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Three cheeses of varying strength and smoothness combine in these customizable bite-sized pastries.
By Laura Davidson
Gougeres are made with a choux pastry that is mixed with cheese, baked at a high temperature (to puff and steam), and generally served warm as an appetizer.
While they traditionally are supposed to be very small (about the size of a Brussels sprout), I tend to prefer to make them a tad bit larger and more substantial.
Topped with a little bit of fresh Hirten cheese, these little baked pastries can be put together extremely quickly and customized to your liking (with more cheese, fresh herbs, roasted garlic, etc.)
- ½ cup whole milk (or water)
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 2½ ounces all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 3 ounces Castello Swiss Alps cheese (equal combination of Hirten, Weissbier, and Classic) + more for dusting
- 2½ eggs (use the other half of an egg for a simple egg wash)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Prepare all your ingredients and set aside.
- In small bowl, combine flour, salt, and cayenne pepper and whisk together.
- In a saucepan, combine the whole milk and butter. Bring to a rolling boil (over medium-high heat), watch carefully to avoid the mixture from evaporating.
- Turn down the heat to low and immediately add in the entire flour mixture at once, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together (there should be a light coating on the bottom of the pan) and begins to dry out a bit.
- Add the cheese and stir until melted and combined.
- Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) and turn on to medium high speed, allowing the dough to cool slightly.
- With the mixer at medium high speed, add one egg at a time, allowing the eggs to be absorbed one at a time. You want the dough to not be stiff or runny--but have it be able to hang from the paddle in a "V" shape.
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag (fitted with a round large tip)--or use two spoons--and pipe small rounds (about an inch in diameter) onto a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of each gougere with leftover egg wash and a sprinkle of grated Hirten cheese.
- Bake for ~15 minutes at 425 degrees. Rotate the pan and turn down the oven to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.