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French Classics Made Easy

French Classics Made Easy

By Richard Grausman

Published 2011

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The cheese-flavored cream-puff dough used to make the pastry ring (facing page) is more commonly baked as individual puffs—called gougères—that are served with cocktails or a glass of wine.


Using a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch (#6) tube, shape the gougères by piping the dough into quarter-size puffs about 1 inch in diameter. Or simply drop the dough by the teaspoon onto a baking sheet that has been buttered and floured or lined with a silicone liner. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven. Remember, as with any cream puff, the pastry should puff, turn golden, and bake dry, 20 to 25 minutes.

In addition to the traditional Gruyère cheese used to flavor gougères, you can add chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or rosemary. I even had one served to me with chopped seaweed and lots of black pepper, which I enjoyed a lot. Or try a little finely chopped ham to make ham-and-cheese gougères.

For a wonderful crispy hors d’oeuvre, deep-fry the puffs: Heat the oil to a depth of 4 inches in a deep-fryer to 365°F and drop the dough by the teaspoon or half-teaspoon into the oil. The puffs will be done in 4 to 5 minutes, depending on their size.