puff.
French dishes can often be complicated and intimidating. But these are easy to put together and manage to taste fancy and delicious. Definitely a contender for my superbowl menu.
If you are thinking of Superbowl snacks, here are some other ideas:
- 8 1/2 tbsp water
- 8 1/2 tbsp whole milk
- 7 tbsp salted butter
- 1 pinch of kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 7 oz Gruyere cheese grated
All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring the water, milk, butter and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in all the flour at one time. Cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is completely incorporated for about 5 minutes. The mixture will form a large, slightly firm ball of dough with a smooth and slightly shiny surface.
Place the dough ball in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the dough on low speed for about a minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating on low speed until each is incorporated before adding another egg. Add the cheese and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. The cheese will melt a bit into the dough.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag and pipe 1-inch balls 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the puffs have risen, are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Serve warm.