PHEW. Between the Daring Bakers Potato Bread, Thanksgiving and my girl's fourth birthday, I'm a bit wiped out... I mean, a gal can only cook so much in the span of two weeks! I need a personal chef.
But a dinner party on Saturday night has me back in the kitchen yet again. I'm tackling the appetizers first, because I can store them and just bring them out on Saturday night.
I've decided to serve kir royale as an apéritif, and nothing goes with champagne quite like a good gougère. And as a bonus, gougères are such an easy appetizer. You can make them in advance and freeze them, reheat them for the party and make everyone go "ooooh". I learned how to make these yummy snacks in France, official home of the gougère. They are a light appetizer but really satisfying due to the gruyère cheese.
To make these, you should have a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch tip. If you don't have that, you can drop them by spoonfulls, but they won't have the same look to them. Although once they puff up they tend to get all out of whack, so it probably doesn't really matter much! You should also have a food processor or stand mixer.
This recipe made about 75 gougères.
3/4 cup water
5 1/2 Tb. unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Put Silpat mats on three baking sheets. (or use parchment)
Place the 3/4 cup water, butter, and salt in a small saucepan and heat to a boil.
Remove from the heat and dump the flour in quickly.
Using a wooden spoon, mix the batter quickly until it starts to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. You will probably see a thin film on the pan.
Let this cool a touch, then put it in a food processor.
After it has cooled off a little, add four eggs, one egg at a time. Pulse until each egg is incorporated before you add the next egg.
Add the grated cheese and pulse again until well combined.
Transfer the batter into a pastry bag (you will want one that is about 16 inches long), fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip.
Pipe 1 inch mounds on the baking sheets.
Beat the remaining egg and brush each gougères with some of the egg wash. Flatten pointy tips with your finger.
Bake until the gougères are puffed up and golden, about 20 - 25 minutes. Check for doneness by opening one up and being sure it is no longer wet inside.
Let the gougères cool a bit, and then serve warm.
***Do ahead: You can make the gougères ahead of time and store them in the freezer in an airtight container. From freezer, reheat at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until warm.