Saturday, July 31, 2010

This Gougère is no Goujat

French vocabulary can get a little tricky.

When is a "g" pronounced like a "j"? When do you pronounce a "t" or "d" at the end of a word? If you're French, chances are you learned all that in school, or never even asked yourself these questions. If you're not French, well, the intricacies of spelling in the "language of love" may seem a little unclear at times.

Here's my tip: if you're having a cocktail or dinner party with people likely to be swayed by great French skills, fake it. The best way to do so? Make them gougères.

Gougères are the masculine, savory version of the extra-cute chouquettes. But as I said in the title, gougères are no goujat. A goujat is a man who acts in a rude manner, especially towards women. This gougère right here does no such thing--trust me. It is small, cute in its own way, and just bite-sized enough to make everyone feel good about having one. But here is the magical side: you can put everything and pretty much anything in or on a gougère. Traditionally, gruyère gets first dibs on topping rights, but feel free to switch things around every now and then.

Last time I had friends over, gougères were the perfect accompaniement to my favorite goat cheese-green fig mix. Feel free to go anywhere with the base recipe for gougères: add some truffle oil, top with poppy seeds or sesame...or stuff them with what you'd like, from an umami-packed tapenade to tomato whipped cream.

Really, girlfriend, this gougère knows his way to a woman's heart. Next time someone quizzes you on some tricky French, stick a gougère in their mouth. They'll shush up and love you for it.

makes approx 40 small puffs

1 cup water
1/3 cup (80g) butter
1 1/4 cup (125g) flour
4 eggs
Optional toppings: gruyère, poppy seeds, sesame seeds...
Optional fillings: goat cheese, tapenade,...

Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F.

Bring water to a boil, add salt, then add butter.

Once the butter has melted, add all the flour at once and stir until you get a dry dough.

Remove the saucepan from heat, and add eggs one at a time, stirring (your arms might hurt a little) until you end up with a nice dough that's not too liquid.

Pipe dough onto a baking sheet, making little pyramids/cones for each. Sprinkle with topping, if using.
Bake until golden (approx. 20 minutes), opening oven door as little as possible. Let cool on a rack. Slice gougères open to pipe filling inside.

Print this post


Eleni said...

those look divine. when i made choquettes, they didn't look so pretty, but hopefully these will!

Paris Pastry said...

I've never had these. Is the dough Pâte à Choux? I imagine these as a savory version of mini eclairs.

Cinnamon Girl said...

I wish someone would stick one of these in my mouth! Insanely delicious!

claudia said...

Love reading your texts! Gougères are indeed very good and yours look scrumptious!

grace said...

excellent--my first lesson in french baking and speaking. :)

Juliana said...

Lucie, this gougeres look delicious, light and SO tasty, I haven't made this like for ages...nice picture!

Y said...

I made gougeres like these once. My stomach fondly remembers them.

Mary said...

I love these as well as the French lesson. I love to serve petite gougeres as cocktail appetizers. They are really delicious and your recipe for them is spot on. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

LyB said...

Lovely post! I really should try making gougères, I love anything "chou" so these should fit the bill perfectly! ;)

Lucie said...

Paris Pastry: yep, this is classic pate a choux without the sugar! Did you know Fauchon actually makes savory eclairs?

John Rose said...

I made these last night while watching the Oregon Ducks play football, and they turned out great. The shredded Gruyere melted in real nice.
U. John