A little cheese puff delicacy that has been all the rage lately, having been brought into the limelight by Thomas Keller and his French Laundry restaurant and cookbook(s). Gougeres are a step up from the basic cheese puff, employing a French technique for making pate a choux, and featuring the complex flavor of Gruyere cheese. Having read about these tasty goodies one too many times, I decided I had to see if the recipe would work without gluten. I can't vouch for how they compare to the original, having never had the original, but I can say that my GF experiments were decidedly fabulous, and also really pretty simple.
- 1 c. water
- 7 T unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/4 c. Cooqi Cake+Pastry Flour
- 5 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 1/4 c. Gruyere, Emenataller, Pecorino Romano,or other strongly flavored cheese, finely grated
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment, or spray with oil. In a small saucepan, heat the water, butter, salt, and sugar over high heat until it comes to a boil. Stir with a wooden spoon to make sure butter, sugar and salt are melted. Reduce heat to low, add flour all at once and stir briskly with wooden spoon. Continue stirring rapidly until all flour is incorporated and a dense dough is formed. (It will become quite hard to stir, and will begin sticking to the sides of the pot).
Transfer dough to the bowl of electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a food processer. Beat/pulse for 30 seconds to release some of the heat. Add eggs and mix at medium speed until dough becomes smooth and silky and forms a peak that falls over at the tip. Add 3/4 c. of cheese and mix to incorporate.
Spoon batter into a pastry bag fitted with a smooth tip (or no tip)* and pipe onto prepared baking pans in puffs approximately 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle remaining cheese over each puff. (To freeze, place baking sheet in freezer to set for 30 minutes, and then place frozen dough puffs in an airtight freezer bag. To bake, thaw to room temp and bake as below).
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, to allow gougeres to rise and set. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for 20-25 more minutes, until puffs are golden and lightly crisp on the edges, moist and somewhat hollowed out on the inside. (This is where the gluten-free version will differ somewhat from the glutinous variety, being slightly like a popover inside.)
Serve immediately while still hot. You can enjoy them straight up, or serve with an herb butter or spread (but don't over do it--you don't want to overwhem the flaky lightness!).
*If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a plastic zipper bag with one corner cut to allow for a 1/2" hole.