Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
Makes 30 gougères
“These cheesy choux pastry puffs are one of my great loves of French patisserie and are surprisingly easy to make at home. This particular recipe is based oone from some Tasmanian friends, Roger and Sue, who host magical afternoons in the garden with champagne and gougères fresh from the oven,” says Analiese Gregory. “I mean, it probably helps that they’re French wine importers and never short of a kilo or two of aged Comté. This recipe has stood me in good stead over the years. I’ve made these cheesy choux pus at many events and at my wine bar, with Tasmanian cheddar at Franklin and with anchovies at wine fairs. The only tricky part is the baking!”
220 ml water
110 g butter
1 tsp salt
115 g plain flour, sifted
180 g egg, beaten
70 g Pyengana cheddar (or Comté), finely grated, plus extra for sprinkling on top
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a large pot, bring the water, butter and salt to a slow simmer over a low heat. Add the flour. Using a spatula, cook on a low heat for 2–3 minutes, or until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball.
2. Transfer to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix slowly for about 2 minutes, letting the mixture cool down slightly so as not to cook the egg. Add the egg a little at a time until fully incorporated, then the cheese. Cover with plastic wrap to keep a skin from forming and leave to cool.
3. Line a baking tray with baking paper and either spoon out or pipe the mixture in small rounds, leaving 4cm in between each gougère to allow for spreading. Sprinkle the tops with the extra grated cheese. For gougères about 5cm, they normally take 15 minutes to cook, but you can judge for yourself by checking their rise and colour: they should be golden and highly risen. They’re best eaten right away, fresh from the oven, but they do reheat quite well too.
This is an edited extract from How Wild Things Are by Analiese Gregory, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $45. Available in stores nationally. Photography ©Adam Gibson.