The French apéro (apéritif) is a pre-dinner drink that is usually served with finger food that can encompass everything from olives and cured ham to elaborate bite-sized snacks. Serious stuff. The star of any pre-dinner drinks, however, is the gougère, the French cheese puff. Light and fluffy with a delicious cheese flavor, it feels warm and welcoming. It’s also the perfect accompaniment to a champagne or wine tasting. They originated in the Burgundy region where, as one would suspect, some of the world’s best wines have been made for centuries.
Gougère – Cheese Puffs
- Pastry bag with ½-inch tip
- 2 baking trays lined with parchment paper
- Large bowl, wooden spoon, whisk
- Medium saucepan
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 4 oz. Unsalted European butter Room temperature
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper optional
- 1 cup All-purpose Flour
- 4 large Eggs Room temperature
- 7 oz. Shredded Gruyere cheese Emmenthaler or parmesan OK. Put 1 oz to side.
- 1 pinch Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pinch Nutmeg
- 1 large Egg Yolk
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cook for a few minutes. Slowly whisk in eggs. the mix in flour until a dough forms and sticks to pan, 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer dough into a pastry bag with 1/2 inch tip. Pipe walnut-sized dollops onto baking sheets about 1-inch apart. Glaze with egg yolk and sprinkle remaining cheese over.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes until puffed, golden, and smell amazing. Serve hot (best) or at room temperature.
- Can be frozen or refrigerated pre cooked and reheated in an oven until piping hot.
- When making Pate a Choux dough, make sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next or they might scramble.