As my friends and family will attest, my husband is the cook/chef in our family. However, there are a few special requests they ask of me time and again: French onion soup, les crèpes, cheese puffs, oh, and popcorn! :) Surprisingly, all of the aforementioned are pretty easy to make, and fun to eat!
I can't recall my first cheese puff, but I can remember every profiterole I've ever eaten. Profiteroles are a fancy word for cream puff - both cream puffs and cheese puffs are made from a pâte à choux, a simple yet so, so good pastry dough. Dessert puffs have sugar in the dough, while the gougères do not.
The recipe I use is from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table cookbook.
Pronounced "gooozhare" these little puffs of perfection are a breeze to make and a delight to eat...especially with your favorite glass of red wine, perhaps un bon Beaujolais Nouveau?
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
8 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces
1/2 tsp salt1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cups (about 6 oz) grated Gruyere, (or your cheese of choice)
Preheat Oven to 425 degrees F. and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Use a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring the first four ingredients to a rapid boil over high heat. Lower the heat and add all the flour at once. Using either a wooden spoon or whisk, make sure to stir all until a dough forms. Continue stirring the dough for another minute or two until the dough becomes very smooth and shiny. Remove from heat and turn the dough out into another bowl.
Add one egg at a time and stir completely until the dough forms each time into a shiny and smooth ball. This will be a great arm workout, but needs to be done. After the last egg has been incorporated into the dough, add all the grated cheese into the mix - Reserve a little bit of cheese to sprinkle over the puffs prior to baking just for fun! Stir into dough completely. Spoon dough onto cookies sheets immediately and place in the oven. Turn oven down to 375 degrees F. and cook for 12 minutes. Rotate cookie sheets and cook for an additional 12 minutes.
Serve immediately - Bon Appetit!
Serve cheese puffs with your favorite red wine and a lovely new table linen from France, bien sûr!
May you and your loved ones stay safe, cozy, and peaceful during this holiday season!