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
saltOptional 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.