So Simple It’s Silly: Parmesan Gougeres

So Simple It’s Silly is a series of incredibly easy sweet and savory recipes. Minimal ingredients, great short cuts and not at all time-consuming.

It’s funny exactly how many recipes I have swimming in my head, how many things I’ve made once then instructed myself to go back, make it again and perfect it or even what I’ve done, loved and have yet to post even though I have the recipe AND the pictures. Was that one huge run on sentence? Why yes, it was. I’ve always wondered who exactly reads my blogs, and if they try the recipes and what happens when they do. I know as the blog grows I’ll get the answers to my question, but I think I’m what you call a.. self-conscious cook. I don’t constantly compare myself to other people, but I wonder, if my culinary chops are really up to par. I’ve never had professional training, and everything I know I figured it out by trial and error, searching the internet or by taste buds alone. It’s really nothing to look down upon, my Mother was never professional trained and she’s pretty amazing. So maybe it runs in the genes. Point is, I guess I’m scared that I’m not as good as I sometimes think I am, that my flavors don’t pop as well as I think they do and everyone who loves my food..does it because they simply love me. Why am I rambling again? I forgot, you must forgive me, there are times when I sit down and I just type.

I made these beautiful Gougeres for my family’s late Christmas dinner (and over a month later, I finally post it.. I know!) along with my prime rib. I thought it would be the perfect thing to sandwich heavenly soft slices of meat in is hallow cheesy interiors, or even broken into chunks and dragged through the au jus to for that perfect bite. I’ve used pate a choux dough many times over for sweets, by why I’ve never used them for savory when they’re just as perfect for it boggles me. I made about two dozen Parmesan Gougeres for dinner, ended up eating at least 3 the night before when I prepared them (taste testing, I swear!), 2 more as they were reheating and 1 at dinner that night. Yes 1 for dinner because I’m watching my figure.. err. yea!

Honestly one of the easiest things I’ve ever made that yielded a beautiful elegant finish, so French, so incredibly chichi, so incredibly HELL YEA I CAN COOK!!!

INGREDIENTS: 

1 cup Water
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
1 cup All Purpose Flour
4 eggs
1/2 tsp Cayenne (It won’t be spicy, just a pop of flavor, PROMISE!)
1 1/2 tsp fresh Thyme (finely chopped)
1 1/2 tbsp Scallions (aka green onions, finely sliced green tops only)
1 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese + 3 tbsp
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crack black pepper

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in the middle

2. In sauce pan over medium high heat, melt butter into water and salt, bring to a boil

3. Add all the flour and take off the heat, stirring quickly to incorporate all the flour into water/butter. Place back on heat and continue to cook out the flour taste. About 1-2 minutes. Your dough will start to leave the sides and become a ball in the middle as you stir, a film will also appear on the bottom, this is an indication that it’s ready. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 5 mins.

4. With an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer if you’re really lucky!) beat the dough on medium low (it will be crumbly looking) to loosen it from its ball state, Add in 1 egg at a time, beating on medium high to full incorporate before adding more egg. About 6 mins. Your dough will be incredibly stick at this point

5. Add cayenne, thyme, black pepper and Parmesan cheese, mix with hand mixer on low until just incorporated.

6. Line baking sheet with foil (easier to clean with all this cheese) and pipe (using piping bag and large tip) or spoon your dough in 1 1/2 tbsp mounds. I used 2 spoons, sprayed lightly with cooking spray and scooped the dough out with one spoon, using the other spoon to gently coax it onto the pan. Wet your finger tips lightly and push down any peaks on your dough so it’s perfectly round. Sprinkle your reserved cheese on top

7. Place in oven for 10 mins then lowering temperature to 350 degrees and cook another 20-30 mins (depending on the size of your dough)

8. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet then move to a wire rack to fully cool

COOKING NOTES:
1. Gougeres are traditionally made with just Gruyere cheese, but I find adding the extra herbs gives it a depth of flavor
2. This recipe makes about two dozen puffs
3. The dough is incredibly stick and intimidating to work with at times, but don’t worry, it’s just the nature of it, wet your hands a bit if you don’t want it to stick to you.
4. Great make ahead food, I made mine the night before dinner, refrigerated them; then heated them up for 5 mins in a 350 degree oven when ready to eat. They also freeze beautifully.


(why yes, those are my sister’s fingers reaching across the table for a gougeres!)

Voila! Gougeres or savory cheese puffs! Please note that these beauties are HALLOW on the inside (just like a cream puff!) and are wonderful when stuffed or torn apart for scooping things. I’m so in love with them and even my mom was surprised I made “bread”! As always..do I really have to say it again? The nice pictures were done by Vibol Vann and the rest by me, can you see the difference? It’s quite startling hmm? I really should invest in a new camera!

I hope you try this and as always please write me and let me know how it turned out!

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