Gougeres (pronounced goo-zhairs) are really just a fancy name for a savory cream puff - as compared to a sweet filled cream puff. This particular version doesn't have a savory filling but instead, the spices and cheese are baked into the puff. No need to fill.
I had made savory puffs numerous times in the past and have always been happy with them but this time I decided to try a new version and use a new-to-me recipe. This particular version called for grated Gruyere cheese and Pecorino cheese - both of which I easily found at my local grocery store but in the end, I think using a less expensive cheese (and really - almost any cheese) would be excellent. I wasn't impressed with the flavor of the Gruyere and Pecorino any more than I would have been using any hard cheese and Parmesan cheese.
The black pepper and cheeses in this particular version were a flavor that would pair very well with a dry red wine but we found they competed with most everything else. I went on to try another version that I added crumbled bacon and green onion to instead of the spices (thyme, pepper and cayenne) and anchovies; we loved the bacon and green onion version better. The last note for this particular version is that I didn't think they puffed up as high as my usual go-to choux paste recipe. But when they are made tiny for appetizer size, it really didn't matter too much in the end. Just make sure they are baked long enough to be dry and airy inside.
5 T butter
1/2 c water
1 T milk
1/2 c flour
1/4 c Gruyere, grated
1/4 c Pecorino, grated
1 T fresh thyme leaves
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 t anchovy paste
Preheat oven to 350. In a saucepan, place the butter, milk, water and salt. Bring to a boil while stirring and add the flour all at once. Stir and cook until the mixture forms a ball, remove from heat. Let cool slightly and beat the eggs in one at a time, beating well between. Add the cheeses and spices. Spoon dough into dollops on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle extra cheese on the tops and bake 35 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Serve.
Products related to this recipe available through Amazon;Roland Products Anchovy Paste 2 oz.
Reynolds Parchment Paper, 75 Sq Ft
3 Tier Rectangular Serving Platter, Three Tiered Cake Tray Stand, Food Server Display Plate Rack, White