We were going to go to a barbeque today, but then we didn’t – it was so hot and tiring to just stay alive, and I had a free birthday sundae waiting for me at JP Licks, so we did that instead. But I’d already made the gougeres, so you know what? We’re just going to eat them! We’ve each eaten about 3 already, haha.
I’ve never made gougeres before, but they’re fancy while still being easy, and cheddar cheese and dill are a great flavour combo. The texture of these little puppies is very light, but you probably wouldn’t be surprised that they have a lot of eggs in them; they’re… well, saying they’re eggy is not really accurate, but it’s the best description I’ve got. It’s a light, almost spongy texture that just says “there are eggs in here!” to me. The recipe comes from Cherry Tea Cakes, and I didn’t change it at all. I almost had a dill disaster (dill-saster?) because my grocery store, as well as being chronically out of basil, also never has whatever it is I’m looking for, herbs-wise, at a given moment. So if I wasn’t looking for dill, there would have been about 50 packages of it, but since that IS what I needed, the only way I could get any was by buying their “fish mix,” which contained baby dill and chives. Good enough!
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), sliced into tablespoons – this might just be to make it quicker to melt, I don’t see any other real reason to do it
a hearty few cranks of salt
1 cup flour
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp fresh dill (I was a little generous on this and a good thing too, for reasons I will explain later so as not to disrupt the flow of this recipe too much – too late!)
Preheat oven to 400. Ideally, do this on a day when it’s super hot out for the first time all year, so that your apartment turns into a great place to faint of heatstroke. I’m not very smart.
Over medium heat in a pot on the stove, bring the butter, salt, milk, and water to a boil.
Pour in the flour and turn the heat off.
Stir until the flour is incorporated and the dough forms a ball.
Pop the dough ball into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. I’d say let it cool down a bit, but I tried and it just wasn’t going to get much cooler in my hot, hot apartment. Sensing a theme here at all?
Beat in each egg, one at a time, making sure the first is fully beaten in before adding the next.
Stir in the cheese, dill, and pepper.
Line a baking sheet – well, two, you’ll need two, but I only have one the right size, so I had to do it in batches – with a silpat or parchment paper.
Using a ziploc bag with one corner cut off, or if you’re fancy, a pastry bag with a 1/2″ tip, pipe little blobules of batter onto the baking sheet(s). The original recipe said to do about 1-tbsp blobs, but those came out pretty tiny and got brown too fast in my first batch, so I went for about 2-tbsp-sized blobs and that was perfect.
Sprinkle a bit more cheese and a bit more dill on top of each one.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
I actually had enough for another couple more beyond my 2 baking sheets; I think I spaced them out more than necessary. The original recipe says 2 inches apart, but there wasn’t a whole lot of spreadage, so don’t worry too much. Otherwise you’ll wind up throwing out a couple gougeres worth of batter, and you’ll discover that all the dill was in that batter. Well, ok, not ALL of it, but a disproportionate amount.
Also, they’re best hot, so refrigerate your leftovers and then throw them in the toaster oven or something when you want them later.