About this recipe:Light, airy gougères are a versatile addition to a meal or canape spread. Made small, they pair well with beer or wine; made larger, you can fill them with a filling of your choice. These are easier to make than the recipe sounds, yet the result looks impressive enough that you can tell your friends you slaved over them.
120g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
250ml full fat milk
125g butter (cut into 1cm cubes)
6 large eggs (at room temperature)
50g grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
100g grated Gruyere cheese
30g prosciutto, diced (optional)
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
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Method Prep:45min › Cook:25min › Extra time:15min › Ready in:1hr25min
Preheat oven to 220 C / Gas 7.
Combine the flour with the salt, black pepper, thyme, chilli powder and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.
Put the milk and butter in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. When the butter melts, turn heat to low. Add the seasoned flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball. Remove from heat.
Separate the white and yolk from one egg, reserving the yolk for glazing.
Put the dough into a large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed for one minute. Then beat in one egg and the extra egg white. Beat until completely absorbed into the dough. Then add the remaining 4 eggs, one at a time, waiting each time until the previous egg is completely absorbed. After all 5 eggs (plus the one egg white) have been incorporated, the dough should be smooth and satiny.
Add the Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses, and prosciutto if you are using it. Incorporate thoroughly into the dough.
Use a pastry bag to pipe dough onto 2 ungreased baking trays. You can also drop dough from a teaspoon. For tiny puffs, mounds should be about 1cm in diameter, but you can make larger puffs with either 2.5cm or 4cm mounds. Keep the size of the puffs uniform so they bake properly. Space puffs about 2cm apart.
Beat the remaining egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of milk to make a glaze. Lightly brush the tops of the puffs with glaze before baking. Sprinkle tops with your Parmesan cheese.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes for medium puffs (5 minutes for tiny puffs). Reduce heat to 150 C / Gas 2. Bake 10 minutes more for tiny puffs; 15 to 20 minutes longer for medium puffs, or until puffs are golden brown. Test by removing a puff from the oven and breaking it open. The inside should be baked through. If it is still doughy or wet, bake another 5 minutes.
Remove trays from oven and leave puffs on trays until cool enough to serve.