Today you will get Gougère from Switzerland! Gougères are cheese balls made from choux pastry. They are super light and airy. If you like eclairs and profiteroles, these are for you, a savory snack made from exactly the same dough, choux pastry is first boiled before eggs are added. If you are interested in sweet choux pastry, how about profiteroles with raspberry filling, black forest eclairs, eclairs with coffee cream or peanut butter filling. Below cheese balls are a wonderful fingerfood, snack, or can be served for any gathering.
If you say cheese, I am definitely in. Cheese is something both my husband and me enjoy. Probably every country has some kind of cheese bun or cheese ball to offer. In Colombia you will find so called pandebonos, which are gluten-free cheese balls made from tapioca starch. Paraguay has chipa, which are also made from tapioca starch and which can be whipped up in about five minutes. Today we are going to try the one from Switzerland.
Below some tips so your choux pastry works right from the start:
- Choux pastry isn’t prepared like any other dough as it is first cooked on the stovetop. You will boil the water and butter first before you add the flour. Once you have a dough ball, you will mash it against the bottom and sides of your pot. By “burning” the flour, the starches will gelatinize, helping later on for the dough to rise and be fluffy and airy. I recommend doing it for at least two minutes.
- Be sure to cool off your dough before adding the eggs as otherwise they will cook too early. My little trick is to transfer immediately to a cool bowl and to use a mixer to mix the dough a bit so that it cools off quicker. Repeat this several times and it will not take more than a few minutes before you can add the eggs.
- How many eggs you will need to add, depends on the flour you use, the weather and some other factors, so only add about half completely before you beat each egg separately in a small bowl and add about half of this beaten egg to see how much more you actually need. What you are looking for is a dough that slowly drops from a spoon, not too runny, but also not too dense. It will be glossy and pipeable. Don’t let the amount of eggs the recipe calls for fool you, you may need less or more.
- Choux pastry likes a humid environment. You may use your index finger to gently press down the top and also sprinkle the parchment paper with some drops of water for the profiterloes to really puff and rise.
- On the other hand, a cold draft is counter-productive if making choux pastry. If you open the oven door while baking, they may sink, so be sure to wait until the end.
- You may bake them a little longer, but don’t bake too short otherwise they will get very soggy quickl. If you are going for the size of profiteroles, 25 minutes should do the trick.
Ok, but now let’s finally get started. If you are in for some light and airy savory cheese snack, these are for you!
Credit: Cakes, Cookies and more
Gougères are Swiss Cheese Balls
Gougères are Swiss cheese balls and made from choux pastry. They are a perfect snack or side.
- 130 grams of good Swiss cheese (or alternatively some other strong cheese such as cheddar)
- 120 grams of all-purpose flour
- 200 grams of water
- 50 grams of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 dashes of Cayenne pepper
- 3-4 eggs
Grate the cheese and set aside. Measure the flour and set aside.
Then combine water, butter, salt and Cayenne pepper in a pot and bring to a boil until the butter is fully melted, reduce heat to medium. Add in the flour while stirring and stir until you get a ball of dough. Now you need to "burn" the flour, by pressing it down from all sides. Do this for about two minutes. Then transfer the dough to a large bowl and let cool. In order to speed up the process, I like to briefly mix the dough with my mixer, let it sit again, mix it, etc. It only takes a few minutes this way.
Add the first egg and incorporate completely. The dough will be crumbly, this is normal. Add the second egg and about 80% of the cheese. Again in corporate competely. Quickly stir the third egg in a small bowl or mug and only add about half. It depends on the flour, weather, etc. how much egg the dough needs. You are basically looking for dough that falls of a spoon very slowly, it shouldn't be too dense, yet also not too liquidy and look glossy. I needed 3 1/2 eggs for the right consistency.
Transfer to a piping bag and pipe on circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The circles should have the size of apricots. You can wet your index finger to smooth down the peaks. I got to pipe on about 12 on a baking sheet. As they will grow, make sure to leave enough room in between. Brush with leftover egg and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Bake for about 25min or until golden brown. Make sure not to open the oven door while they bake as they will otherwise deflate. Serve still warm or cooled off. Make sure to eat on the day they were made.