Tagged with - cheese, crudités,

This choux pastry is really easy to make and has a fabulous impact. You can make little puffed up cheesy choux buns or you can also more elaborate and make a filling. They are great on their own or filled with a small amount of creme fraiche and seafood with a dash of smoked paprika. Whatever your choice you will love for these tasty, light and airy little cheese puffs.

You may use different cheese to Gruyère, but I recommend using a fairly strong, hard cheese as it packs the flavour for a small quantity. Alternatives you may like include Parmesan, Manchego or Emmental.

3 medium sized eggs
60g cold butter, cut into small cubes
200ml water
Place the following placed on a greaseproof sheet or foil:
100g plain flour
1 tsp English mustard powder
50g Gruyère cheese, grated
Pinch of salt and and a few rounds of freshly ground black pepper
Two 30x25cm baking sheets, very lightly buttered.

Preheat 200ºC (180ºC fan) Gas Mark 6

Beat the eggs together thoroughly and remove one tablespoon, or 15 ml of the beaten egg and place into a small bowl or cup and set aside. This is for glazing the choux buns, just before you pop them into the oven.

Put the cubed butter and water in a pan onto the hob on medium heat, stirring until all the butter has melted. Continue heating until the water boils. 

Remove the pan from the heat and take the flour, cheese, mustard, salt and pepper on the sheet and swoosh it into the hot butter mix all at once. Working quickly, beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until the batter becomes smooth and without lumps. It should be glossy and not adhere to the sides of the pan. Very importantly, leave it to cool until only warm to touch as the next stage is adding the eggs and you do not want to scramble them! 

Once the batter has cooled (at least 10 minutes) gradually mix in the beaten eggs, mixing well after each addition, so that it’s fully combined. 

Using 2 teaspoons pop a raised blob about 4cm diameter and 3 cm high onto the greased baking sheet. At this stage really do your own thing. You can make the blobs bigger, or smaller it doesn’t matter as long as they’re the same size so that they take the same length of time to cook. The dimensions above will give you 20 gougeres.

Using a brush quickly coat the tops of the buns with a light covering of egg from the beaten egg set aside earlier. If you don’t have a pastry brush (or like me, can never find one) use the back of a teaspoon instead.

Cook for approximately 25 minutes. They should be golden brown and well risen. Remove the trays from the oven and using a small pair of sharp scissors snip each bun on top to allow the steam to escape. Pop both trays back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes to crisp. 

Cool the gougere on racks as soon as you’re able to lift them off the baking trays and try to resist eating all of them, but one to try is pretty much essential! One does have to taste….

If you’re adding a filling only do this just before serving or they may go soggy.

If you are preparing these in advance they can be chilled in the fridge once cooled, or alternatively freeze them. Reheat from chilled or frozen for about 5 minutes from chilled or 10-12 minutes from frozen in a preheated oven, 200ºC (180ºC fan) Gas Mark 6 just before serving. They really are delicious and I would suggest make more than you think you may need if you have guests.