I got this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. Of course in her book, she uses the proper French name for these little puffs of heaven – Gougeres. However, my French 101 is failing me and that word annoys me….mainly because I don’t know how to pronounce it. Also because if I had a dinner party and served these (which is highly likely due to their deliciousness) – I would feel downright silly telling someone that I was serving rib eye, mashed potatoes, and gougeres. So, I’m going with cheese puffs, because that’s what they are. Cheesy, puffy little delicious rolls. So easy and more exciting than a plane jane dinner roll.
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 5 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated cheese – gruyere or cheddar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring the milk water, butter, and salt to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the flour, reduce the heat to medium-low, and whisk aggressively to blend. The dough will start to come together, and a thin crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Continue whisking vigorously for another minute or two to dry out the dough. Transfer the dough ball to the bowl of a standing mixer. Let it sit for a few minutes, then add the eggs one by one, beating each one thoroughly before adding the next. Finally, beat in the cheese. I used cheddar because I love it.
Drop the dough in rounded tablespoons (or a bit larger if you like) onto the lined baking sheets, a couple inches apart.
Place the baking sheets in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 375 (it is best to bake them all right away, but if your oven can’t fit both sheets, bake in batches). Bake for about 24-27 minutes, or until the cheese puffs are puffed and golden brown.
I served these at dinner a few Sundays ago and they were a hit, but what I did with these little puffs the following Monday was truly cooking innovation at its best. I cut a little slit in the end of a cheese puff, stuffed it with pizza sauce and a little parmesan, and microwaved it for about 30 seconds. It was like a little mini french calzone – and soo soo wonderful. Impressive, I know. It’s shocking I don’t have any cookbook deals lined up.