Gougere Recipe (Savory Cream Puff Appetizers)

Gougere Recipe (Savory Cream Puff Appetizers) Recipe

Gougères are savory choux pastry (pâte à choux salé in French) appetizers made with cheese. For this version, I made a light pastry dough with Parmesan and Triple Cream cheeses, baked them to form hollow puffed balls and filled them with pistachio pesto flavored cream cheese, mushrooms and red bell peppers.

We hosted a dinner party this evening and these cute little bites were perfect finger foods. Next time you host a cocktail party or buffet, you might want to prepare savory cream puffs. They can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last minute. Enjoy!

Savory Cream Puffs Recipe with Picture

Ingredients

Yields: 40 appetizers

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup homemade vegetable stock (click on the link for the recipe), warm
1 teaspoon Provence herbs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
¼ cup Triple Cream cheese
¼ teaspoon black pepper
6 eggs
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup cream cheese
6 tablespoons pistachio pesto (click on the link for the recipe)
2 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon pistachio oil
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely minced
2 teaspoons olive oil


Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

For the savory choux pastry dough:

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low; you don't want the butter to burn. Add the herbes de Provence. Bring the heat up to medium-high (the butter should be hot and golden) and add the flour. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon for approximately 3 minutes. The flour should absorb the butter instantly and form a paste. Stir well until incorporated and add the warm vegetable stock in 3 stages. Decrease the heat while constantly stirring for about 2-3 minutes. Add the Triple Cream cheese and reduce the heat to low. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to cool; you could spread it on a flat surface to hasten the cooling time.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with sugar until you get a pale yellow foam; the texture of the eggs will be thicker. Add the eggs and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese to the flour mixture in 4 stages and whisk until fully incorporated.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.

Line two baking trays with silicone mats or sheets of parchment paper.

Pipe 40 dough balls. Make sure to space them about 2 inches apart so that they don't touch each other as they will expand when they bake. Using your finger, flatten the tip by moistening it with water.

Bake for 5 minutes at 375°F; lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 25 minutes until puffed and golden.

Remove from the oven and cut the puffed balls in half horizontally. Allow to cool completely.

For the herbed cream cheese:

Reserve about 1 tablespoon of pistachio pesto.

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, capers, pistachio pesto, pistachio oil and heavy cream. Mix well.

For the sautéed mushrooms and red bell peppers:

In a small non-stick pan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the red bell peppers and toss for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Assembly time:

Place the bottom slice of the gougère, outer crust side down. Pipe or spoon the herbed cream cheese. Fill with 2 slices of mushrooms and a few pieces of red bell pepper. Close with the top piece of gougère. Top with a little mound of herbed cream cheese. Garnish with a piece of red bell pepper for a nice contrast in color. Drizzle with the reserved pistachio pesto. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Repeat until all the ingredients are used.

Serve at room temperature.

Bon appétit!


Tips

To make a roux (thickening agent made with flour, fat and a little liquid), I always use all the ingredients at the same temperature, so make sure to heat the vegetable stock in the microwave for about 2 minutes (or in a saucepan), so it's warm. If you get lumpy pieces in the sauce, don't hesitate to use a hand blender.

It's important to whisk the choux pastry dough well until the eggs are fully incorporated in between stages before adding more eggs. That way the texture of the dough will be smoother and  more homogeneous.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on September 14, 2010.


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