Yea so this is really just a cheese puff. A really nice cheese puff. Gougeres have to be one of the best appetizers/hors d’oeuvres of all time. When I’m hungry I crave carbs. Bread baskets at restaurants don’t really stand a chance when I’m around. Unfortunately, this fills me up, making me curse the carbs I consumed as I look at the dessert menu and realize I’m too full. But these little puffs are so insanely light you can eat several (min/no max: 20) and still have plenty of room for chocolate cake down the road. And these are cheesy… a cheesy, light carb. I rest my case.
I encourage you to share these with people who are awesome. I made these for my Aunt’s birthday party. She is incredibly accomplished, intelligent, and kind. A perfect example of someone who is awesome.
You can make them in advance and just warm them for 5ish minutes in a low oven before you want to serve.
So you are technically making a pâte à choux dough here. This is exciting because once you successfully make these you know you can make other fun things like éclairs.
Reasons why these sometimes don’t turn out:
-You didn’t use large eggs. Pay attention- no extra large eggs allowed.
-You used crap cheese. This needs to be a dry, aged cheese. Also, you should grate it yourself on a grater. Not with a food processor and not from a bag filled of pre-grated cheese.
-You did not have all the ingredients ready in advance. You don’t want to be scrambling to chop dill as the dough over cooks.
-You did not bake them long enough. I know you want to eat these sooner rather than later but wait until they are nice and browned.
Inspired by David Lebovitz
0.5 cup water
3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
0.25 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
0.5 cup flour
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced plus a little more to sprinkle on top
0.75 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Heat the water, butter, salt, and pepper in a saucepan until the butter is melted.
Dump in the flour all at once and stir aggressively with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides into a smooth ball. Remove from heat and let rest two minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring quickly to make sure the eggs don’t become scrambled eggs. The batter will look weird at first and you won’t feel like the eggs will mix into the dough but persevere- they will. Some people do this in a processor but that just means more dishes for you.
Add about 3/4s of the cheese and all the dill. Stir until well-mixed.
Place a large Ziploc bag (or pastry bag) in a large glass. Scrape the mixture into the bag. Snip one corner of the bag so that you can squeeze the filling out of that tip. Pipe the dough into mounds, evenly-spaced apart. If you really wanted you could skip all that and just take spoonfuls of the dough and set them on the parchment. Either way I wet my finger a tiny bit and even out of the tops of each mound.
Top each puff with a tiny bit more cheese and dill.
Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re completely golden brown.
You can make these in advanced and re-warm for 5-10 in a 250 degree F oven.