Saturday, January 23, 2010

The French Laundry #7? Cheesy Poufs! Gruyere Cheese Gougeres

I have to recount my entries; I think I missed one, but I'm in no mood for math this evening, in fact, I don't remember the last time i wanted to count stuff. This evening I made a nice little appetizer called Gougeres. As far my reading goes, it seems they are always made with Gruyere, my favorite cheese. These are very quick to make, take very few ingredients and are really pretty simple. I would recommend them for your Super Bowl party! They would pair well with both wine and beer.

Here's the mise en place:

Bring the water, salt, sugar, butter to a boil and add the flour all at once. Stir until excess liquid has evaporated, if that happens quickly, keep stirring for 2 minutes. Biceps, Anyone?

Turn the dough into a mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds or so to cool it down. Then add all the eggs and mix again until the dough is silky. It should form soft peaks when the paddle is removed.  Add grated Gruyere and salt and white pepper to taste. Mix again until smooth.

Load the dough into a pastry bag with a 3/8 in plain tip (which I didn't have so I chose the closest thing). Onto baking sheets covered with silpat or parchment ..or in my case, a hybrid a silcone coated sheet, pipe about 1 Tbl. and leave 2 inches between (you can see that symmetry isn't my strong point which is one of the very many reasons why WSH is so good for me). 

Cover each mound with 1/2 tsp of grated gruyere and slide both pans into a preheated 450 degree oven for about 7 min. They will puff up! And unlike people, when cheesy poufs puff, they are beautiful!! Once puffed, reduce the heat to 350. Recipe says to cook 20 min more but mine were done in 10, so keep an eye on them. I know you can't see a lot of difference between the 2 pics, but believe me the second picture shows puffy, fluffy cheesy poufs!.  I reallty need to get a better camera setup or some lighting or something....

Serve hot out of the oven according to Chef Keller, but I found instruction from none other than Alain Ducasse  no sloucher himself, that these can be frozen and reheated (his recipe is also in the link). So that's what I'm doing!

While these are really pretty and smell fantastic, I found them to be a bit salty. The recipe calls for 1 T of salt, I would cut that back a bit; I am probably salt sensitive because I am always trying to reduce my sodium intake. Also, (duh!) I should have made an extra trip to find really high quality Gruyere. Trader Joe's carries a cave -aged Gruyere  that I love but I picked up a swiss import at Publix that was just ..meh. I know better !

Jim (Wonderfully Supportive Husband)  made some spectacular split pea soup today. I'll give you the recipe tomorrow.

Happy Cooking!
See you soon.

Happy Birthday to Rodrigo's Father!  Hope everyone had a wonderful 70's time!


  1. Love the blog! I love making gougeres... I use a recipe by Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) that is really good. If you are ever in Decatur, stop by the Dekalb Farmers Market. They have some superb gruyere for half the cost of what publix or kroger charges for it and it is SO much better. I pretty much get all of my cheese there and just grate it myself. It is a great way to save money and the quality is top notch.

  2. is that in illionos im just across the border from there.Decatur i mean

  3. Hi Anon! Thanks for the advice. Decatur is outside of my regular route, but I do miss the Dekalb Farmers's Market! What a landmark! Thanks for the tip.. my horizons are ever expanding- or re-expanding in this case. I'm glad you enjoy the blog!