When I put my Danish Dinner menu together a few weeks ago for the North Festival, the template I used was the menu of the renowned Copenhagen restaurant noma. I set out to present a truly fancy dinner in the New Danish style, and what fancy dinner would be complete without Gougéres? Okay, let me run that back a moment. Up until a few months ago I'd never heard/seen/eaten a gougére. Then we ate at the French Laundry and there on my plate was a small puffy, cheesy bite of delicious. This was a Gruyere Gougére, and a fine one at that. Since one of the founders of noma René Redzepi, worked for a while under Thomas Keller at the French Laundry I thought surely a gougére would be in order. And since I'd received some amazing Danish Blue Cheese from the nice people at Castello I thought it would be perfect to use in my gougére recipe.
A gougére is a small choux pastry, basically a savory cream puff. My track record with cream puffs however is historically terrible. My kitchen life is strewn with cream puff disasters. Choux pastry has never been my friend, however I stumbled across a recipe that I was damn lucky to find. It seemed to be so clear and straight forward that one could hardly muck it up too badly. These treats don't take long to make and can really pep up a simple soup or class up an ordinary drinks party.
Blue Cheese Gougéres
Here's What You Need:
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup of water
1/2 stick of unsalted butter cut into cubes
3/4 tsp of ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup of all purpose flour
3 eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup of crumbled Castello Danish Blue Cheese
Here's What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Mix together the wine, water, butter, pepper and salt in a medium sized saucepan or skillet.
Turn down the heat and stir the flour in the pan.
Stir this together well until the four forms large clumps and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
This takes about 1 minute.
Take the pan off the heat and let it all rest for about 5 minutes.
While the pan is cooling, whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. Set 1 Tbs of the beaten egg aside for brushing on the gougéres.
After 5 minutes have passed mix 1/3 of the beaten egg into the dough.
When it's fully incorporated into the dough, add the next 1/3 and so on until all the egg is used up.
The dough will be thick and sticky.
When all the egg is in the dough, add in the crumbled blue cheese.
Mix it in well.
Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Hint: brush the spoons with a bit of oil or non stick spray it will make this a whole lot easier.
You should have about 24 walnut sized gougéres.
Use a pastry brush and brush the beaten egg onto the gougéres. Round off any pointed tops.
Pop them into the oven and bake them for about 30 minutes. They will be puffed, golden brown and dry when they're done. They should feel firm to the touch.
Serve these little babies hot and crispy from the oven. I added them as a side to a cold apple carrot soup from a recipe by Claus Meyer the other founder of noma.