Learn how to use pate a choux pastry to make this cheddar cheese puff recipe or gougere as they are classically called. Light and airy on the inside and a little crisp on the outside. Traditional gougere uses Gruyere cheese, but I used sharp cheddar here. Any shred-able cheese will do!
I feel like I need to start this post out with an apology. An apology that the week of Pate a Choux has turned into a week two of Pate a Choux. I had posts lined up for you last week that have now spilled over into this week. Treats that had been made and photographed and waiting for me to edit and share with you. But time and energy just didn’t allow it. And I hope you can forgive me.
Just to give you a few excuses about why all the Pate a Choux didn’t get shared last week: it has something to do with the fact that I’m in school full time, while working, and trying to devote a lot of time to this blogging passion I have, and be a decent wife and cat mother. But mostly it has to do with me trying to detox from caffeine. I say this to you while drinking a cup of coffee at 6pm. But me drinking coffee at 6pm IS me trying to detox from caffeine. Because I had gotten to the point where I needed several cups of coffee AND several energy drinks in one day to function. Which is not okay. Don’t do that. Take my advice. And never drink a Rockstar Energy Drink, ever. That stuff is crack in a can. You drink a Rockstar and realize you FEEL like a rockstar and game over. Addicted. Just don’t. So I’ve cut back to just two cups of black coffee a day for now. I will cut back more, but so far this much is hell and my body isn’t happy about it. But I know it will be better soon.
Okay, excuses over. On to the Pate a Choux Part Deux!
If you are just tuning into this series we are talking Pate a Choux and All it Can Do! Which is a lot! We’re continuing this week with a few more recipes about this amazing pastry dough and just how versatile it can be.
Check out the rest of the series here:
The last two applications with our pate a choux have been sweet. We talked about adding a few TBSP of sugar to the batter for sweet applications. Today we’re going savory. This time we will leave out the sugar and add some salt, cheddar cheese, and fresh thyme to make these savory cheesy puffs. In France they call these gougère. I had no clue how to pronounce that and so I elected to call them cheese puffs. But then I made google tell me how to say it and it sounds fancy. Click here to listen… So fancy. Also note the difference between how google says it in French and in English. Why is English google translate’s voice so much less sexy? We already have the less sexy accent. Can’t you just give us a sexy voice, google! Rude. I digress.
The French would probably roll their eyes at me for calling these cheese puffs, or even worse, cheese poofs! They might also tell me that these are traditionally made with gruyere cheese. Okay, I know! I know! But I had sharp cheddar in my refrigerator so that’s what we went with. Use whatever hard cheese makes you happy!
Side note: I can’t tell you how many times I wrote “cheese puggs” instead of “puffs” while writing this post. I promise we aren’t eating pugs. Not even cheese flavored ones.
These are airy little bites of cheesy heaven. They would be the perfect substitute for biscuits or rolls as a side dish, or as a little snack all on their own. I think I may start making these more often than biscuits for dinner because I like how you don’t have to roll the dough out and get flour all over the counter, the floor, your shirt, in your hair… Is that just me? Probably. You can use a pastry bag to pipe them out, or you can use a little scooper like I did and just scoop the dough. You could even use two spoons to drop mounds on the baking sheets. Crazy easy. And if you have a dinner party call them gougère to your dinner guests and they will be super impressed. Especially if you use that sexy French accent.
- 1 cup water (8 oz, 236.6 mL)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1/2 cup, 4 oz, 113 grams)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (4.5 oz, 127 grams)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 TBSP fresh thyme, finely minced
- Preheat oven to 425F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats and set aside.
- Place water, butter, and salt in a sauce pot over medium high heat. Stir until butter is melted and everything comes to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add flour into the mixture all at once while stirring quickly. Continue to stir and cook off the moisture in the dough until it pulls away from the sides and starts to form into a ball. This should take about a minute.
- Place dough into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl if using a hand mixer. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium-low speed, add eggs in one at a time. Do not add another egg until the one before has been completely absorbed into the batter. The batter will look smooth and glossy when ready. (Alternatively, you can mix in the eggs by hand. This just takes a bit longer. Mix each egg until completely absorbed before adding the next).
- Mix in the cheese and the thyme.
- Pipe or scoop the batter onto prepared baking sheets keeping at least 2" apart. Place baking sheet in the oven and turn the heat up to 450F for 8 minutes (do not open the oven). Turn the heat down to 350F and continue to bake for 8-10 more minutes. They should be puffed and airy on the inside and crusty on the outside.