These little things look very much like choux pastry right? Indeed they are! Just that they are savoury cousins of the sweet ones, known as gougères.
Gougère is a savoury pastry made using pâte à choux mixed with cheese Originated from Burgundy, France, this little pastries are traditionally made with Gruyère, Comté, or Emmentaler.
When planning my to-bake menu for August, I decided to attempt a savoury choux to submit it to the choux party that I'm hosting. I used my favourite choux recipe and made some additions to it - parmesan, bacon and parsley. The resulting gougères had a very nice, sharp and salty cheese and bacon taste - and paired with their slight crispy exterior and soft interior, they made wonderful appetizers, snacks and tea time treats (if you aren't a sweet-tooth)!
However, the taste of parsley wasn't very noticeable - perhaps using more parsley or the dried ones or a stronger herb would be better! The gougères also lost the battle against humidity after a few hours sitting at room temperature so the exterior became soft but they were still pretty good (in my opinion... haha) But of course they could use a quick trip to the oven to be re-crisped!
My mom was surprised to find that the inside is hollow - she hasn't heard of gougères so she thought it would be something like a doughnut heh. On the other hand, X was actually hoping that I filled the gougères but I was feeling lazy haha. I originally intended to make a tuna-egg-mayo mix for the filling but the plan went down the drain due to my laziness. Haha. Well there's always next time!
|1) Bacon, parmesan and parsley - very fine!||2) Mix into the choux pastry.|
|3) Scoop mounds onto a baking sheet.||4) Brush with egg wash and bake away!|
I'm submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #34: Choux Pastry hosted by me! There's only about 1 ½ weeks left to the end of the event, don't forget our dateline is 31 August 2359 hours (Singapore Time aka 1559 hours in GMT - see time zone converter here)!
I'm also going to submit this to Little Thumbs Up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids. This month's theme - Egg - is hosted by Yen from Eat your heart out. The recipes are all linked at this post!
Parmesan, Bacon and Parsley Gougères
- 2 strips streaky bacon
- 20 grams Parmesan / Cheddar / Gruyere, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh and finely minced parsley
- 100 grams water
- 40 grams butter, softened and chopped
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 70 grams all-purpose flour, sifted onto a large parchment paper
- 100 grams eggs, 2 - 3 eggs, at room temperature, whisked together
- 1 egg, beaten (separate, for egg wash)
- Cook the streaky bacon over medium heat until crispy. Drain the bacon on a paper towel and when they have cooled, crumble the bacon into small pieces. Mix the bacon, cheese and parsley together. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line baking sheets with baking parchment.
- Combine water, butter, sugar and salt in a pot. Heat the mixture over high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, and bring it to a rolling boil. Add in all the flour at once, turn off the heat and stir quickly with the wooden spoon to mix in all the flour.
- Once the flour has been mixed in, turn on the heat to medium-low and continue mixing with the wooden spoon until the mixture forms a soft dough and that you can see a layer of dough at the bottom of the pot, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the dough into a mixing bowl and let cool slightly so that the eggs don't cook when they are added.
- Add in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well (either with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon) until the egg has been fully incorporated before adding the next bit of eggs. The choux pastry is ready when you use a spatula to scoop the choux up and after majority of the choux falls back into the bowl, the remaining choux "hangs" on the spatula and forms a "V" shape. Stop adding anymore eggs once this consistency has been reached. Use a rubber spatula and fold in the bacon, cheese and parsley.
- Pipe or scoop small mounds of choux pastry (about 1 to 1.5-inch in diameter or 1 teaspoon per mound) onto the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each mound of choux. Dip a pastry brush into the beaten egg (egg wash), and brush it over the choux, smoothing down any tips poking out.
- Bake the gougères for 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Lower the heat down to 175 degrees Celsius and continue baking for 20 minutes. Remove the gougères from the oven. Hold a gougère with a clean and dry tea towel and use a sharp knife to make a slit on the side. Return the gougères back to the oven and continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and the crust is crisp.
- Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar and let the puffs cool in the warm oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm or, if preferred, let them cool completely on a wire rack before filling it.
- I made only ½ the recipe below so it was easier to beat the choux pastry by hand using a wooden spoon. If you are feeling lazy or making a big batch of gougères, use the mixer so that it makes your life a lot easier! I found that the parsley taste wasn't strong enough, so I will increase the amount used next time or just use dried herbs. If you are interested in filling them, you can make the gougères bigger and fill them with anything you like - I'd love to mix some flaked tuna and hard-boiled eggs together with mayonnaise or a combination of smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill - yum!
- Make sure you crumble the cheese, bacon and parsley finely - as the gougères are made relatively small, you won't want to get a large chunk of bacon or cheese in it.
- Instead of using water, you can substitute with milk. I didn't want the gougères to be overly-browned so I used water.
- Egg wash can be omitted if you are feeling lazy, but it gives them a nice shine and helps the gougères brown (since no milk was used in mine)