gougereWe had a french dinner party this past week.  The menu was braised leeks topped with toasted panko, pine nuts and a mustard vinaigrette, coq au vin with boiled potatoes, green salad, overwhelming cheese plate and chocolate mousse for dessert.  I was at a loss of what to begin with for the cocktail house.  Gougeres was the answer.

This was the first time I made gougeres and I learned a lot.  I took me three times to get it right.  The first time I wasn’t paying attention to the recipe although they turned out ok just not as full and crispy as I wanted.  I needed more than one bunch so I did it again and this time was a disaster and I paid more attention to the recipe.  The third time was a charm.

Preheat the oven to 400.

6 tbsp. unsalted butter cut into pieces.

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp pepper

pinch of nutmeg

1 1/4 cups flour

4 large eggs

6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese

(you can also use an egg yolk to brush over the top of them before putting in the oven but I didn’t)

Bring salt, pepper, nutmeg and 1 cup of water to boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in the butter until it is melted.

Remove from the heat and add in the flour.  Put the pot back over the medium heat and stir this constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes a ball.  It doesn’t take more than a minute and then keep moving it around just a bit for heat purposes.  Maybe one minute in total.  Now remove the pan from the heat.

Add in the cheese.  The recipe said to add it in later but this worked for me.  Continue to work on the ball until the cheese is completely mixed in.  Now add the 4 eggs, incorporating one at a time.  The mixture breaks up and is thick but eventually each egg gets mixed in.  The mixture should be thick but not too thick.  Thick enough to hold.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper drop one inch rounds about 2 inches apart.  You can use piping bag but I had trouble with that.  I went with the soup spoon and put the small dollops on the tray by hand.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden.  They are so good.  Honestly so easy to make and you really can’t stop eating them.