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Gougère, Gougiere, Goyère – Just Say Cheese PUFFS!

June 11, 2015

Puffed and golden

Puffed and golden!

My first taste of the French Gougère pastry was at Paul Bocuse’s restaurant in the ’80’s. It was served as an amuse-bouche with a tiny lobster bisque and it certainly did amuse my mouth!

It combines the gorgeously crunchy appeal of a choux puff with, none other than, cheese! Apart from bacon, things always taste better with cheese!!

Now that it is genuinely soup weather, I am looking for things to dress up our meals, that don’t so much constitute bread! And these delightful gluten-free pastries fit the bill with their cheesy & eggy inards, soft & custardy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It must be the weather that has me craving for carby, ‘bready’ treats.

A gougère is a baked savoury choux pastry with many variants. I had been thinking of the Brazilian Pão de queijo, which is made in a similar way but with only tapioca flour and a much stiffer dough. As much as I like these little cheese breads, no one in my family is very keen on them, so I tried them with these French puffs, which were a much bigger hit!

The cheese used is traditionally grated Gruyère, Comté, or Emmentaler, but I find using a plain tasty, mozzarella and/or parmesan blend, just as good. Feel free to use whatever you have.

They can be bite-sized or roll sized – plain or filled, with ingredients such as mushrooms or ham; in this case I have just used a little spring onion for flavour.
Custardy and cheesy in the middle. YUM!

Custardy and cheesy in the middle. YUM!

When cooking them they will brown early on, but don’t be fooled to thinking that they are cooked as they will still be very wet in the middle and will deflate on cooling. Like éclairs, start the oven hot and reduce the temperature when you put them in. The cooking time will depend on what type of cheese you use.
Unfortunately they are not Paleo – and coconut flour will NOT work – but experiment with your preferred flour. A combination of buckwheat and besan flour* will give a heavier but still, acceptable outcome which is sort of grain free!
I loooove these gluten-free pastries! They are so easy to make  and the dough can be prepared up to a day beforehand. I like to serve them with soup or as a side to salad. Serve them at a BBQ instead of bread rolls for a decadent difference.
160g water
60g butter
pinch salt
80g gluten-free flour
20g rice flour
1/2 teas baking powder
3 eggs
pinch nutmeg
1 tab finely chopped spring onion
50g cheese; gruyere, mozzarella, or provolone
20g + 30g parmesan
 
 
Mix the dry ingredients and set aside. Heat the water and the butter and salt on SP 2 at 100°C for 3 minutes.
When the water is boiling steadily, add all of the dry ingredients at once and mix on SP 3 at 100°C for about 30 seconds – the mixture will come to a ball quickly but it’s good to continue cooking it a bit. Remove the dough from the TM and set aside to cool for at least 20 minutes.
 
 Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
You don’t have to clean the bowl, but return the dough to the bowl and mix on SP 5 whilst adding the eggs slowly, incorporating well. When well combined, add the cheeses, leaving 30g of parmesan to sprinkle at the end. Form rough balls by dropping egg sized pieces on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese and bake. This makes 6 big puffs or 9 smaller puffs.
 
Turn the oven down to 175°C and cook for about 20 – 25 minutes until crunchy and brown. They will look golden early on, but if you remove them too soon they will deflate.  Serve immediately.
 
They go perfectly with my Mushroom & Kasha soup or Tomato & Cauliflower soup or Avocado soup or Carrot soup. In fact ANY soup!!
 * definitely use 3 eggs if you use besan & buckwheat.
 
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2015 5:51 pm

    What a great alternative to serve with soup. Thanks Sarah.

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