Gougères are the perfect hors d’ouevre to
serve with white wine and sparkling wine.
Photo and recipe courtesy Chef Aida
Gougères (goo-ZHAIR) are airy French cheese puffs, savory choux pastry that is mixed with grated cheese and baked into savory bites.
In France, the cheese is most often a hearty Swiss mountain cheese: Gruyère, Comté or Emmentaler; a hint of nutmeg is added to the recipe. Served warm from the oven, gougères are simple yet elegant hors d’oeuvres—a perfect choice to serve with Champagne, other sparkling wine, or any wine or craft beer.
This special-occasion recipe comes from Beth and Bob Kennett of Liberty Hill Farm in Vermont.
Beth’s ancestors began farming in 1641 in Maine; she’s a ninth generation farmer. Bob’s family, the Kennetts, started their farm in 1742 in New Hampshire. Today, their sons, David and Tom, with a new generation of grandchildren following close behind, work with Beth and Bob to continue the honored tradition of family farming.
If you’re in Vermont, Beth hosts regular farm tours and cooking classes where visitors can follow the milk from the farm to the family and back to the kitchen.
Beth used Cabot Cheddar, butter and cream cheese in this recipe. You can, of course, substitute any of the Swiss mountain cheeses for the Cheddar. The special touch here is integrating smoked salmon, a celebratory food, into the airy cheese puffs.
If you’re not a smoked salmon fan, the gougères are just as special with crumbled bacon or minced ham. Here’s a recipe for Pancetta, Thyme & Fontina Gougères (photo above).
Prep time is 40 minutes, cook time is 35 minutes.
RECIPE: VERMONT CHEDDAR & SALMON GOUGÈRES
Ingredients For 24 Pieces
For The Gougères
1 cup water
1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)
For The Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 -1 cup finely minced smoked salmon*
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1. PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. COMBINE water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and heat until butter is melted. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously until mixture breaks away from side of pan and forms smooth ball.
Smoked salmon-stuffed gougères. Photo courtesy Cabot Creamery.
3. REMOVE from heat and let rest for two minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, stirring quickly so the egg doesn’t cook, until the dough is firm, smooth and waxy. Add all of cheddar, all but 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, mustard and red pepper, and stir until well blended.
4. TRANSFER the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with large plain tip. Pipe dough into two dozen small round mounds, evenly separated. Sprinkle tops with remaining Parmesan.
5. BAKE for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer or until completely golden brown.
6. MAKE the filling. Beat together the cream cheese, salmon, chives and hot sauce. Stir in sour cream to achieve proper consistency for filling. Stir in red peppers.
7. MAKE a small slit in side of each gougère. Scrape the filling into a pastry bag or plastic bag with the corner cut off. Squeeze some of filling into each gougère. Plate and serve.