Comte Gougères (Creamy Puffed Cheese Dough)

September 14th, 2010

Comte Gougères (Creamy Puffed Cheese Dough)

My wife and housemate are off to a concert in Philadelphia tonight, which means the house is empty. I decided to cook something new and see how it turns out.  I spent a relaxing evening filling the kitchen with the smell of these delicate, delicious Gougères.

Originating in Burgundy, France, these have a soft, delicate texture and subtle cheese accent that make them all but scream for a glass of good wine.  Elegant, tasty little things that make an impression.  (And smell wonderful in the oven, I might add.)

Usually these are made with Gruyere, but I had Comtè on hand tonight and thought it worked wonderfully.  Gruyere is stronger and might do well with bolder wines.

Comte Gougères (Creamy Puffed Cheese Dough) Comte Gougères (Creamy Puffed Cheese Dough)

I started with the water, butter, sugar, and salt coming to a boil; then dumped in all of the flour and stirred to get a dry ball of fluff cooking.

Comte Gougères (Creamy Puffed Cheese Dough)

Beating the mixture with eggs until smooth.  I added some of the cheese.

Comte Gougères (Creamy Puffed Cheese Dough)

Onto the parchment with some cheese placed on top of each tablespoon of dough.  Starting to bake here… almost ready to turn down the heat.

Comte Gougères (Creamy Puffed Cheese Dough)

They turned out just as I hoped- hollow, creamy, cheesy and delicious.  I immediately needed a glass of wine!

Comte Gougères (Creamy Puffed Cheese Dough)

Based on recipe from Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry

Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 7 tablespoons (3-1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups grated Comtè cheese (5 ounces)
  • White pepper
Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 f. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil. Add all the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium, and immediately stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes, or until the mixture forms a ball and the excess moisture has evaporated (if the ball forms more quickly, continue to cook and stir for a full 2 minutes).
  3. Transfer to bowl and beat with electric mixer for about 30 seconds at medium speed to cool the dough slightly. Add 4 eggs and continue to mix until completely combined and the batter has a smooth, silky texture.  The mixture should form a peak that falls over.  If too stiff, add a little bit of water or egg white to the mixture and beat again.
  4. Mix in 3/4 cup of the cheese and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper.
  5. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch plain pastry tip with the gougère batter. Pipe the batter into 1-tablespoon mounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the gougères as the mixture will spread during baking. Sprinkle the top of each gougère with about 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining grated cheese and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they puff and hold their shape.
  6. Reduce the heat to 350 f And bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. When the gougères are done, they should be a light golden brown color. When you break one open, it should be hollow; the inside should be cooked but still slightly moist. Remove the pans from the oven and serve the gougères while hot.
Comte Gougères (Creamy Puffed Cheese Dough)
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