By Caroline Fey
I learned to make Gougères in culinary school in New York and they have been a favorite of mine since. In this recipe I used a smoked goat milk cheddar from Redwood Hill Farm in Sonoma instead of the traditional gruyere, and a local aged fontina in place of parmesan, and the results were delicious!
The one trick to making the dough is the amount of egg you add, and it depends on the amount of moisture in the dough. I was taught that the amount of egg needed depends on the humidity level in the air – which affects the dough, and you need less egg at different times of year based on how humid or dry it is outside. Don’t be put off by this, when you make these Gougères you will be amazed at how simple they are to put together and how fast they disappear.
Active Time: 45 minutes
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted European butter
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon chopped chives, plus more for garnish
4 to 5 large eggs
¾ cup grated San Joaquin Gold – or Parmesan, Asiago or Pecorino
1 cup grated Redwood Hill Farm Smoked Goat Milk Cheddar
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 400° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk the egg and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat the butter, water, sugar and salt together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter has melted and the water is just coming to a boil. Turn the heat to low and add the flour, whisking until a dough forms. Turn the heat back to medium-high and cook the dough for a minute or two, stirring consistently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. A thin film will form on the bottom and sides of the pan and will turn golden brown.
Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and beat until no longer steaming, but still warm to the touch. Add the eggs, one at a time. Make sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next. After adding 4 eggs test your dough to see if it is ready by drawing your finger through the dough to form a canal. If the dough holds it’s shape it is too stiff and needs another egg. If the canal slowly closes, it is ready.
Add ½ cup of the San Joaquin cheese, 1 cup of cheddar and 2 tablespoons chives to the bowl and mix, scraping the sides. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a #8 tip, or a plastic bag with ½-inch cut diagonally from 1 corner. Pipe the dough onto quarter-sized balls about 1-inch apart on the baking sheets. Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup cheese and chives.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the Gougères are golden brown and puffed. Let them cool for a minute or two before transferring to a serving bowl.
The dough can be made in advance, piped and frozen without the egg wash, cheese and chive garnish. Place the Gougères on a lined baking sheet and let them come to room temperature. Brush with egg wash and top with cheese and chives before baking.
Serve the Gougères hot out of the oven.